Height: 6’1” | Weight: 211lbs | Age: | Experience: | 22 (when the season starts)
40-Yard-Dash: 4.54 | Benchpress: 14 Reps | Vertical: 32 Inches | Broad Jump: 118 Inches | 3-Cone: 6.86 Seconds| 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.02 Seconds
Signed a 4-Year $5,766,277 rookie contract with the Colts on May 11th, 2017
7 Games | 5 Starts | 1 Interception | 6 Passes Defended | 19 Tackles
What Scouts Were Saying Pre-Draft
”Quincy Wilson is a big press corner. What I like is he’s square and patient at the line of scrimmage. I would just like to see him be more physical in the run game. Get off blocks and make tackles.”
– Mike Mayock
“Wilson rose to prominence this year after finishing with three interceptions and allowing fewer than 40 percent of the passes his way to be completed. His size and physicality combined with issues in staying glued to quick receivers could lead him to the safety spot where his instincts, ball skills and willingness to tackle will all serve him well.”
– Lance Zierlein
Wilson’s Impact on the Field: Film Review
Perhaps no rookie was more of an enigma in the 2017 season for Colts fans than CB Quincy Wilson. Drafted in the second round to back up and eventually replace Vontae Davis, injuries and a miserable performance by T.J. Green gave Wilson a chance to get on the field and show what he could do in week 2 against the Cardinals. I broke down the complete first half of play for him here, and the second half here. His performance in the game gave fans a lot of hope that he could be a major part of a greatly improved defense.
Except that after coming up on the injury report, Wilson missed two weeks. Then, he was a healthy scratch until week twelve. Explanations were thin on the ground. Pagano talked in circles as he was wont to do, and Monachino had no clear explanation either. It was indirectly hinted at that immaturity and weak practices were a problem for Wilson, and he alluded to the same after the season. The question heading into the 2018 season is whether that will have changed.
Instincts and Reaction
Wilson has the ability to quickly read and react to plays. He isn’t a player with elite top speed, so that is critical. Here we see him playing against a screen pass. He reacts quickly to the pass, sheds the block, and despite being held, he is able to make a play on the ball that limits the gain to just 4 yards. If he gets held up by his blocker this play could have been a big gain.
One of Wilson’s key strengths is his level of physicality. He simply isn’t going to get pushed around by any receiver, he is ideally built to maul them at the line of scrimmage and throw them off their rhythm. This potentially made him ideally suited for the role as a press corner, or as may be the case in the new defense, pressing the receiver at the line of scrimmage and then defending his zone.
Additionally, he isn’t afraid to come up and make a tackle in the running game. This will be critical in DC Matt Eberflus’ scheme because while there may be more help over the top in coverage, there will also be a greater need to play well against the run by the cornerbacks.
Playing a lot of man coverage didn’t highlight another of Wilson’s strengths, but the switch to zone just might. He has a nose for big plays and looks for the interception, even if it means taking a risk.
The play above, from early in week two, shows how that motivation very nearly resulted in a pick during his first start. Wilson very easily matches the route the receiver is running and at the last second jumps the pass. He isn’t able to bring the ball in, but that kind of athletic play on a regular basis makes quarterbacks think twice about throwing your way.
Late Closing Speed and Nose for the Ball
One of the last things that impressed me about Wilson is his closing ability. On the above play he shows it, and this next one he does the same. While he doesn’t necessarily display an incredible top speed or quickness, his ability to close to the receiver at the moment of the catch is impressive. It enables him to break this pass up despite trailing his man.
There are plenty of instances of him sticking closely to the receiver throughout the season in 2017. The reality is though, guys get beat in coverage during the NFL season no matter how good they are. That makes his ability to recover and close that gap quickly at the catch point even better.
One significant issue for Wilson is that he is not really fast by cornerback standards. He relies on his physicality at the line of scrimmage to knock receivers off their rhythm and then stay in their hip pocket downfield. Because of this, he is susceptible to giving up plays against quicker receivers when he is beaten off the line of scrimmage.
This play is a prime example of this. Demaryius Thomas gets the inside release on Wilson and from that point, he is essentially out of the play. He comes across the field to make the tackle, so props to him for staying in pursuit, I guess, but he allows a 23-yard gain on a short inside route.
The biggest weakness for Wilson is not one that shows itself on film. However much we may blame Chuck Pagano or Ted Monachino, Wilson’s immaturity, attitude, and lack of effort in practice kept him sidelined through a season where the Colts secondary started out abysmal, and by way of injuries, fell from there.
No matter what struggles might accompany a rookie cornerback, the hope would be that in such a situation, your second round pick could get on the field. Wilson has owned up to his part in this issue and has talked this offseason about how different 2018 will be for him. If that is true, he has the potential to be a very good player. The question is whether those tendencies will manifest themselves again or if he has legitimately learned his lesson.
Another struggle for Wilson is with penalties. In his limited playing time last season he had 4 penalties called against him. Two were for defensive holding, one for pass interference, and one for 12-men on the field. By contrast, cornerback Xavier Rhodes of the Vikings had 10 total penalties through 18 games last season.
This isn’t a huge issue, but it was a concern for scouts leading up to the draft. Wilson plays a physical type of game and that leads to penalties. Given his sample size there is not a sure fire way to know that this will be a problem in the coming season, but he’ll have to find a way to keep penalties to a minimum or it will seriously damage his effectiveness.
Much will be expected of Quincy Wilson in the 2018 season. Cornerbacks have a tough job, and the coaches want to see major strides in year two as they adapt to the speed of the game and learn their responsibilities. With the new and supposedly simpler defensive scheme, hopefully we can see Wilson make a big leap and become the high quality starter the Colts need.