One of the more intriguing AFC West storylines of training camp has been undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin overtaking fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson as the No. 3 quarterback in Oakland.
Many league observers thought Wilson could potentially be in the mix to start this season. McGloin was signed to be a camp arm. However, McGloin has impressed and Wilson has struggled in camp. Wilson didn’t throw a pass at New Orleans on Friday. McGloin, who was terrific in the preseason opener against Dallas, struggled some at New Orleans. But it still appears he has the edge on Wilson.
The team also has a starter Matt Flynn and backup Terrelle Pryor. It will be interesting to see if the team keeps all four quarterbacks (which are rare in the NFL) or if they expose McGloin or Wilson to waivers in an attempt to put one of them on the practice squad.
With McGloin -- signed out of Penn State -- virtually coming out of nowhere in this battle, I asked Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. his thoughts on the development. Scouts Inc. gave Wilson, an Arkansas product, an early third-round grade, while McGloin was listed as a free agent.
Muench points to McGloin’s season under former NFL coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State as a pivotal point in his development.
“Here’s why I’m not shocked despite the discrepancy -- McGloin made great strides and learned what it takes to be a pro under Bill O’Brien last year,” Muench said. “He’s also a former walk on who has been told he’s not talented enough in the past and found a way to come out on top. Wilson didn’t play nearly as well after Bobby Petrino left Arkansas and his decision making regressed while McGloin’s improved last year.”
Still, Muench said there was no doubt that Wilson was considered a better pro respect coming into the draft.
“Neither player has a cannon for an arm but Wilson has the better frame, he played in a tougher conference and he was a hard working leader at Arkansas,” Muench said. “Far more importantly, he’s more accurate on tape. I just went back and watched McGloin’s pro day and there were some things to like most notably the way he threw the ball when he moved out of the pocket. However, he also missed throws and his placement was off on other throws. Considering it’s a scripted workout it did nothing to improve what teams may have thought about his accuracy in my opinion”
So, does Muench think McGloin can continue his journey up the quarterback rung in Oakland?
“As far as McGloin’s upside is concerned, I’d be very surprised if he emerges as a starter at any point,” Muench said. “He’s an overachiever with an average arm, average mobility and a below average frame.
Still, for at least the moment, McGloin ‘s overachieving ways are serving him well. It’s difficult to discount those types of players.