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Thrift stores are awesome. I arrived at this conclusion somewhat late in life. I held the assumption that the items in these stores were someone else's rejects.
This is both true and false. The close might not have been wanted, but it had nothing to do with quality or even style. Your stubborn Uncle Jake only wears Wrangler jeans and refused to even try on the pair of Lucky's that his sister in-law gave him for Christmas. Grandpa Kevin liked the Polo sweater, but it was three sizes too big and he didn't want to make a fuss about it on his Birthday. Or, your Cousin Rick would have put that dress shirt you got at the men's shop to good use if he hadn't decided to cash in his chips as partner of an accounting firm and join the park service as a tour guide.
Fantasy football has a similar dynamic. Rookies are the rage from February through August. Everyone wants to find the first-year players who will have an immediate impact. But fantasy owners often forget about the young veterans who didn't play well--or even play at all--as rookies. Some owners even write off these second, third, or fourth-year players developing on a slower learning curve or stuck behind a crowded depth chart.
This week, I'm checking in with these players. We can categorize them in four ways:
- Emerging - Talents likely to contribute or start this year.
- Progressing - Players who still appear on track to become starters or contributors within a year or two.
- Covered - Personnel with talent, but stuck on crowded depth charts.
- Crossroads - Prospects who might be in make or break seasons in the NFL.
Remember, you don't always have to buy when you shop. Even if you don't invest in any of these players, it's a good idea to monitor their progress and research them during the spring and summer. The earlier become conversant with the potential of backups, the sooner you'll be able to anticipate and react to changes on the fantasy landscape.
Say Drew Brees suffers a shoulder sprain in practice in mid-October. You could wait until Friday to read the first article sharing basics about Griffin that probably took longer for the writer to write than it would take for you to Google. By then, you might have lost a shot at Griffin in a league with a first come, first serve waiver wire.
Or you could have been aware of Griffin this summer, made it a point to watch him in the preseason, and knew right away to add the Saints' backup so you could either use him or trade him. Fantasy football has a more level playing field thanks to our ever evolving technology. However, it still takes effort to read the right things and with enough advanced notice to plan ahead.
Reading about these young players provides a foundation of knowledge to build on when training camp and preseason games begin. As everyone else is still learning about the talent, whether its buying or selling them, you're already making moves with the pieces to your advantage.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs: Jordan Reed may have been the best rookie tight end during the 2013 fantasy season, but the most talented rookie from that class is Kelce. The burly, fleet-footed third round pick of the Chiefs dealt with a knee injury that kept him from playing last year. However, Kelce is a top talent who might have been a first or second round selection last year if not for alcohol issues earlier in his college carer that depressed his draft stock.
Kelce arrived in Kansas City as a solid blocker with potential to become dominant in the run game. Although he experienced some struggles early last year, the injury contributed to his woes. Kelce had microfracture surgery on the knee, but it was consider the minor version of the surgery. Expect a healthy Kelce to show a lot more this summer at the line of scrimmage.
Where Kelce shines brightest is the receiving game. He's not as fluid an athlete as Eric Ebron, but he makes better plays in tight, physical coverage and he's less likely to leave his feet and making foolish moves to avoid hits that have cost Ebron minutes on the sideline to lick his wounds. While I think Ebron's situation in Detroit gives the rookie tight end more upside, I believe Kelce is a more talented tight end who could offer a steadier level of quality production from one week to the next.
I recommend trading for Kelce in dynasty leagues. The second-year tight end's ADP this time last year in 2013 rookie drafts was 29--the turn of the second and third rounds. Some owners will be sold on him for the long haul, but those that aren't could be willing to talk turkey.
At an ADP of 29 last year, that range is equivalent to 2014 rookies Charles Sims, Blake Bortles, Jarvis Landry, Paul Richardson, Storm Johnson, and Jerick McKinnon. The only player on this list I'd prefer to Kelce is Richardson and his ADP is climbing in some leagues.
If you can negotiate a late third or early fourth round pick due to a little depreciation now that Kelce no longer has that new car smell, then I think he's a slam dunk choice over the likes of Tom Savage, Jimmy Garappolo, Josh Huff, De'Atnhony Thomas, C.J. Fiedeorowicz, or Jared Abbrederis.
