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Head Issues Could Cost Two Top SEC Quarterbacks Cash Come Draft Time

2012 was supposed to be the year of the Tylers in the SEC.  Many preseason prognositcators and a few NFL draft analysts suggested before the season that Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray were both likely to be first-round — if not Top 10 — picks in the 2013 NFL draft.  (Wilson is a senior.  Bray is a junior.)

But things haven’t gone to script to date and it’s likely that one or both might be in line for fewer bucks come next spring.

Wilson’s value as a quarterback has actually probably risen through three games.  That’s because in the last one-and-a-half games he hasn’t played and the Razorback offense has completely tanked in his absence.  Clearly, he is the Arkansas offense.

But the trouble spot for Wilson is why he missed action this year — a concussion.  Hey, it’s football.  It happens.  But Wilson also had a concussion last season, too.  And as you’ve probably heard, studies show that persons who’ve had one concussion are more likely to have a second.  Persons having two are more likely to have a third and so on.

With so much attention being paid to concussion symptoms these days, you’d better believe Wilson’s concussion history will be something NFL general managers will consider before selecting him.  Teams might be cautious investing first-round quarterback money — even under the new rookie cap system — on a player who might not have a long tenure in the league.  (Ask Steve Young and Troy Aikman about concussions and how they can cut careers short.)

In addition, while we don’t think Wilson’s postgame comments from the Alabama game show him in too poor a light, some GMs might.  Wilson said that he believed some of his teammates “gave up.”  Some NFL brass will view that as leadership with a capital L.  Other NFL personnel men might worry about what that kind of talk could do to an NFL locker room.  If nothing else, it’s now out there to be dissected.

Sadly, Wilson could already be in the NFL.  Many believe he would have been a Top 10 pick last season had he left Fayetteville early.  But he returned to Arkansas with the goal of leading Bobby Petrino’s team to a title of some sort.  Then Petrino let him down.

If Wilson had known that his coach would go and get himself fired in the offseason, he’d likely have tossed his name into the NFL draft in great haste last spring.  Instead, by coming back, he’ll now have to go through more medical exams and have to answer questions about the “at times, gave up” comment.  You can book that.  Both will happen.  And it could — could — cost him a little cash.

As for the other Tyler, there’s no medical issue or bizarre set of circumstances to blame for the drop in stock of Tennessee’s Bray.  Oh, sure, like Wilson he’s basically charged with carrying his team each week.  If Bray plays poorly, his Vols lose.  The run game and defense can’t pick up the slack for him at this point.

But UT’s quarterback tends to play poorly against good teams.  Good teams have good defenses and that tends to make life rougher on those signal-callers who play for one-dimensional teams, to be sure.  But Bray was simply outplayed by Florida’s Jeff Driskel this past Saturday.  When frustrated, Bray displayed the same throw-it-off-the-back-foot tendencies he showed so many times in previous seasons.  NFL scouts will notice that.

All that said, Bray’s arm is still good enough to overcome any issues the GMs might have with his footwork.  It’s his brain that’s the issue.

This offseason Bray got into trouble for breaking a car windshield with beer bottles and golf balls and for “hotdogging” it on a Jet Ski.  Whether you think those issues are important is irrelevant.  Bray will be questioned about both issues — as well as many other rumors — if he chooses to leave Tennessee for the NFL after the season.  We’re talking about a league where one NFL rep reportedly asked a player if his mother was a prostitute simply to gauge his reaction.  Yes, windshields and personal watercraft will come up.

So will the fact that Bray decided he didn’t need to even watch the final 20 minutes of tape from Florida’s most recent win over the Vols.  “That wasn’t our team,” the signal-caller said.  Ah, well, it’s a good thing it was someone else out there dressed in that orange #8 jersey because most people who watched that game probably left thinking that that quarterback made some mistakes that he could learn from.  Apparently not.

(And we’ll save the “Are there any coaches at Tennessee who demand that their players watch film and learn from their mistakes” question for another time.)

Derek Dooley — hey, the Volunteers do have a coach — said this week:

 

“There’s got to be a level of acknowledgement that you’re a little affected by events that are out of your control.  I think it’s fair to say that happened when we were down 14 because it happened so quickly.  That’s a big step Tyler needs to take.  I think the unfair thing is to say he doesn’t care, and it’s not fair to say he shut it down.”

 

Unless you’re referring to Bray’s DVD player when watching film of a bad loss.  That he does shut down.  Which makes it highly unlikely that UT’s quarterback is ready to acknowledge that he can be affected when a certain something hits the fan.

Not to rub salt in Vol fans’ wounds, but after Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley was critiqued by head coach Lane Kiffin for his “really poor decisions” against Stanford, Barkley responded: “Yeah, I made some poor decisions.  But that’s why you watch the film and learn from it.” 

