Marquess Wilson’s controversial departure from Washington State didn’t prevent the record-setting receiver from being chosen in this year’s NFL draft.
But it probably didn’t help his stock. Wilson had to wait almost until the end, but the Chicago Bears eventually drafted the Tulare, Calif., native with the 30th pick of the seventh round, the 236th overall selection.
“Towards the end I was getting a little worried,” Wilson told Chicago reporters on a conference call Saturday, adding that he got a few calls from teams about potentially signing as a free agent.
Wilson becomes the first WSU player drafted since 2011, when offensive lineman Zack Williams was selected by Carolina in the sixth round.
Former WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel went undrafted but announced on his Twitter page on Saturday that he has signed a free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Wilson quit the team after playing in nine games last season, then alleged abuse by WSU’s coaching staff. Those claims prompted reviews of the program by both WSU’s athletic department and the Pac-12, each of which concluded that Wilson’s claims were unsubstantiated.
The 6-foot-3, 194-pound receiver told The Spokesman-Review in March that he doesn’t regret leaving the team. Prior to his departure, he set the school record for career receiving yards with 3,207, along with 23 touchdowns in 33 career games.
Asked on his conference call about what he told teams regarding his exit from WSU, Wilson said, “I don’t really want to get into it right now. … I just want to move on, and I’m excited for playing with the Bears.
“I feel like I could have handled it a little better, but like I said, I’m just moving forward now.”