2022 NFL Draft Profile: New Mexico QB Terry Wilson
The Lobos quarterback had a shorter stint as the starter than anyone would have hoped, but he may have the tools to compete in the pros.
Can Wilson find a niche in the pros?
Terry Wilson had himself quite a journey through the world of college football.
After originally committing to Oregon out of high school, he elected to spend time in the junior college ranks before transferring to Kentucky. In Lexington, he played a critical role in the revival of an often moribund program, shepherding the Wildcats to generational wins at both Florida and Tennessee and, in 2018, the program’s first ten-win season since 1977.
His time in New Mexico didn’t go quite as well, as he knocked out midway through the season by an elbow injury, but the depths to which a young Lobos offense fell in his absence speaks to exactly the kind of game-changer Wilson can be. Given that this year’s quarterback class has been met with a generally lukewarm reception, does he have what it takes to hear his name called at this year’s NFL Draft?
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler and DraftScout.com)
Height – 6′ and 2 1/4″
Weight – 207 pounds
40-yard time – 4.58 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.69 seconds
Arm length – 32″
Hand size – 9″
Wingspan – 77″
Vertical jump – 29 1/2″
Broad jump – 9′ and 10″ (or 118″)
Shuttle time – 4.4 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.23 seconds
Bench press – 15 reps
The standout trait that put Wilson on the map to begin with is speed, where his 40-yard dash time ranks in the 91st percentile according to Mockdraftable and compares favorably with recent combine participant Desmond Ridder. Lest you think it’s merely straight-line speed, however, he didn’t earn over 1,000 rushing yards at Kentucky without the lateral agility to make the most of being in space and the strength to shake would-be tacklers.
Terry Wilson looking pretty healthy out there for UNMpic.twitter.com/F8iAE7pJRR
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 3, 2021
He can do more than make hay with designed runs, however, as his short and intermediate accuracy, to the tune of a 65% completion rate, were also major factors in Kentucky’s resurgence.
While making plays with his legs has long been one of Wilson’s fortes, doing so consistently with his arm remains to be seen. He has an adequate deep ball but averaged just 6.5 yards per attempt over the course of his career (by way of comparison, Nevada’s Carson Strong averaged 7.5 YPA while Liberty’s Malik Willis had 8.5 YPA in his two years there).
That extends to other areas of refinement, as well. Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings notes that Wilson’s mechanics and pre-snap workload will need some time to attune to NFL looks and the pro game’s speed, so any team taking him on is likely to do so as a project upon which to build.
Even in a draft class full of question marks at the quarterback position, the peril for Wilson is that he doesn’t offer enough arm to get the same kind of opportunity afforded to contemporaries like Willis, Jalen Hurts, and Kyler Murray. That dampens the likelihood he gets picked in this year’s draft, so expect him to catch on somewhere as an undrafted free agent.