Does Tyler Wilson Have a Real Shot at Winning the Raiders' Starting QB Job?

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystMay 28, 2013

May 20, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterbacks Matt McGloin (14) and Tyler Wilson (8) throw a pass at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in two seasons, quarterback Matt Flynn finds himself on a new team, and for a second straight year, Flynn is in danger of having his role as starter usurped by a rookie signal-caller.

Last year, it was Russell Wilson who vaulted past Flynn and into the starting job for the Seattle Seahawks. In 2013, it's Tyler Wilson doing the honors with the Oakland Raiders by staking an early claim with a strong showing in OTAs.

That's the latest from Steve Corkran of The Contra Costa Times, who recently tweeted that he agrees with those who believe that Wilson has outperformed Flynn in limited action to this point.

Now, before we go any further, it's important to note that the action has been very limited. We're talking about a handful of non-contact practices. It's not exactly a huge sample size.

Still, there's really no reason to think that Tyler Wilson can't win the starting job if he keeps this up.

For starters, it's not like Matt Flynn is exactly entrenched as Oakland's starting quarterback. The Raiders brought Flynn over after deciding that Carson Palmer wasn't the future at quarterback, but it's far from a certainty that Flynn is either.

Flynn doesn't have an extensive resume for the Raiders to draw solace from, having started all of two games in five NFL seasons. He's also not an elite talent. If he was, we wouldn't be having this little conversation to begin with.

That brings us to Wilson, who may just be able to offer something that Flynn can't. Potential.

Heading into the 2012 season, Wilson was one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in college football after throwing for over 3,600 yards as a junior at Arkansas while posting a passer rating of over 135.

Wilson's numbers weren't as good as a senior in Fayetteville, but he still managed to complete over 62 percent of his passes and top 3,300 yards through the air, despite an offense that imploded around him.

That relatively "down" year hurt Wilson's stock, knocking him all the way to the fourth round of April's draft. However he remains a player who compared to Brett Favre in its scouting report on him, writing that "it's tough to ignore his overall skill set."

It's also tough to ignore that this isn't the first time that Corkran has mentioned Wilson getting the better of Flynn as the spring moves into the summer.

Back at the beginning of May, Corkran was talking up the youngster after only Wilson's second practice with the club.

Wilson showed off a strong arm, placing balls right on target time and again, be it swing passes, throws over the middle or well downfield. It's not a stretch to envision Wilson playing well enough to surge past presumptive starter Matt Flynn and third-year player Terrelle Pryor at some point.

It would appear that Wilson has kept that early momentum going, and should that continue, there's no reason for the Raiders not to see what they have in Tyler Wilson.

Let's be frank, both about the Raiders as a team in 2013 and Matt Flynn as an NFL quarterback.

2013 is something of a wash for the Raiders. General manager Reggie McKenzie's roster purge may have been badly needed, but it's left the Raiders with as many questions as answers. This isn't a team that's any sort of realistic playoff contender.

Similarly, Matt Flynn may very well have the skill set to be a solid starting quarterback in the National Football League. That's all he's going to be, though. His ceiling is much more Andy Dalton than Aaron Rodgers.

Mind you, this isn't to say that Tyler Wilson is going to be the next Aaron Rodgers. However, Wilson would certainly appear to offer Oakland more upside under center than Flynn, at least at this admittedly early date.

If he can keep that up through training camp and the preseason, Flynn is really going to start disliking the last name Wilson.