It seems the Pac-12′s best pro prospect gets it.

Meanwhile, both of the SEC’s big-armed Tylers could see their draft stock dip a bit lower than initially expected when April rolls ’round.  Wilson because he’s now had a couple of head injuries.  Bray because his head doesn’t seem to be screwed on straight.

 


14 comments
TheN8tureBoy
TheN8tureBoy

What're the odds that Bray has a mediocre season and comes back to Rocky Top for his senior campaign?

Scott
Scott

Ironically, Tyler Bray was a Kiffin recruit.  Barkley was not.  So if one of them is having attitude issues, it shouldn't be a surprise that it's Bray.

GregPomeroy
GregPomeroy

I don't think it's a matter of who recruited them.  It's a matter of who's been working with them for the last 2+ years.

LukeAWood
LukeAWood

If you have never had a first concussion, you have a 0% chance of having a second. You can't have a second until you have a first. I think that's right. I does math good, so I would probably know.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @LukeAWood 

 

Cute.

 

http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Concussion.aspx

 

Have one, your four to six times more likely to have another concussion than someone who's never had one.  Most studies show it stairsteps up from there.

 

John

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @John at MrSEC  @LukeAWood It is entirely possible, based on these types of studies (and the very public suicides of two NFL players this last year, who had a history of more than one concussion, each), that its two concussions and you are banned from playing organized football, at any level. Scary statistics, scary studies and football leagues are going to have to get ahead of this, or else.

Aggie98
Aggie98

The prostitute question was a valid one. Dez Bryant's father was a drug dealer and his mother was a prostitute. It is important to see what kind of foundation an athlete has to help try to determine what their reaction will be to a sudden increase in wealth. Bryant has had multiple off the field problems including $850,000 in debt for jewelry. The only play he has performed well since being drafted has been at the shopping mall.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @Aggie98 You ask any normal Southern kid (or a kid from the Bronx), "Your momma a ho?" Try it 10 times with 10 different kids. See how many times you hit the floor.

Aggie98
Aggie98

 @BonzaiB Like I said, if any of those kids hit Jeff Ireland in that setting then they are stupid beyond reason. I would still argue that it is a valid question and that Dez's behavior since getting drafted proves that.

Aggie98
Aggie98

 @BonzaiB Who said they were asking every black player that question? Who even mentioned anything about anyone being black? Bryant stated that his father was a drug dealer and a pimp, and his mother worked for his father. Ireland then asked the next logical question which is whether his mother was a prostitute. There was no stereotyping involved. This is not an if/then logic problem. This is simply a case where an employee for an organization was trying to project whether a potential employee for that organization would be able to handle a sudden influx of wealth. Like I said before, if Bryant did not like the question no one is pointing a gun to his head and telling him he has to be interviewed. If he does not like the process then he can go work in an industry where he will not be asked such personal questions during interviews. The fact that he has such a poor response to the question indicates that he does not have the kind of maturity required to be successful as a first round draft pick and NFL star.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @Aggie98 There are any number of ways to get the info you need to make a determination, and asking every black player who shows up in your office if his momma is a ho is not only stupid, its insensitive, it shows a lack of breeding on the part of the person who asks it, and it is demeaning to the rest of us who have to listen to guys who dumb down the culture by saying its a valid question "because the guy who screwed up's momma WAS ACTUALLY a ho.

 

Lots of NFL players are unstable, but not because their mamma was a ho, many of the because daddy was a wife beating drunk. Is okay to ask every player if his daddy abused him as a little boy? Nonsense. There are some things you just don't do, no matter how convenient they are.

 

Example of how using stereo types don't work. Aggies often say, "We don't boo at Kyle Field, because thats one of the things that makes us who we are." On 8 September Aggies booed injured players from Florida, but Florida fans at teh game could not be heard on national tv booing injured Aggie players. So, in this case, the fan base that was "raised" to be better than that wasn't. The fans who don't have a prohibition against booing, didn't.

 

Just because your momma is a ho does not mean you are a jerk, but you can be a jerk even if your momma is a saint.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Asking a kid if his Mom is a prostitute is a valid question? I do not agree. Do they really need the son to confirm if his Mom is a prostitute to make a determination as to how he will handle money in the future? I don't buy it at all. I wouldn't blame the kid if he smacked the guy in the mouth.

Aggie98
Aggie98

 @MoKelly1 Yes, because assaulting a coach during the most important interview of your life would have been advisable. It helps to know about a kids upbringing before you give him millions of dollars. No one is putting a gun to his head and telling him to play in the NFL. it is a privilege, not a right to play in the NFL. The fact that Bryant was raised in that environment and continues to associate with those kinds of people has a huge impact on the type of player he has turned out to be.

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