In re-draft leagues during the early summer, draft him late while pairing him with a top option at the position early. Kelce has the skill to be split outside as well as work inside. With Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles the most viable receiving options on this squad, Kelce has the talent to become the No.1 or No.2 receiving opion in Kansas City.
TE Adrien Robinson, Giants: New York did not draft a tight end this year and free agent acquisition Kellen Davis has earned multiple opportunities to win a starting job and has failed to do so. As athletic as Davis is--a former two-way tight end/defensive end at Michigan State--the veteran lacks consistent mitts. Robinson is even more athletic than Davis.
Robinson contended with foot and knee injuries last year, but now has a prime opportunity to be the starter in the Giants' new west coast system. I like that he knows this year is his best chance of ever gaining a foothold as an NFL contributor. Robinson followed Kelce's footsteps at Cincinnati and what you'll see here is a big, fluid athlete with a good catch radius and concentration to win the football.
I could be mistaken, but I believe you'll have an easier time getting Kelce than Robinson even if Kelce is the greater talent. The reason is opporrunity, a bigger market team, and a bigger name at quarterback. However, if you find yourself in a dynasty league where Robinson can be had cheap, don't hesitate at this point of the season.
In re-draft leagues, Robinson will probably have an ADP as a low-end TE1/high-end TE2. It might be a worthwhile high-risk/high-reward move to take Robinson and Kelce late and if you hit on both, trade the lesser of the two.
TE Levine Toilolo, Falcons: Atlanta's new starting tight end is my least favorite of these three options because he's neither as fast nor as fluid as Kelce and Robinson. However Toilolo has the size and strength to create openings in tight spaces. If he can display more consistent hands than he did at Stanford, he'll earn opportunities in the red zone if Atlanta's offense stays healthy.
At the same time, if Atlanta's offense stays healthy, Steven Jackson, Devonta Freeman, and Julio Jones could earn a lot more touchdowns if Toilolo doesn't prove trustworthy in this space early in the season. By October, Toilolo could be pegged more as a player for the Falcons to run behind than a target for Matt Ryan.
Because the tight end depth chart is bare--rookie Jacob Pederson could become a poor man's Garrett Graham as an H-Back, but he won't win at the line of scrimmage as a full-fledged tight end--the Falcons are banking on Toilolo to emerge as a receiver. The second-year tight end is available on waiver wires in some dynasty leagues and he is worth adding if you have the luxury.
Otherwise, I recommend monitoring Toilolo's progress, especially in re-draft leagues. If there's strong news about the 6'8", 260-pound tight end coming from Suwanee, Georgia this summer, upgrade him. Otherwise, you might get a chance at him as a free agent in September.
RBs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, Saints: New Orleans did not exercise the fifth-year option on Mark Ingram's contract, which means the veteran running back will be playing for a new deal in 2014. The Saints' Micky Loomis says it was a financial decision. Let's delve into this decision a little further.
If Mark Ingram was a stud producer in 2012 or 2013, the Saints would pick up the expensive $5.2 million option or they'd be busy renegotiating Ingram's deal. However, the Saints know that Ingram's career has been a disappointment thus far and it's unlikely his value will be huge when he hits the market in 2015--especially if New Orleans continues to use its backs in a committee where Ingram sees little time on passing downs.
Ingram had more burst in and out of his cuts last year. He claims 2013 was the first season he felt healthy in the NFL. A runner that thrives on a consistent workload to set up and wear down opponents, Ingram is miscast in an offense that rarely gave its backs that kind of opportunity on the ground.
Because the Saints love to throw the ball, Pierre Thomas does earn more consistent time on the field. Even if he's not earning the ball, his opportunity to say on the field helps him stay in the flow of the game a little better than the likes of Ingram.
There is a possibility that the Saints look at its playoff performances where Ingram and Robinson dominated on the ground and decide it will become a more balanced team. From what I saw, the wild card matchup with the Eagles shouldn't have been as close as it was and the Saints abandoned the run early in the Seahawks game--even after it was working. If this happens, Ingram will become a huge factor in 2014.
However, I'm not counting on New Orleans giving Ingram enough carries to be the Bayou Edgerrin James to Brees' Manning. Although Darren Sproles is now an Eagle, the Saints drafted Brandin Cooks to essentially play the same role. One saving grace with Ingram is that Cooks is not the runner between the tackles that Sproles was and if New Orleans suffers injuries that force it to go to a heavier ground attack, Ingram showed enough late last year for the team to have more confidence in him.
