NAME: Caleb Wilson
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 81
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 235 lbs
Route Running – Pretty sharp on his stem to know when and where to break for a throwing window. Has done well to maximize his production and targets by feeling soft spaces and working to the open field. Struggles to get off early contact and needs to use his size more for separation.
Hands – Has been guilty of some frustrating drops, does best when the ball is comfortably placed on his numbers and allows him to segue into a secured catch instead of plucking the football out of the air with an extended catch radius.
Versatility – Shouldn’t be tasked with a lot of blocking reps, he’s a receiver tried and true. That said, he doesn’t offer a lot vs. man coverage and will be easily negated by quality options in the nickel due to lack of dynamic skills and athleticism.
Contested Catch Ability – Best results here will come in underneath targets to box out defenders and stay attached to the football as defenders arrive simultaneously. Isn’t going to be a player who can elevate and attack the football above the rim or high point.
Run After Catch Ability – Not creative, lacking in explosive burst to break initial pursuit. I like his aggressiveness and willingness to get north quickly and press for whatever yardage is immediately available to him before defenders close in and box him in.
Power At POA – Not a mauler. Struggles to keep his base established wide and keep himself in between defenders and the ball carrier due to tightness in the hips. Won’t win a lot of reps locking horns in head up collisions at the POA.
Competitive Toughness – Runs a little top heavy and as a result can get knocked off course by contact. He doesn’t have great anchor due to inability to get his hips down. Runs hard after the catch and will physically challenge smaller defenders in head up tackle reps.
Flexibility – Really tight through the hips and torso, you can tell he labors to open up his strides or play with any kind of dynamic base as a route runner. Doesn’t bring any bend or sink through the knees or hips at the top of his patterns. Runs on his toes as a short strider.
Balance – Pretty pedestrian due to tightness. Plays tall and doesn’t stay on target when challenged with obstacles. Will get cut down pretty easily with lateral contact due to inability to extend his feet.
Football Intelligence – Savvy, has done well to make a lot for himself as a receiver despite some of his physical limitations. He’ll carry a role at the NFL level but he’s pretty much a done deal, he’s maxed out for what his body and athleticism will let him become.
BEST TRAIT – Football IQ
WORST TRAIT – Athletic Ability
BEST FILM – Texas A&M (2017)
WORST FILM – Memphis (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Caleb Wilson is a low ceiling prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft, given some shaky hands and a less than ideal set of athletic tools. Wilson is pretty savvy against zone coverage and can be a piece to sit down vs. zone coverage to keep the chains moving, but he’s not going to run away from NFL defenders in the slot and struggles with accelerating into open space for created yards. Wilson’s play as an in-line blocker provides modest results, primarily a receiver.
PROS: Excellent hands catcher who has no trouble snagging high-velocity balls away from his frame and at odd angles with long arms and powerful mitts. Catches well through contact and when going to the ground with nice adjustment ability. Can rip through contact in the second level to separate into space; also works good wiggle at the top of routes to push defenders away from his intended break. Has really nice burst out of his breaks to win an initial step of separation. Not particularly fast over distances but has nice initial explosiveness from the line and after the initial break. Will open strides and step hard on defender’s toes to fabricate vertical push to create more separation–generally, runs crisp, no nonsense routes.
Has shown the ability to track over his shoulder, though downfield profile is thus far under-represented. Does well to seal off backside flow during zone concepts–has powerful lower body and torsion strength through core to turn defenders backside. Will explode into the second level as a blocker and win initial leverage quickly; uses explosiveness to generate initial displacement to open running lanes. With latch and drive for multiple yards as well as a second-level blocker. Pass protection a mixed bag of results.
CONS: Not overly quick or big, thus necessitating added mass to be a true TE at the NFL level. Not a driving force as a frontside blocker against EMLOS, likely due in part to his insufficient mass. Inability to displace without first generating velocity over a runway limits his ability as an inline blocker. Lateral quickness issues will show up in pass protection. Has very few broken tackles across his film and does not show any wiggle in space, nor does he like to lower his shoulder to run through people. Good at creating space as a route runner and winning when there is space to be had, but the next level to his game is being able to create his own YAC.