Terry Wilson, New Mexico QB | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Once a four-star recruit with NFL buzz, can New Mexico QB Terry Wilson get his NFL Draft scouting report back to that level in 2021?

After taking his talent from the junior college stage to Kentucky and now to New Mexico, QB Terry Wilson finds his NFL Draft scouting report just one season away from true scrutiny. Is Wilson ready to be judged pre-draft, and if not, what does he need to work on to be drafted?

Terry Wilson NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: New Mexico
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 202 pounds

Terry Wilson Scouting Report

Wilson isn’t one of the first quarterbacks that come to mind when thinking of the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, he may very well be closer to the last than the first. Nevertheless, Wilson has had his share of experience on the biggest stage in college football. It hasn’t always been successful, but the JUCO product has enough tape to be evaluated.

Wilson will suit up with the New Mexico Lobos this season, having transferred from Kentucky. That new team will come with a new environment, new coaching, new support, and new expectations. The transition away from the SEC may be welcomed for Wilson, but does he have the traits to stand out in the Mountain West?

Wilson’s physical profile

At the very least, Wilson has intriguing physical tools. The New Mexico QB is an exceptional athlete at his position. He has solid speed and explosiveness for his 6’3″, 202-pound frame, and he has enough of a second gear to extend space downfield. He has a degree of lateral agility to evade rushers and extend plays while also eluding tackles on designed carries. Willson is a legitimate threat on the ground.

The New Mexico QB’s arm is fairly proficient. He can generate solid velocity on his throws in structure, but he also has enough elasticity to produce pace off-platform and on the run. He has enough arm strength to push the ball into windows outside the hashes. Furthermore, he can generate pace even when fading backward as well.

Execution beyond the physical traits

Wilson’s physical potential is no doubt the most appealing part of his profile. Nevertheless, the New Mexico QB does have some limited executional utility. In the short area of the field, Wilson has a lot of experience. He has the ability to throw with timing in this range, and he can place the ball for yards after the catch.

In the pocket, Wilson has some feel for pressure. He has the physical capability to manipulate the pocket, and while he can do a better job methodically managing space, he has the instincts and athleticism to keep plays alive. Additionally, Wilson keeps his feet active when scanning the field, readying himself to adapt at any moment.

Going further, Wilson is willing to test tight windows with his arm at times, although he tends to rely on the short game. He also flashes the ability to play to his receivers’ leverage. At one point against Ole Miss, he threw an excellent back-shoulder pass toward the sideline, tucking it between his receiver and the boundary.

Areas for improvement

Wilson has a strong physical foundation, but there’s still a lot he needs to work on in his final collegiate season. Most notably, Wilson’s processing is still inconsistent. The Kentucky transfer lacks a great deal of pre-snap work on tape, and he hasn’t done much work with progressions. He doesn’t often throw with anticipation and relied heavily on quick-game passes and timing routes at Kentucky.

Wilson can get tunnel vision when zeroing in on routes, sometimes passing up safer, better options. His tendency to lock in on targets immediately keys in defenders on passes and can lead to turnovers. Jordan Battle‘s pick-six on Wilson in 2020 is a prime example of this. Wilson doesn’t often use his eyes to manipulate defensive backs. Moreover, he can be late to trigger, even after identifying his target and setting his feet.

Mechanically, Wilson can be inconsistent as well. The New Mexico QB’s footwork can be messy under duress, and his release can be somewhat elongated at times. He doesn’t always turn his hips enough on release, and he doesn’t consistently step into his throws. From these mechanical inconsistencies, similar inconsistencies with accuracy stack up. Wilson’s deep accuracy is a concern. Meanwhile, in the short and intermediate ranges, he sometimes misses high due to varying release points.

Among other things, Wilson doesn’t quite have the upper-echelon arm talent to fit passes into tight windows downfield. His frame is relatively light for NFL standards, and as a runner, ball security can be an issue for him.

Wilson’s NFL Draft scouting report overview

Wilson is an athletic signal-caller with an above-average arm (from a velocity standpoint). His athleticism is especially impressive, given that he suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee back in 2019. Wilson has since recovered and looks just as dynamic as he was before the injury.

Having said this, quarterback play at the NFL level is much, much more than physical talent. Right now, Wilson’s mental game needs a lot of work, and his mechanics are somewhat inconsistent. He was a two-time captain, but he likely isn’t a draftable prospect at this point. Nevertheless, with a strong final season at New Mexico, he could potentially change that — or earn fans on the UDFA circuit.

Terry Wilson Player Profile

Wilson has been around the block — a couple of times, in fact. His collegiate career has been perhaps the most winding career over the past five years. It’s a career that started with Wilson being a four-star recruit and a near top-100 prospect in the 2016 class.

Wilson, a coveted dual-threat quarterback, would commit to Oregon. However, his career with the Ducks never got off the ground. He redshirted in 2016, then transferred to Garden City Community College in Kansas. He played one year at Garden City, quickly earning their starting quarterback role. In that one year, Wilson amassed 2,133 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions as a passer, as well as 518 rushing yards and 5 scores on the ground.

Wilson’s short-lived JUCO career was enough to put him back on the map at the FBS level. He was coveted by schools like Florida and Nebraska but chose to join head coach Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Wilson’s career at Kentucky

Just as he did at Garden City, Wilson came to Kentucky and swiftly took hold of the starting job. His transition to the Southeastern Conference wasn’t without its ups and downs, but Wilson had a successful redshirt-sophomore campaign. He guided the Wildcats to a 10-win season, putting up over 2,400 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns.

In 2019, Wilson was set to continue bolstering his legacy against other UK quarterbacks, but his plans were thrown awry in just the second game of the season. Against Eastern Michigan, Wilson tore his left patellar tendon. Lynn Bowden took command of the offense while Wilson sat out and rehabilitated for the rest of the year.

In 2020, Wilson came back and rose to the top of the depth chart once again. As the Kentucky quarterback returned, however, the team’s success did not. The Wildcats limped to a 5-6 record in 2020, and Wilson threw for 1,187 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 4 picks with a 62.5% completion percentage.

Wilson was a redshirt senior in 2020, but he was able to use the league’s extra year of eligibility and reprise his role in 2021. Yet, in March of 2021, Wilson announced his intent to transfer to New Mexico. There, he’ll have another chance to revitalize his career.

Wilson’s impending NFL Draft ascension at New Mexico

Wilson undoubtedly has some measured appeal as an NFL Draft prospect. He’s athletic, an above-average throwing talent, and he’s also a two-time captain who should be a good locker room addition. Nevertheless, Wilson doesn’t currently have an NFL-ready skill set. While his arm is not bad, his passing process needs a great deal of refinement — refinement that he might not receive in a sixth season at New Mexico.

Still, it’s tough to say what prospects can and can’t accomplish. Wilson proved he could come back from a torn patellar tendon, and he might be more comfortable with another year removed from the injury. If Wilson can show progression with his pre-snap work, processing, eye manipulation, and mechanics, he could start to deliver on his promise.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.


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