Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery has proven in his brief time as head of the organization that character issues are not a problem for him when building his roster. So it was no surprise when he selected former Washington State wide receiver Marquess Wilson in the final round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Wilson is a talented wide receiver who broke numerous receiving records for the Cougars, including single-season records for both receptions and receiving yards.
Heading into his senior season, many experts felt he was a first- or second-round talent. But in early November of 2012, Wilson walked out of a practice and never returned to the team. He then publicly alleged abuse of Washington State head coach Mike Leach and his staff - a statement he later recanted. With the bridge burned (blown up actually) Wilson was not allowed back on campus for his pro day.
He's a solid athlete with good size (6-3, 194) but he's not a burner (4.51). From a skill-set standpoint, Wilson has what it takes to play in the NFL but "head case" probably isn't a strong enough term to describe his problems between the ears. Any player that flat out quits on a team, showing unprecedented selfishness in the process, is lucky he even got drafted.
Yet Emery obviously feels that his physical skills outweigh his mental problems. In the right environment, who knows, but I'm not holding my breath on this kid. Emery learned from two men (Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff) who built their careers under Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Throughout his tenure in New England, Belichick has shown a willingness to take shots on players with character issues, believing his strong locker room can keep them out of trouble. Emery is following suit with a player of such low moral character.
Wilson will compete with the rest of Chicago's back-end wideouts for the fifth and final receiving spot on the roster.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.