Searching for this year’s Russell Wilson

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Sure, the 2013 quarterback class lacks an Andrew Luck or a Robert Griffin III.  But there could be a would-be franchise quarterback taken five spots after a punter in round three.

In 2012, it was Russell Wilson, who in our view should have been the AP offensive rookie of the year.  Starting in four days, the question becomes whether any of the quarterbacks whose apples-to-oranges “value” pushes him beyond the first two rounds of the draft has the potential to become another Russell Wilson.

The easy answer is no, due both to the reality that Russell Wilsons don’t come along every year (or every decade) and that Wilson slipped due to a scouting bias against quarterbacks who are on the wrong side of six feet.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times looks back at what allowed Russell Wilson to become Russell Freaking Wilson.  It becomes more clear after reading Farmer’s article that it was an aberration to find such a great player so far from the top of the draft.

Other quarterbacks have become stars absent a first-round pedigree, including Joe Montana (round three), Tom Brady (round six), and Kurt Warner (round none).  But no rookie quarterback taken that late has instantly performed at such a high level, taking his team to the playoffs and doing everything in his power to earn a berth in the conference title game.

Both coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevel raved to Farmer about Wilson’s ability to fix flaws quickly, from instantly changing the placement of deep passes from the receiver’s inside shoulder to his outside shoulder, to immediately ditching a habit of double-checking every play call before sharing it with the huddle.

[H]e can fix whatever he needs to fix,” Carroll said.  “That’s an extraordinary characteristic for a young guy.”

There’s much about Wilson that is extraordinary.  And it’s extraordinary to think that a cockeyed obsession with height was largely responsible for 74 players being picked before him.

The good news for this year’s quarterback class could be that a desire to avoid facing tough questions from owners about missing on the next Russell Wilson will prompt more General Managers and coaches to roll the dice on a quarterback earlier than they otherwise would have.  While that run may not come in round one, it’ll definitely come in round two.

Or, at the latest, before anyone picks a punter.

64 responses to “Searching for this year’s Russell Wilson

  1. If Wilson were 3 inches taller, he’d have been a top 10 pick

    At any rate, no QBs in this class are being overlooked. Between the Russel Wilson effect and the fact that this is a weak QB class, GMs really can’t afford to ignore anyone.

    The problem is there’s a fine line between drafting the next Russell Wilson and drafting the next Blaine Gabbert. You’re either a genius or an idiot, and usually that 3rd rounder that you picked up in late first makes you the latter.

  2. I think at best you might find this years Matt Flynn in the draft. If QB wasn’t so overvalued as a position there wouldn’t be one taken in the first 2 rounds this year.

  3. How did this guy get to round three, yet pat white was drafted in the second round?! Not exactly Parcells’ shining moment.

  4. Why was Russell Wilson your pick for ROY over RGIII and Andrew Luck, who both had better stats than him and both played on teams that would’ve been much worse off without them?

  5. Wilson has been in the league one year…..lets not get ahead of ourselves! Why not the next Drew Brees or Tom Brady?! They have proven it year after year and were not high draft picks!

  6. What the Wilson situation tells us, is that the pro scouts are not the best at assessing talent, that GMs are a fearful bunch and the NFL is stuck somewhere in the 70’s mindset, while the college game has evolved.

    The NFL does what everybody else does – they follow for fear of making a mistake. When they do, you get mediocrity. You get Cassell, Kolb, Babbert, Ponder and Flynn, instead of Warren Moon.

    They’re a group of conservative traditionalists, who are behind times and are pro-active scared. Now the copycats look everywhere for the next Wilson? No, their propensity to want something for nothing will always guide their business moves, instead of understanding “you get what you pay for”.

  7. You can’t just find another russell wilson in the draft. These type of guys come along every 5-10 years. His skill,talent,leadership, and work ethic is something only a few QB’s have good luck finding a QB with all of those traits in the late rounds, just wait 5 years then maybe there will be another one.

  8. “Why was Russell Wilson your pick for ROY over RGIII and Andrew Luck, who both had better stats than him and both played on teams that would’ve been much worse off without them?”

    Because Luck and RG3 were expected to start and were handed the position immediately after the draft. Wilson had to beat out two incumbents and did not really get the full playbook until mid season. Still, he overcame and was sensational.

