After scouting over 200 players in preparation for the 2013 NFL draft, we are at the point in the annual event where certain teams will take a player out of left field and throw everyone for a loop.
Seattle did just this by selecting former Rice tight end Luke Willson with the 158th overall pick in the draft.
Can't say I know much about this prospect, but I will utilize this awesome thing called the Internet to help give you a better understanding of where he fits in Seattle's scheme moving forward.
First, it has been well-documented that John Schneider and Pete Carroll have been targeting a tight end to compete with Anthony McCoy as the primary backup to Zach Miller. That's exactly what they did with this selection.
Draftinsider.net filed the following report on Willson:
Athletic tight end prospect with a large upside. Displays solid speed, nicely adjusts to errant throws and extends to make receptions away from his frame. Strong and wins out in battles. Keeps his head on a swivel as a blocker, possesses better than average blocking strength, and gives effort.
They went on to indicate that injuries played an important role in Willson's lack of production at Rice. He tallied just 33 receptions for 425 yards and three scores in college. Not exactly the numbers you look for from a prospect as it relates to a pure production standpoint.
With that in mind, Willson does possess a certain amount of upside.
Dane Brugler @dpbrugler
#Rice TE Luke Wilson had just 9 catches last year, but really surprised at his pro day: 4.51 40-yard dash and 38" vertical for 6-5, 251 size4/27/2013, 7:08:58 PM
Willson was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine or Senior Bowl. He did participate in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif. this past January. He led all receivers on the national side with three receptions for 46 yards and a score.
Apparently, Willson also impressed a great deal at Rice's pro day.
At this point in the draft it is all about getting upside with specific players. No one who goes to Seattle on the third day of the draft is guaranteed to make Seattle's loaded roster.
If Schneider and Carroll saw something here, I think we should take their word for it. At the very least, the Seahawks provided competition for McCoy in training camp and brought in an athletic player, which has been a theme throughout this draft.
Wilson's role this upcoming season will likely be on the practice squad unless he surprises a great deal in training camp. Moving forward, who knows?