Caleb Wilson goes pro with Arizona Cardinals, becomes Mr. Irrelevant of 2019 draft
Tight end Caleb Wilson racked up 965 yards and four touchdowns for UCLA football last season, leading NCAA tight ends in both receptions and yards. Wilson was selected 254th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft. (Liz Ketcham, Assistant Photo editor)
By Sam Connon
April 27, 2019 3:43 pm
Caleb Wilson had to wait until the last possible second.
The former UCLA football tight end was picked 254th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday, making him this year’s Mr. Irrelevant – the final selection of the draft. Wilson was ranked as the No. 7 tight end in the draft by Pro Football Focus, but he saw 15 others drafted ahead of him over the weekend.
Wilson became the first Mr. Irrelevant in the history of UCLA.
This year marked the first time since 2012 – when no Bruins were drafted – that no UCLA representatives were picked on either of the first two days.
NFL.com, CBS Sports and USA Today all had Wilson slotted to go somewhere between No. 159 and No. 177, but Bleacher Report’s mock draft had him going No. 245.
Wilson led all NCAA tight ends in both receiving yards and receptions this season with 965 and 60, respectively, and his 7.8 average yards after the catch topped Pac-12 tight ends. However, both Washington’s Drew Sample and Stanford’s Kaden Smith were picked higher than Wilson.
In his career at UCLA, Wilson racked up 1,675 yards, 114 catches and five touchdowns in 24 games. He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and recorded a 29-inch vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine in March.
Offensive lineman Andre James – who left UCLA football with one year of NCAA eligibility remaining – went undrafted. James was not projected to be selected and was ranked as the No. 470 overall prospect by NFL.com.
Wilson and James were the only Bruins to get invited to the combine, but 10 others were draft hopefuls this weekend as well. Safety Adarius Pickett, running backs Bolu Olorunfunmi and Giovanni Gentosi, quarterback Wilton Speight, wide receivers Christian Pabico, Eldridge Massington and Alex Van Dyke, punter Stefan Flintoft, and defensive backs Nate Meadors and Mossi Johnson will all join James in the undrafted free agent pool.
Rosen shipped east
If Wilson had joined the Cardinals two days ago, he would have been reunited with his former quarterback.
But when Arizona picked Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 overall Thursday night, the writing was on the wall for Josh Rosen.
The former Bruin – along with a 2020 fifth round pick – was traded to the Miami Dolphins on Friday for the No. 62 pick in this year’s draft, which the Cardinals used on Massachusetts receiver Andy Isabella.
Rosen threw for 2,278 yards and 11 touchdowns across 13 starts in his rookie year with Arizona. He tossed 14 interceptions and finished with a 3-10 record and was targeted by former NFL receiver Steve Smith in a now-viral tirade for crying about having his job taken.
The former Pac-12 Second Team All-Conference selection did not actually cry or complain on social media, but Rosen did unfollow the Cardinals on Twitter after they picked up Murray.
The Dolphins, who passed on multiple quarterbacks in the first round, were able to pick up 2018’s No. 10 overall pick for a late-second rounder. Miami traded its supposed franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans on March 17, but signed 14-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over the starting job in his place.
Fitzpatrick signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Dolphins after leading the NFL in yards per attempt last season. He and Rosen are expected to compete for the starting job for the 2019 season.
With Rosen now in Miami, three of the top four quarterbacks taken in last year’s draft will be suiting up for teams in the AFC East. Josh Allen was the starter for the Buffalo Bills last season, as was USC’s Sam Darnold for the New York Jets.
The three sophomores will each face off two times next season.