If Ingram stays healthy and looks like he did last year--if not better, because he was very close to breaking a lot of bigger runs in every game--he might earn a shot to start with a team that sees him the way the Falcons saw Michael Turner. Imagine if Ray Rice struggles this year and neither Bernard Pierce nor Lorenzo Taliaferro look like anything more than backups. Ingram could be a fine fit.
Regardless of whether I draft Ingram in 2014, I'm targeting Robinson late. When a football man like Bill Parcells sees talent in Robinson it's worth paying attention. Size, balance, agility, burst, and a downhill mentality, Robinson has the package to become a lead back in the NFL.
Ingram is likely gone in 2015 and Thomas is 30 years old and coming off his worst yards per carry season since 2010. If Robinson can continue to display the skills he showed as a rookie and earn more trust from the team on passing downs, he could earn the starting job next year.
In dynasty leagues, I want both Ingram and Robinson. Ingram's return on investment is riskier because I can foresee a lower profit margin based on what you might have to pay to acquire him. However, if Cooks struggles like Tavon Austin did in St. Louis, the Saints might learn very fast that Darren Sproles is not as simple to replace as a cog in a machine and Ingram could benefit this year.
In re-drafts, Ingram is probably a pick between rounds 6-10 (at best) and Robinson is a late-round option. And watch out for rookie Tim Flanders or any other addition the Saints add to the depth chart this summer. New Orleans has a good track record for acquiring free agents: Thomas, Robinson, Chris Ivory, and Joique Bell among them.
WR Tavon Austin, Rams: Speaking of Austin, the Rams No.1 pick in 2013 had an underwhelming rookie year in the face of high expectations of dynasty owners taking him as a top-five pick. Although Austin earned more targets and touches at the beginning of the year than he did at year's end, the rookie was more productivity down the season's stretch.
The easiest explanation is that Sam Bradford did a better job of finding Austin early in the season while Austin was still getting up to speed with the complexity and pace of the NFL game. When Austin should have begun hitting his stride Bradford got hurt and the quarterback change hurt Austin's development. By the time Austin and the Rams offense made enough adjustments for it all to click again, the season was winding down.
The biggest issue for the Rams is finding enough talent on the perimeter to force safeties to help the outside corners. Brian Quick was raw as a rookie and has only shown small increments of progress during limited time on the field. Kenny Britt is a great talent, but he is a magnet for News of the Weird. And Stedman Bailey has the athleticism and route skills to develop into quality perimeter option that can at least widen zones, but he has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy against performance enhancing drugs.
Austin is not the best fit as an outside receiver; I don't think he's Victor Cruz-like. However, if the Rams can get two receivers like Britt and an improved and non-juiced Bailey to produce, then the offense can move Austin around the field to find mismatches--including the perimeter. I expect progress this year, but not full-blown stardom because the Rams know it needs to run the ball a lot and it might not be able to count on Britt making it through training camp without another TMZ-worthy headline.
If you can get Austin at a discount in dynasty leagues because his owner is impatient, then I'd do it. Austin had an ADP of 2 (second overall pick) last year. If you can get him at a second-round value in the range of Allen Robinson and Donte Moncrief, knowing that you can get equal to greater value at receiver nearly a round later then I'd consider it.
WR Marquess Wilson, Bears: Brandon Marshall's earned a new contract with the Bears this week, Alshon Jeffery has emerged as a stud, and Jay Cutler signed a new deal to lead the Bears offense under Marc Trestman. The Bears' head coach is a west coast disciple and if it weren't for the new Marshall contract, this situation would be a great fit for the young Wilson, a tall, athletic receiver with excellent hands against tight, physical coverage.
I like what Wilson does in the Oregon game, because he's tested here and drops a number of passes early in the contest, which was uncharacteristic of him. However, he doesn't go into a shell, plays through the adversity, and makes some nice plays despite the team being down big.
Wilson isn't a blazer, but he has a terrific first step and change of direction. Think of Le'Veon Bell at running back and how his detractors looked at his size and 40-time as reasons he wouldn't be able to make defenders miss in the NFL, but he proved them wrong. Wilson has a very similar dynamic as a wide receiver.
