Getting drafted by an NFL team should be a special, gloriously blissful time in a young man’s life, regardless of the round. Sure, sooner is much better than later, but so very few of us even have an opportunity to tryout for an NFL team. Solider on son.
And for Tyler Wilson — the now former Arkansas quarterback who was selected by the Raiders in the fourth round Saturday — it was, of course. But his draft experience was also…interesting.
Wilson anticipated hearing his name called a little earlier. Specifically, sometime Friday night during the second or third rounds. How do we know this? Probably because of the draft party he planned (or had planned on his behalf? Yes, much more likely) which featured a cake and band. Ughhhhhh.
So by the time Saturday came around, the emotional strain of watching picks go by and ticker updates scroll along without his name became a little too much to bear. The process was likely made much worse when two quarterbacks (Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib) came off the board Saturday before Wilson at 112th overall.
As is the case with most humans during a time of frustration, Wilson needed to leave the unforgiving and cold cage that his living room had become, and get some air. So he went to a local WalMart to run a few errands. Perhaps after that he also would have gone to Bed, Bath and Beyond. You know, a nice little Saturday.
Since college football is sort of a big deal in Arkansas, he was recognized quickly and asked to pose for a picture. That’s when his phone rang.
Saturday, Wilson planned to watch the draft at his parents’ home in Greenwood. But he was getting restless, so he decided to run to the Walmart Supercenter to pick up a few things. While he was there, a stranger approached and asked for a photo. As Wilson posed, his phone began ringing.
“I was fed up with watching so we just got out and then get the phone call there in Walmart, of all places, but that’s good being from Arkansas,” Wilson said Saturday in Greenwood. “He’s standing right next to me and kind of hears the conversation a little bit. I kind felt like everybody in the store at that point had kind of figured out what’s going on. That was fun. We ended up getting out of there without too much harm and ended up getting back and celebrated with friends and family.”
This is now a fun little tale which will be buried in the annals of draft folklore, and it’s even better to imagine the atmosphere in the store Wilson talks about, one that would have been a reflection of college town, USA.
But in recent years, Wilson’s Wal-Mart convo isn’t nearly the best draft call story. For that, please recall Bobby Wagner’s call a year ago which ended in him feeling very, um, relieved:
“I was actually in the bathroom when I got the phone call,” Wagner said. “I was on the way to the bathroom when I got a call from my agent and then I got a call from a Seattle number and I never got to go to the bathroom. I finally got to go. We got the phone call right before the pick and I got to tell them and everybody screamed. When my name went across the screen, everybody screamed again.”