2017: Lisfranc injury in foot (Season Ending - Required Surgery)
2018: Washington, Arizona State, 2017: Texas A&M
Former high school QB, who has intelligence and feel beyond his years as a pass catcher. He has good speed to get downfield, but it is his very good lateral agility that gives him separation in the intermediate to short areas of the field. He is a gritty runner after the catch, and will put his head down and try and run through would be defenders. Shows a prowess for blocking, and uses great understanding of blocking dynamics as well as technique allows him to be able to make an impact in that facet of the game. He possesses one of the surest set of hands in this draft class, and rarely drops a ball, as well as a knack for getting open, and work his way back to his QB, which will make him a quick ascending player when he gets to the next level.
Wilson's biggest weakness is a lack of bulk, and NFL caliber-strength. He possesses wiry strength, and can dominate second or third level defenders that are of similar bulk, but he will struggle to make the same impact in the run game as he has in college if he does not gain more strength and bulk. Struggled to block quick, and explosive pass rushers at the college level, when asked to pass protect in college, so he will need to learn new techniques at the NFL coaching level to help suppress that. Simply does not possess elite long speed to stretch the seam vertically on a consistent basis, but rather he is better as a short to intermediate weapon, that will move the chains, and be a security blanket for his QB.
Caleb Wilson is an early entrant to the 2019 NFL Draft, that has bloodlines in the NFL coaching ranks, as his father is the defensive line coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He possesses a well-rounded skill set from the TE position, and is a highly intelligent player that enhances his skill set. There will be a large number of teams to show interest in his services come draft day, and I can see him going off the board in the Round 2-4 range. I believe he will be one of the players a few years down the road that will have outplayed his draft slot. His skill set reminds me of Trey Burton. He is a great receiving threat who doesn't have great long speed, but understands what it takes to get open. He is an impact in the run blocking department.
Very good athleticism. Has good speed to stretch the field, and even better lateral agility to be a dynamic RAC specialist. Has good length, body control, and terrific hand flexion. Nimble in space, and is elusive in and out of his breaks. Has an ability to slip past defenders with subtle moves and fakes to be able get himself open. Able to contort his body to off target throws, as being able to fit on blocks from a move TE position. Very good change of direction ability. Very fluid in space and uses his agility to slip defenders, or he can lower a shoulder and get physical after the catch. Explosive first step off the snap. Will get separation with his burst off the snap. That puts defenders at disadvantage with his agility, and outstanding intelligence which gives him a chance to gain a good amount of separation. Simply isn't an explosive vertical athlete or speed merchant. Good speed to stretch the field vertically, but it is his short area quickness and agility that make him a better weapon as a short to intermediate target.
Big Play Ability
Spacing & Timing
Anticipates the snap, and explodes out of his stance with little delay. He gets defenders back on their heels, and then uses his savviness, and agility to gain separation. Ran the entire route tree while at UCLA, and was exposed to a wide variety of offenses at the college level with playing in Jim Mora's pro-style offense, to Chip Kelly's spread attack. Understands how to leverage routes, and will use subtleties within the route to gain separation. Is a coach's son, and has that innate intelligence and feel for when to break off routes back to his QB. Will break off jam at LOS with swim moves or even a hump move, but his quickness off the snap allows him to get a clean release most of the time. Within the duration of the route he understands how to shield away defenders, and make combat catches if he doesn't get a ton of separation. He always seems to be able to work himself open whether with strength or power, or by using his intelligence. Hands are like Velcro, everything sticks to them. Consistently plucked the ball away from his body, but also showed the ability to body up, and make tough combat catches. A hard-nosed runner after the catch who will fight for extra yardage, but he simply doesn't have the explosive speed to make breakaway plays. He is an outstanding chain moving, safety valve TE, who can break off chunk yardage rather than take it the distance. Will go down easily by big LB's and DL due to a lack of great bulk. Terrific ball security, and understands when to switch ball to opposite side of body that is going to take impact. Understands that turnovers are the bane of momentum. Extremely intelligent and cerebral player who understands the small details that win a game.
Great understanding of blocking mechanics. Uses great technique by shooting hands inside, snapping hips on contact, running feet on contact, and most importantly keeping contact with defender throughout the duration of the play. Only time players would disengage from his blocks would be against bigger bodied DL who possess more bulk, and power. With his very good lateral agility, and short area quickness it allows him to be able to flow and fit on blockers on counter trap plays, and on play calls that call for him to get out in front of ball carrier. He locates and engages blocks at the second level with great accuracy. Keeps his eyes up, and feels where the ball carrier wants to run. Locates and engages with defenders at the second level with a high degree of consistency. Shows an ability to dominate smaller defenders at the second level due to having a size advantage. Light feet, ability to mirror and match, as well as knowing where the blitz comes from allows him to be able to lend a hand in pass protection. He will initiate and shuffle on contact, as well as anchor against DB's blitzing, but struggles to maintain his block against bigger defenders due to a lack of bulk. He also will struggle to stay in front of elite level pass rushers with burst and quickness. Clutch performer, who will shine brightest when the situation calls for it. Will be able to flash both as a run blocker, as well as a pivotal security blanket for a QB, that will endear himself to Offensive Coordinators early in his career.
Blocking in Space
Gritty player, who will come up with a ton of combat catches, and take the punishment in stride. Willing to sell out, and do what's best for the team while run blocking. Will fight for extra yardage after the catch, and will drag defenders down the field if they don't appreciate his drive. Only one year of elite level production with just under 1,000 yards in 2018, and would have put up big numbers in 2017 if not for an injury cutting the season prematurely. Not a huge red zone threat with only 5 career TD's at UCLA, but those numbers could improve in the NFL. Was a second-team All-American by the Sporting News and CBS Sports, as well as a First-team All PAC-12 selection in 2018. Was also named to the watch list in 2017 for the Biletnikoff Award. Highly motivated athlete that knows, and understands the amount of hard work, and effort it takes not only win on each down, but what it takes to win big games. Worked his way on as a walk on at USC in 2015, before he transferred to UCLA.
Aggression & Toughness
Catch Point Mentality
Former QB in high school that you can tell in the way he runs his routes, and the way he will work himself back into the QB's field of view. Has a rare feel for where the flow of the play is going while he is run blocking, and will adjust his angling and body positioning to help maximize the amount of positive yardage on each play. Played in two very different and complex offenses in back to back years, and he excelled in both. Former head coach Jim Mora's offense was predicated as a more pro-style offense that asked him to do different things than the spread system that Chip Kelly ran. Was used in a variety of position as well as a TE, and excelled at all of them. Was an Honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 Academic Team. Played a variety of roles as a TE, from lining up in-line, to a move TE, and even lining up out in the slot. Was also a key contributor on special teams before he graduated to more playing time.