  9. If anyone saw him play at Wisconsin OR NC State, they’d have known he was worth at least a 1st or 2nd round pick.

  10. The Colts won what 1 game before Luck the Redskins won only 4 before Rg3, and the Seahawks had won 7 and so who did more for their team and one of Seattle’s win was a give me by the replacement refs.

  11. What will Wilson bandwagoners say once he gets injured. No one can claim that isn’t a real possibility.

  12. How Indy’s GM, Ryan Grigson, won AP Executive of the Year over Seattle’s John Schneider is beyond me. Picking Andrew Luck was a no-brainer. Schneider had a brilliant draft and offseason last year. The eyebrow-raising pick of Bruce Irvin as their 1st round pick who led the league in sacks among rookies (how’s that crow taste Kiper?), their 2nd round pick was a Defensive RoY candidate, 3rd round pick selecting Russell Wilson who was the Offensive RoY candidate, converting a 7th round defensive lineman into an OL, etc.

    Picking RW3 in the 3rd round alone should have solidified him winning Executive of the Year.

  13. Because Luck and RG3 were expected to start and were handed the position immediately after the draft. Wilson had to beat out two incumbents and did not really get the full playbook until mid season. Still, he overcame and was sensational.”

    So your argument is Luck and RG3 could not have beat out their perspective back ups?

    Please, the only thing clearly better that Wilson has going for him is that since he was drafted in the 3rd round it makes him look better. Look the guys good, but please stop trying to act like he’s Tom Brady.

  14. I’m draft eligible next year.
    I’m 5’10.
    No one knows about me.

    I’ll be your next Russell Wilson.

    Just don’t stick a microphone in front if me, I’ll offend half the country before the interview is over.

  15. People who are saying Wilson should have won ROY haven’t checked the stats. In terms of passing Wilson had an additional six touchdowns, but with an additional five interceptions compared to Griffin. Furthermore, Griffin ran for 400 more yards with three more touchdowns.

    Come on, people! I don’t care either way, but check the stats.

  16. Russell Wilson was absolutely robbed of the ROY award. However I’m not mad that RGIII won it. But coming from someone who has been around the game for almost 40 years and a former QB, I know people will have their arguments but I on my board Russell Wilson in the top 5 in the league.

    I know its only one season however if you go back and watch film on this guy as I have. You will know.

  17. i like what i see from geno smith, ej manuel, ryan nassib, and matt scott. like with RG3 and wilson, they can be fed more of the playbook gradually as they grasp the speed of the game, but they all have the skills and aptitude to run an NFL offense effectively.

    mike glennon, tyler wilson, sean renfree, and tyler bray all show promise, too.

  18. “If anyone saw him play at Wisconsin OR NC State, they’d have known he was worth at least a 1st or 2nd round pick.”

    i thought the same thing, but then plenty of scouts/teams watched him and didn’t go with common sense. they tried to over think it, like so many teams do.

  19. Russell Wilson reminds me of the once great Doug Flutie. Flutie and Wilson have the same throwing motion, same arm strength, same mobility, same knack for the game and they are about the same size… Flutie is 5′ 10″, 180lbs. Wilson 5′ 11″, 206lbs. The biggest similarity is they both know how to win.

    As for finding another Wilson in this draft, there isn’t one. There is a couple of QB’s with a high ceiling, but no Russell Wilson.

  20. If this draft had a Russell Wilson type QB, would that player still be a 3rd round pick? Sean Renfree or Matt Scott could be good players but they are 5th round picks at best with a one year development time before they are ready to be starter.
    Most of these QBs need a year or two to develop but these teams are too impatient to wait. That makes the situation more difficult. Bust does not accurate describe the situation when the blame should fall more on the NFL team for mishandling the player.
    Even the alledged “QB guru coaches” in the NFL like Gary Kubiak (as a Texans fan, that is what I am told and not my opinion) have not developed a decent QB. I keep asking to see a list of QBs Kubiak have develop and google cannot find that list anywhere on the entire search engine.
    NFL teams mishandle talent every year which is why the same teams continue to miss the playoffs.

  21. I’m glad the media is concentrating on these guys and leave Ryan Tannehill alone… that way he can develop with out the added pressure and be the true underdog

  22. It should probably say searching for this years alfred morris. They both did real well but morris did come from the later rounds. Plus being that most people never heard of this guy ever before probably being drafted.