Look for Wilson to earn more time this year as a contributor and if he progresses as expected, he could inherit the job from Marshall. Just because Marshall signed a new contract, he's a 30-year-old receiver with some lingering hip issues and not known for his speed. The contract is a three-year extension and cap friendly for them to re-sign Jeffery down the road. Wilson will be a 23 and a free agent in 2017. If he plays well in a limited role, he'll be in demand when he hits the market.
Wilson could be had at a discount this summer compared to what he'll command by season's end if he continues to progress and the majority of dynasty owners become wise to Marshall's contract. Wilson is a waiver wire option to watch in re-draft leagues. In deeper leagues he could be a late pick if you're looking to back up Marshall or Jeffery.
WR Markus Wheaton, Steelers: I'm a fan of Martavis Bryant, the rookie that the Steelers brass says has the talent and quickly correctable type of flaws to become a starter this year. Ben Roethlisberger is excited about the though of a tall, read zone threat and fantasy owners could be forgetting about the second-year deep threat Markus Wheaton.
Before you downgrade Wheaton automatically, keep in mind that Bryant could need another year to develop. Even if he sees the field early, he might get heavy use in the red zone or in four-receiver sets. The Steelers like to use three-receiver sets and if Heath Miller stays healthy, we'll see enough three-receiver, one-back sets that features Brown, slot man Lance Moore, and one of Wheaton or Bryant.
Considering that Brown has missed 10 games in 4 years and Moore injured during 15 games in 5 years, there's a decent chance that the Steelers will need both Wheaton and Bryant this year. Wheaton might be difficult to acquire cheap, but if the season begins with Bryant as the starter it could be worth your time to make a low-ball offer to frustrated Wheaton owners who consider the talented deep threat a bust because the second-year receiver can't crack a talented starting lineup.
In re-draft leagues, keep an eye peeled for Wheaton on the waiver wire. He could pay dividends by midseason.
WR Marlon Brown, Ravens: You almost get the sense that the arrival of Steve Smith has some in the fantasy community dusting off their hands and saying, "Well, that's it for Marlon Brown." Not so fast. It's likely Smith will play the slot, which will give Brown enough opportunities in three-receiver sets to continue his development as a starter on the perimeter.
Brown had nine games with at least six targets last year and Joe Flacco loved how well Brown used his height in the red zone. While Dennis Pitta was hurt for a majority of the season, Brown should still earn a lot of shots in the red zone from three-receiver sets--even if the Ravens opt for some two tight end sets inside the five with Pitta and acquisition Owen Daniels.
Not convinced? Brown had 14 targets, 9 catches, 74 yards, and 7 touchdowns in the red zone last year. In close games, Brown had 57 targets, 34 receptions, 370 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Brown wasn't a garbage-time player.
Considering that Brown tore is ACL in November 2012 and was a major contributor 10 months later is something to take into account. Brown should be more explosive nearly two years past the injury. In contrast, the inimitable Steve Smith's career is winding down. The Ravens have benefited from the use of aging talent--notably Derrick Mason and Anquan Bolden--but Brown is on far more solid ground with his development curve than the likes of the mercurial Jacoby Jones.
Brown might be a nice buy-low heading into the year for dynasty owners. He'll be a late-round pick or a free agent in re-draft leagues. There are some fantasy sites that project no touchdowns for Brown right now. I find this hard to believe considering last year's production. Remember, Torrey Smith's contract is up at the end of the year and Smith turned 35 last week. Rookie Michael Campanaro has talent as a future slot receiver and the 30-year-old Jones is who he is: a big-play option lacking the high-end consistency to deliver starter production.
Brown is worth your patience.
QB Ryan Griffin, Saints: The Saints like what they've seen in Griffin as a rookie and based on its draft, it appears they're ready to see if Griffin can progress to the point that he can over take journeyman backup Luke McCown. I'm a fan of Griffin's pocket presence and aggressive decision-making. If Griffin wins the backup role to Brees this summer, plant the second-year quarterback firmly on your dynasty radar as a potential successor or future trade bait in deep dynasty leagues.
QB Sean Renfree, Falcons: Lots of Tweets last week about the attention Michael Sam is getting as a late-round pick and comparing it to last year's pick at the same spot, Renfree. The point is that Renfree earned little fanfare. Two years from now, it's possible that Renfree could be trade bait. But I don't want to get too ahead of myself, this year is huge for Renfree who was still recovering from shoulder surgery last summer and was on injured reserve in 2013. The talented passer from Duke should earn extended time this summer. If he plays the way he did at Duke, he should remain on your dynasty radar as a free agent worth monitoring. He's a timing passer with excellent anticipation and deep accuracy--better than Matt Ryan's. Renfree is not the complete quarterback Ryan is, but he has the potential to develop into a starter somewhere.
