When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talks to other NFL coaches, they often tell him how lucky he was to get quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft — and they tell Carroll that they were hoping they could draft Wilson.
“It’s real common for people to say, ‘Hey, we loved that guy too,'” Carroll said today at his press conference in New Jersey.
Of course, every team can say in hindsight that Wilson was high on its draft board. Only one G.M., Seattle’s John Schneider, sent in a draft card with Wilson’s name on it. Carroll said Schneider loved Wilson so much heading into the draft that he would have chosen him earlier, but the Seahawks decided to gamble on Wilson still being available when they drafted in the third round, No. 75 overall. And Carroll praised Schneider for the way he handled the draft.
“John Schneider led the charge on this thing. John had it pegged perfectly where it happened for us. He had been sweating it out in the second round,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Schneider kept it quiet, even within the Seahawks’ building just how much he liked Wilson. And that made it nerve-wracking in Seattle as they sat in their draft room waiting to see if anyone else would pick him.
“It was really exciting for us,” Carroll said.
The NFL would look very different right now if some other team had chosen Wilson. (And especially if the Broncos had chosen Wilson in the second round, when they instead chose to select Brock Osweiler as Peyton Manning’s backup.) But Schneider made the call on Wilson in the third round, and as a result, Carroll is coaching Wilson in the Super Bowl.