“He’s got excellent power to move the line of scrimmage in the run game, and he’s tough to get around in the pass game,” General Manager Jon Robinson said of the 6-foot-6, 350-pound Wilson on draft night. “I thought I saw some blocks at the highest level in the SEC where he gets up to Level 2, and he forces linebackers — if he gets his paws on him, they’re usually done for.”
Fast-forward to Monday night, and Wilson was tweeting and then deleting a social media message that said he was “done with football as a Titan.”
Wilson had a messy rookie season. During training camp, he received a trespass warning from police after they broke up an off-campus party at Tennessee State University, with Wilson reportedly considering a jump from a second-story balcony to avoid being caught. He was twice placed on Tennessee’s covid-19 reserve list (once before training camp began). Then, three days before Tennessee’s first regular season game, he was charged with DUI after losing control of his car and hitting a concrete wall, allegedly while doing “donuts” in the middle of the street.
By December, the Titans had placed Wilson on the season-ending non-football reserve list, citing “personal issues, which will take some time for him to work through.” He had played a grand total of four snaps, three in victory-formation offense and one on special teams.
Of the 32 players selected in the first round of last year’s draft, only Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love — who spent the season as a healthy scratch while backing up a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers — played less.
During a video conference with reporters last week, Robinson said Wilson’s future was entirely up to him.
“We put him on the reserve/non-football injury list and haven’t spoken to him since. He’s going to have to make a determination on whether he wants to do what it takes to play pro football. That will be on him,” Robinson said.
“I know what the expectation level is here, and it’s no different than any other player on the football team. We have a certain standard that we want players to prepare and perform at professionally, and as people, and there’s a lot of work to be done there,” he said.
Wilson started 24 games at Georgia in 2018 and 2019 and allowed only nine total pressures in the latter year, tied for ninth among right tackles in the Football Bowl Subdivision. On draft night, Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said Bulldogs Coach Kirby Smart “couldn’t say enough great things” about Wilson, and Robinson said Wilson would compete with veteran Dennis Kelly for the starting right tackle job.
Kelly would start all 16 regular season games for the Titans.