RB Chris Polk, Eagles: The third-year back in Philadelphia reminds me a little of Joique Bell. He's a better receiver than Bell and nearly as good of a runner between the tackles. I've seen more burst from Bell and it seems the Lions' starter has a better health history. Polk had shoulder surgery this year and it was rumored that he went undrafted two years ago due to a degenerative shoulder condition. Considering that Polk is in the final year of his contract and the Eagles added Darren Sproles, and rookies Henry Josey and David Fluellen to a depth chart that includes LeSean McCoy and Matthew Tucker, it appears Polk is the odd man out in 2015. I like Polk's talent, but I would be careful about buying him low. I have doubts he'll draw much interest on the free agent market if the shoulder remains a concern.
WR Juron Criner, Raiders: I loved Criner's work at the University of Arizona, but he hasn't made a dent in the Raider's depth chart. Rod Streater and Andre Holmes have moved past Criner. While he continues to flash good hands and winning the ball in tight coverage during the preseason, I wonder if his lack of great vertical speed is a concern the keeps the Raiders from giving him a bigger shot. He also suffered a shoulder injury last year that put him on injured reserve. With James Jones now on the roster, Criner will have a fight on his hands to make the roster. One thing in his favor is that Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes, and Rod Streater are all free agents in 2015. If Criner, whose contract ends in 2016, can show more of what he flashed at the beginning of 2012, he might earn a shot. I'd monitor Criner this summer as a potential cut to see if he lands in a better situation more amenable to his skills.
QB Ryan Nassib, Giants: The second-year passer from Syracuse is competing with Josh Freeman and Curtis Painter for spot on the Giants depth chart. One could argue that the team's decision to add these two players is an indictment of what they saw in Nassib. However, one could also contend that Freeman flashed franchise potential and if an organization can get that kind of talent cheap enough to see if they can turn his career around, it's worth the risk. If Nassib survives the summer with New York, he may still be worth monitoring as a potential successor to Manning. However, it might be time to cast Nassib to the waiver wire and monitor from afar.
WRs Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce, Patriots: Boyce is the best athlete of New England's 2012 rookie receiver casting call, but he was the least ready to play the position at the pro level. Boyce admitted to struggling with the transition last year. Thompkins was the best route runner and pass catcher of the group and he flashed highs and lows for the Patriots before head and hip injuries knocked him from the starting lineup.
One thing that is glossed over with Thompkins, Dobson, and the rest of the young or new receivers in 2013 is the fact that Tom Brady also made his share of mistakes. Few quarterbacks would have looked as good as Brady with a cast of new receivers. Remember, the only remaining starter Brady had on its roster from 2012-2013 was Julian Edelman.
If you don't think Brady's decision-making, timing, and accuracy didn't slow a half-beat because of his lack of rapport and complete trust in players he had all but a summer with, then you're giving too much credit to rookie receivers. Peyton Manning was good with the Broncos in 2012, but he wasn't paired with rookies and UDFAs. Some of these missed plays the media and fans overlooked were as much Brady's responsibility as the receivers. It was a tough situation all around.
Thompkins and Boyce aren't the tall athletes like Dobson or free agent Brandon LaFell. However, Boyce has great speed and flashes similar athleticism to Dobson and LaFell and Thompkins is a better route runner and tougher at the catch-point in tight coverage. I would not be surprised if Thompkins beats out LaFell and Boyce, but all it takes is an injury or an up-and-down training camp for either player to be sent packing.
Because Thompkins has game tape for other teams to scout, I could not be surprised if he earns a shot somewhere else. Boyce could earn that opportunity based on his athleticism and minimal playing time because he'll at least offer the promise as a return specialist.
Because New England's receiver spot remains unpredictable, both players are worth holding this summer until the fog lifts. However, I would not actively acquire any player beyond Edelman or rookie Jeremy Gallon (4th round or later in rookie drafts) at this point in the summer.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Raiders: It was said that Jones-Drew was 217 pounds at one point last year before losing weight in June. I have also heard that Jones-Drew was well over 230 pounds--thanks in part to foot surgery--and he played at this heavier weight last year.
