Marquess Wilson drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 7th round

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The mercurial wide receiver narrowly missed the fate that appears to be in store for former teammates Jeff Tuel and Travis Long, who look like they'll go undrafted.

We all knew that Marquess Wilson's draft stock would be hurt by his decision to quit the WSU team, but I don't know that any of us imagined this: the former wide receiver fell all the way to the seventh round, where he was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 236th pick.

Former WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel and outside linebacker Travis Long are yet to be drafted.

It has been an epic fall from grace for Wilson, a guy who established himself as the best receiver in school history and was considered a potential second-day pick before the season started.

While it's possible that his physical skills aren't as NFL ready as we all presumed, it's more likely that NFL teams were scared away from a guy who took on a lot of baggage this past season by clashing with coaches, quitting on his team with three games to go, and then going after his former coaches in the media with false accusations of abuse. Wilson was sure that teams would understand once he explained the situation; it appears he may have overestimated in that regard.

The other two Cougs on the NFL's radar were long shots to get drafted from the very beginning. Tuel spent the past two seasons banged up and had a difficult time holding off Connor Halliday for the starting job this past season. Long, meanwhile, had an excellent season after switching from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker before going down with a season-ending knee injury right before the Apple Cup.

If both end up being undrafted, it is in some ways preferable to going in the last couple of rounds -- Tuel and Long each likely will have a handful of teams who would like to bring them into their offseason workouts to choose from, so they'll be able to pick what they believe is the most favorable situation for making a roster.

Remember, the goal isn't to get drafted, it's to make a team. And if you can play, you'll make a roster in the NFL. Just ask another undrafted Coug who carved out a pretty nice career.

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