The Raiders selected Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson with their fourth-round pick Saturday. A short time later, Wilson spoke with the Bay Area media via conference call. Here’s the entire transcript:
Q: What was your level of involvement and contact with the Raiders heading up to this?
Wilson : We had some contact, obviously, they were part of the Senior Bowl. I was on the other team. I was on the Detroit team, but definitely had some contact during the week there at the Senior Bowl and had a one-on-one interview with them a number of times during the week. I thought our connection was very, very good and I thought they were a team going into this that I thought was potentially very, very interesting and so it happened.
Q: How did difficult senior year prepare you for NFL career?
Wilson : Experience as far as my senior year?
Q: Yes, senior year, in terms of what you went through?
Wilson : You know, it as tough. It was a difficult situation. Obviously we were No. 5 in the country, a top five team in my junior season after a great year, went to the Cotton Bowl and you kind of go through a number of things, that test your character, test a lot about you as a football player, and I really love this game and I think that I’m going to be a better player because of it. You learn a lot during those kinds of years.
Q: Regrets about coming back for your senior year?
Wilson: Obviously, I think you, after things pan out you kind of look back and say, `Well, that wasn’t certainly business-wise maybe the smarter thing’ but I’m always, the way I approach it, I know everybody else looks at and probably questions my judgment, but my thought is I wanted to be the most ready, prepared football player that I could be and I thought the only way I could do that would be to go back to school for my senior season, and I think, regardless of what happened, and where you go in the draft, I think I’m a more prepared football player by staying in school. In that regard, I’m extremely happy that I’ve got an opportunity, and still have an opportunity to stay in the NFL.
Q: Did you think you’d go earlier, upset you’re a fourth-round pick?
Wilson : Well, I think it being such a different year in the draft, that I did expect to go a little bit earlier, but I’m so excited I think the situation, going into it, everybody said the situation is what is most important. It’s not necessarily what round or what slot or that, but it’s the situation and I think the situation in Oakland is perfect. My dad’s from the California area, he’s from Southern California , but there’s definitely a lot of family out there. You look at the organization, there’s a lot of tradition in Oakland with three Super Bowls. There’s a lot going on in the right direction. And I’m excited that I get to come in and compete, and potentially have a chance of playing on Sunday and leading the football team. That’s what I’m excited to do is get there as fast as I possibly can and start getting in the playbook.
Q: they have QBs with combined total of three starts, a new offense, so everybody starting off same page, do you look at this as chance to come in and start as a rookie?
Wilson : I think any competitor would agree that they want to play, they want to start, they want to come in and work. But talking to the coaches on the phone, they say, we want you to come in and compete your tail off, and that’s my approach. Wherever that leads me, we’ll see at the end of the day. Obviously we’ve got three pretty good guys in there and I’m going ot come in and compete like crazy.
Do you have an issue with concussions?
“I had the one last year, the Dr. Collins in Pittsburgh, who’s kind of the foremost expert on concussions. Very much cleared in his regard, and got his checkmark of approval, so I feel very confident. I played the remainder of eight games at Arkansas with no problems there, and took some pretty good licks. So I feel very good in that regard.”
Do you take too many hits?
“I think, one, it goes back to playing in a tough conference. And we had to throw the ball in order to be successful. During the two seasons that I was there, we kind of struggled running the football. So there were a lot of teams that were pinning their ears back and trying to pressure us a lot. Unfortunately, it was that type of a situation where a lot of times you had to sit in there and rip it, because of the situation we were in at Arkansas. As a quarterback you’re gonna have to take some shots and compete to give us a chance to win. I knew that. Fortunately, and unfortunately, I was able to take a hit. I think that’s part of my game a little bit.”
Looking forward to playing with Darren McFadden?
“No question. Grew up here in Arkansas as an Arkansas fan, and watched him do what he did for the school and for the university. Obviously he’s done pretty well out there. So anxious to get back there with him and build a relationship and see if we can’t work together.”
How much did former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino help your development as a QB?
“He’s a tremendous quarterback coach. It’s a quarterback university at whatever school he’s at. The practice is tailored around the quarterback position. So I think any quarterback who plays for him has an advantage on a lot of other quarterbacks from schools because of the knowledge that he expects you to know and the amount of pressure and substance that he puts on the quarterback’s shoulders. I think some years that’s really, really good, and some years it’s a little tougher. But I think I’m ahead of the curve in a lot of ways as far as a freshman coming in – or, I’m sorry, as a rookie coming in – because of what Coach Petrino kind of instilled in the quarterback position. So I’m excited to get in there and learn and figure out what we’re doing offensively. And I think we’ll be ready to go.”
Who did you talk to when Raiders called?
“I talked to Coach Allen. Coach Allen was one of the first people I talked to. As well as Coach (John) DeFilippo and Coach (Greg) Olson. Those were the first few guys I talked to.”