I don't know if this is true, but I will say that it's difficult to guess a person's weight--especially when others supply you a frame of reference that may or may not be true. I've been to several weigh-ins for players over the past five years and if I had to guess without having any pre-existing knowledge of a player's height and weight I bet I'd fail to get within 15-20 pounds of a prospect at least 25-35 percent of the time.
Jones-Drew has always been known for his competitive fire and if there's a player who can work his way into great shape, he's one of them. However, I'm sharing this information with you because it comes from a source I trust that the Raiders running back has had to overcome more than just the foot. If he truly played at over 230 pounds in Jacksonville and he's back in shape, Jones-Drew could be in for a huge year in 2014.
If what I heard is true and Jones-Drew can't maintain the weight loss or the information was false and Jones-Drew has simply lost a step, this could be a short walk off a long cliff for one of the most exciting all-around players we've seen in the past 10 years.
Jones-Drew doesn't seem like a thrift store prospect, but his ADP at this point of the season is 7.08 with a high of 5.09 and a low of 10.03. It might as well be second-hand value for a player capable of top-10 production if he's healthy.
As a 29-year-old, Jones-Drew is a senior citizen in running back years. However, there have been enough quality fantasy seasons from runners 29 and older to remain hopeful that the Raiders' new back has another good year left. The list includes Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes, Corey Dillon, Walter Payton, LaDanian Tomlinson, Ricky Watters, Eddie George, James Brooks, and Stephen Davis.
My advice? Hope that Jones-Drew earns enough carries during the preseason so you can compare and contrast his quickness between this year and last. If there's a discernible difference, take the plunge because one would presume the team will lean more on Jones-Drew than Marcel Reece when it falls behind.
RB Ronnie Hillman, Broncos: Fantasy owners can probably acquire Hillman for a song--if he's still on someone's roster. Although some fans will tell you different, there's no doubt that Hillman has enough talent to become a Tiki Barber-like talent in the NFL.
If you look at Barber's first three years, there's little doubt that the same things being said of Hillman--a small, fast, cut-back runner--were also said of Barber. Much like Barber, the Giants continued to add runners to its roster who seemed destined to keep Barber from having any chance at developing into a starter, including second-round pick Joe Montgomery and first-round pick Ron Dayne in Barber's third and fourth seasons of his career. By his sixth year, Barber became a fantasy force and had five consecutive seasons with at least 1677 total yards--and three 2000-yard seasons from scrimmage--before retiring early.
Barber's career is the exception to the rule, but Hillman has the physical talent to also be this exception. The fact that the Broncos told Hillman that they want to start with a clean slate with him in 2014 could mean that there is an open competition for the starting role. Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson look the part in terms of height and weight. But if I were to grade these players solely on athletic upside, Hillman and Anderson would be ahead of Ball.
Hillman is worth monitoring this summer, because you don't draft a running back in the thrid round these days without believing he has the talent to become a significant contributor. He's a reasonable late-round pick in early summer re-drafts and a player worth buying low, if you can pry him away from a roster for a mid-to-late rookie pick next year (4th round or later).
QB Tyler Wilson, Titans: Wilson bombed last year in Oakland. He didn't pick up the offense fast enough and his overall play was poor enough to get cut after the Raiders picked him in the fourth round. However, Titans beat writer Terry McCormick says that Coach Ken Whisenhunt is intrigued by Wilson. One might joke that Whisenhunt can't be that intrigued or the Titans wouldn't have picked Zach Mettenberger in the daft.
However, it could be the Titans aren't happy with Jake Locker. The former first round pick will be a free agent after the 2014 season and he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Tennessee probably added Mettenberger to add depth and let him and Wilson compete for a backup role.
Both Mettenberger and Wilson stand tall in the pocket and are willing to squeeze the ball into tight spots. Wilson is more athletic, but Mettenberger arrives to the NFL with a stronger arm and more experience with a pro-style system.
But Wilson has had a year to work on his game without the interruption of classes or the distraction of the pre-draft process. Keep an eye on this competition, because if Wilson added the muscle to generate more velocity on the ball and improved his conceptual understanding of progressions, he could surprise.
I would not pursue Wilson, but he's a worthwhile player to monitor on the waiver wire during training camp.