  23. You mean an ACC player of the year (JR year) who then dominated at Wisconsin and had ridiculous stats and was an other world athlete (pro baseball too). Good luck folks. Wilson was the biggest no brainer ever. I had some insight though we’re from the same town and I used to watch him.

  24. /correction: The Jags drafted a very GOOD punter before someone got Wilson.

    We still stink.

  25. This is the second article claiming Wilson did good in the title game..florio, Seahawks weren’t in the NFC championship game..finding another Wilson isn’t difficult, the same guys that get drafted to sit and learn, if they got drafted to start, and did it well as rookies, we’d find Wilson’s every year

  26. Now all of these GM’s are going to over draft QB’s with mobility and arm.

    What GM’s and fans who don’t follow the Hawks is how intelligent RWill is and how he processes the game.

    His 1st 8 games he had training wheels on after splitting many reps in training camp and pre-season. RG3 and Luck came out of the gates with a grasp of their offense after being named starter.

    Now that RWill has that experience, look out. He’s not like Vick, who can’t slide and gets drilled too often. RWill is an ex-baseball player that has the instincts and knows when to slide down or go out of bounds. He DID NOT take one brutal hit last year.

    The intangibles that RWill brings makes him special and now GM’s are going to be over drafting guys like EJ Manuel that look great in shorts but don’t have it between the ears. That’s why Jamarcus couldn’t make it in this league. Dumb QB that couldn’t process info worth $*#*@, had no leadership and couldn’t grasp a playbook.

    What how these GM’s now will overdraft the mobile QB looking for a RWill but won’t find it.

  27. Russell Wilson was last year’s Andy Dalton and Dalton was the unprecedented successful rookie post-Round 1 QB.

    Those two were well regarded, but each had his own 1-2 flaws. A quarterback has too many things to do in order for 1-2 flaws to get in the way of his success, with exception to turnovers.

    Those two were Senior Bowl QBs and the other All Star games are way too difficult for teams to find immediate starters. If that is the case the next successful post-Round 1 QB will be Zac Dysert.

    He’s rarely criticized or picked apart like everyone else and went to the Senior Bowl. A bonus to him is that he played with no weapons or offensive line. Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, and Ryan Nassib can’t say that.

  28. “Please, the only thing clearly better that Wilson has going for him is that since he was drafted in the 3rd round it makes him look better. Look the guys good, but please stop trying to act like he’s Tom Brady.”

    Actually, the better comparison is Fran Tarkenton. Both Wilson and Tarkenton were drafted in the third round, both started their first season. Brady sat most of the first year and did not hit his stride until year two. Statistically, Brady’s numbers do not compare to Wilson’s until his 8th season.

  29. For a “Russell Wilson” to emerge from this years draft, it would mean that a number of teams under-evaluated that person and passed on him.

  30. Totally agree with that. I was a big Viking fan in the 70’s and now a big Seahawk fan. Wilson is Tarkington but Wilson is faster and has a stronger arm

  31. What’s hilarious is that they never expected Wilson to start. They drafted him as a back up. They expected to start Flynn and he is obviously so crappy that he couldn’t. To give their gm props for picking Wilson you first have to call him an idiot for overpaying Flynn to sit on the bench.

  32. hooterdawg says: Apr 21, 2013 2:00 PM

    What will Wilson bandwagoners say once he gets injured. No one can claim that isn’t a real possibility.
    What a strong point!!! Wait……um…..couldn’t you use that argument against any player in the NFL? Or professional sports for that matter? Way to jump on the “bandwagon” yourself there brainiac.

  33. mungman69 says: Apr 21, 2013 2:52 PM

    Let’s see how good Wilson ( and others ) are after defensive coordinators watch them for a full year.
    Okay, so a year from now how can I get a hold of ya, cuz he’s gonna be even better.

  34. He also went to a team playing the right system with the right coach for him to thrive. The reality is no team in the NFL had a second round grade on Wilson which in itself is pretty amazing.

  35. Yeah, you’re getting ahead of yourself, Wilson won’t be all that this year. Last year was a fluke, in fact the seahawks won’t even get to the playoffs this year.

