Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Revisiting pre-draft look at Russell Wilson
By Mike Sando
Pete Carroll and his Seattle Seahawks coaching staff have shown little use for conventional wisdom.
They've built a strong, ascending defense in decidedly unconventional fashion. As discussed Tuesday, we'll be better off setting aside the usual templates when analyzing what Carroll and the Seahawks might do at quarterback.
Yes, it is possible the team will go into the 2012 regular season with a rookie third-round quarterback standing less than 5-foot-11. Russell Wilson will need a strong exhibition season and training camp to make that happen, of course.
Tony Softli, former personnel evaluator for the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams, backed Wilson as an immediate threat to Matt Flynn. He also called Wilson a future star.
"Flynn will have his hands full in a training camp competition against this star in the making," Softli predicted.
A big thanks to Nick Andron for passing along what has to be the most in-depth analysis on Wilson to date.
Matt Waldman's debut piece for Football Outsiders ran in early April, before the draft and well before Wilson made a positive first impression during offseason practices. Waldman studied three games from Wilson's career at North Carolina State, each against a strong ACC opponent. He saw a smart, resourceful player with a strong arm, uncanny deep-ball accuracy (even on the move) and solid fundamentals. He stopped short of guaranteeing Wilson's success, but he saw parallels between Wilson and Drew Brees.
"Considering the examples from Wilson's junior year in the Atlantic Coast Conference where he’s effective on deep passes off play-action, throws receivers open, and improvises on the move, his potential to develop into an NFL quarterback is better than his height may indicate," Waldman wrote. "Still, it is reasonable to approach Wilson’s NFL prospects with skepticism. Brees never overcame doubts from the organization that drafted him. ... However, as Brees, Tom Brady, Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, and several others have demonstrated, careers don’t end due to an inauspicious beginning."
There has been nothing inauspicious about Wilson's beginning to this point. He's fallen into a perfect situation, one featuring an open-minded coaching staff, no established starter and a zone scheme requiring quarterback movement.