Before the 2012 NFL draft, then-Eagles head coach Andy Reid identified Russell Wilson as a quarterback he thought had the potential to develop into a great one. And the Eagles thought he’d be available to them in the third round. He wasn’t.
The Eagles went with Fletcher Cox in the first round, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry with their two picks in the second round, and then hoped to get Wilson with their third-round pick. But the Seahawks took Wilson earlier in the third round, and the Eagles ended up taking Nick Foles in the third round instead.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says that’s a pick he still kicks himself over.
“[Wilson] is a player we didn’t get, and I’ll always regret it,” Lurie said, via DelawareOnline.com. “It was someone I really wish we had drafted in the second round and didn’t wait. But we really didn’t think that anyone would jump us and take Russell, so that was that.”
Lurie said there’s usually some luck involved in acquiring and developing a franchise quarterback.
“It’s very, very difficult to project what you call franchise or what we might call franchise quarterback,” he said. “It happens. It just happens. After year one or year two, is Josh Allen a franchise quarterback? Was he even thought to be a franchise quarterback when Buffalo drafted him? I think the answers are clearly no, no and no. He developed into one. We all have this vision, myself included, of an automatic franchise quarterback. It’s almost nonexistent and when it does exist, you’re very, very lucky to have that.”
The Eagles didn’t get lucky with where Wilson landed in the draft. And they learned the lesson that if you think a prospect has the potential to be a franchise quarterback, don’t wait to draft him.