  36. Its all hindsight folks….If the hawks knew he would be this good they would have drafted him in round 1….
    Im not ready to hand him all pro status just yet but he sure is on his way….

    and lets get one thing straight…. the league isnt looking for the next wilson, they are still looking for the next brady

  37. Somehow j4man1, I am pretty sure they will make the playoffs.
    Seriously, the only thing to prevent them from making the playoffs is if RW is lost to injury.
    I doubt that will happen, last year he was smart enough to avoid the hits that took out RG3.
    During the off-season he has been working hard watching tapes and working out with his teammates.
    His work ethic is one of his best assets.
    Additionally as they were a 5th seed wildcard they have an easier schedule than most of last seasons playoff teams.
    Y0u just make yourself look like a fool to make unsubstantiated comments like you just did.

  38. matthewcarlson1 says:
    “Why was Russell Wilson your pick for ROY over RGIII and Andrew Luck, who both had better stats than him and both played on teams that would’ve been much worse off without them?”

    First of all, if you have a stud RB like Morris, your team has a pretty good possibility of making the playoffs even if the QB were Christian Ponder.

    Second, about 2 of every 3 Colts players of the 2-14 team weren’t on the roster in 2012. The GM was replaced, and only 3 out of 18 of the 2-14 coaches were retained for 2012. It’s hard to conclude that a single guy made all the difference in the Colts’ record last season.

    I felt that RG3 and RW3 were neck-n-neck in the ROY race. With the exceptions that RG3 didn’t play/finish as many regular-season games as RW3, and fewer passing TDs, I applaud RG3 for winning it.

    But Luck certainly did NOT have better stats than Wilson. Besides having fewer passing TDs, nearly twice as many INTs and nearly twice as many fumbles, Luck’s completion percentage was only 54% compared to Wilson’s 64%. Luck’s best rating in a game was 107.5, while breaking 100 only twice…Wilson’s best rating in a game was 136.3, while breaking 107.5 seven times.

  39. My two cents: I bleed Seahawks blue and have since the days of Dave Krieg. I wanted Wilson to win ROY (he did win the Pepsi ROY). But Griffin put up great numbers too, so I’m not going to complain. I was sick when I saw RGIII go down in the wild card game (and madder than hades at Shanny, for letting him play.)

    But these people that put Wilson down, and claim he was nowhere near the first round rooks, are full of donkey dust. Check out Wilson’s pass rating and QB rating for the last half of the year. (Better than most of the “big boys”.)

    The guy that said he’s not Tom Brady was right. I believe that Russ is better than TB, and even beat him early in the season. A “raw rookie” beat NE’s best (with a bomb down the middle into double coverage in the end zone).

    When Wilson leaves Big Ben in the dust, and he will, I have no doubts of that, then you can come up with new excuses to whine about. Until then, check out ALL of the facts before you put a good man down.

  40. Until NFL scouts get over their obsession with measurements, whether body or speed etc., they will continue to miss on guys like Willson & the scouts aren’t gonna change. The worst thing that ever happened to talent evaluation was the invention of the combine. Any job done well is done by the man (or woman). Not by the person’s physical measurements.

  41. Wilson is unique. Each and every game the guy just gets better and better. Look what he did in the playoffs and he brought his team back in both games. The signs are there of someone whose going to be great in the NFL. Finding someone like this only happens maybe every 10+ years.

  42. It’s amazing how short people’s memories are! All this chatter about Luck turned a losing team around as did RGIII,last I checked the Seahawks and the NFC West were the laughing stock of the NFL,and now all of a sudden Wilson inherited a brilliant squad and that’s the reason for his success? Didn’t Andrew Luck inherit the same squad that Peyton Manning had so much success with? Luck did all that coz he’s a good QB,not gonna burn him for that,Wilson did the same coz he’s just as good,if not better.

  43. Anytime someone mentions Wilson, there’s always a troll or trolls who has to mention that he is “going to get hurt” because he lacks size.

    Wilson is 5’10 + 5/8″, and weighs 210 lbs.

    Emmitt Smith, who is one of the most durable player in the history of the NFL, played at 5’10”, 216.

    Not saying Wilson is THAT durable, but, as QBs take fewer hits than RBs, he doesn’t necessarily need to be. Perhaps it is even the case where his smaller stature and elusiveness might help him survive in situations where most QBs would take a hit.

    In any case, any time someone starts talking about how a guy is going to get injured, when he has no history of injuries, you can pretty much guarantee it’s because of wishful thinking.

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