Panthers were targeting Russell Wilson last year


Quarterback Russell Wilson had a chance last year of returning to North Carolina.

The man who transferred from N.C. State to Wisconsin for his final year of college eligibility went in the third round of the 2012 draft, the 75th overall selection.  According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his offensive coaching staff were interested in drafting Wilson, as a backup to Cam Newton.

The thinking was that, if Newton were injured, the same offense could be run by Wilson.

But the Panthers viewed Wilson as a late-round pick, underscoring the extent to which most teams failed to accurately evaluate Wilson’s potential at the next level.

Wilson’s intense work ethic could have been a very good thing for Newton, pushing the first overall pick in the 2011 draft to demonstrate the same kind of dedication to film study and overall improvement for which Wilson already has become very well known.

Former Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey, whose team took a punter five spots before Wilson was picked, explained during Friday’s PFT Live the team’s thought process in passing on Wilson.  As Mularkey explained it, taking Wilson with that pick wasn’t much of a consideration at all — especially since the Jags had traded up a year earlier to take Blaine Gabbert.

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16 responses to “Panthers were targeting Russell Wilson last year

  1. Thank goodness the Seahawks grabbed him or he would’ve been buried in Carolina. Not getting to witness Russell Wilson’s play would be a bummer, to the max.

  2. Given the recent draft history of the Panthers, they should have taken Russell Wilson in the 2nd round.
    The Panthers draft selections are as bad as Dwight Howard’s free throws. More misses than makes.

  3. Cleveland passed on him for a 29 year old rookie who wants to play baseball. They have hit big time on defense in recent drafts but that pick will haunt for years.

  4. I’m happy for Wilson that he got drafted somewhere he got a chance to compete to start. He never would have started in Carolina, unfortunately for them. 1st round draft picks get a lot more chances than later guys do and a lot more excuses made for them. Wilson makes his teammates and team better and that is an ability not all QBs have.

  5. Good move by Jacksonville, Punter was a position of need while Gabbert showing off his inability to play QB will ensure top 5 picks to come for years. I still can’t believe MJD said he feels confident with Gabbert as his QB.

  6. I was banging the table hard for him for the Lions because I thought he would be a good gamble after dumping off Matt Stafford. This one burns me more than most.

  7. It’s a constant reminder that so much of a player’s opportunities depend on timing, being with the right team, luck, having someone take a chance on you. The player absolutely has to make the most out of those opportunities when they present themselves, just like Wilson has done. But he easily could have been buried on another roster with little chance to prove himself. I wonder how many other really good players have been buried on a team who would have been truly outstanding?

  8. Wilson is a far better QB than Scam Newton. It’s a good thing Seattle picked him because Rivera and staff were too inept to realize Wilson is better and would have just made him a career back up behind Newton.

    That’s why Rivera is in his last season as head coach and the panthers and Newton will be under .500 yet again.

  9. This is sort of old news just because all of the local papers last off season were writing up stories about the Panthers talking to Russ and having meetings with him. Yeah we didnt draft him becuae we have CAM NEWTON.. I still dont get how people can bash on him and I would hope that none of those people are Panther fans. Russell Wilson did 10x more than anyone expected and could easily have a mediocre season this year..what would people say then..and what did he do against us of all teams? not much and we lost 16-12.. Panthers are getting better but this year needs to be a 10-6 season at the very worst.

  10. Panthers should have been reasonable and unloaded Deangelo Williams last year. Whatever round pick they would have gotten in return They could’ve have used on a back this year at a more cap friendly price. It was a shame to watch him waste away on the bench especially after he finally got his chance down the stretch and looked great. More carries = more yards. Gotta be one of the worst run organizations in the league.

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