Russell Wilson of Wisconsin is poised to be the steal of the 2012 NFL Draft and deserves whatever comparisons to Drew Brees he may get. It is a given that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be the first two quarterbacks taken in the draft and most likely in that order. But what happens after that? Several names have been given consideration as the next top QB’s to look at. Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M and Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State are two frequently mentioned. The search for that prototypical pro style QB is never ending. General managers and head coaches are constantly on the look out for the next big thing. After examing Russell Wilson’s career, I say to those experts, look no further.
First of all, strictly from a statistical standpoint, Wilson has the numbers to back up taking a shot in the draft. However, with so many pass happy offenses in the college ranks, so do a lot of other QB’s. One thing that can’t be overlooked though is his 72.1 percent completion rate and a passer rating of 191.8 in his senior year at Wisconsin. Add to that a TD to interception rate of 8 to 1 at 33 td’s and only 4 int’s you have a guy that stands out. Want more evidence of his ability, take into account that these numbers occurred in a pro style offense that was dramatically different in scheme and terminology than the West Coast offense he had spent the last 3 years in at North Carolina State. And he only started learning the offense in July of the upcoming season. A testament to his intelligence no doubt.
Wilson has also shown to have an NFL caliber arm. He possesses the arm strength to complete all the throws that NFL scouts look for in workouts. Wilson’s high, quick release is typical of NFL quarterbacks. Check out the combine video to see Wilson’s release. Aside from his ability to throw through passing lanes in the pocket, Wilson’s ability to move the pocket and extend the play is noteworthy. Athletically, Wilson is a top of the line QB reminiscent of New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest knock on him seems to be his height, a whopping one inch shorter than superstar Drew Brees, you know the man who just threw for over 5,000 yards breaking Dan Marino’s single season record.
Then there are the intangibles. Those qualities of maturity and leadership often talked about by arm chair analysts when breaking down the abilities of professionals. Well, here again, Wilson gives evidence of what makes an elite QB. The biggest example is the fact that he was able to successfully transition from one offense to another in such a short amount of time. Two different styles and systems of offense. He was a captain when he left NC State and immediately upon starting at Wisconsin was named team captain there as well. In the midst of all the change and challenges, Wilson had to deal with the death of his father. He did so with poise and success.
So when I say Russell Wilson deserves comparisons to Drew Brees, it goes well beyond questions of his height. Wilson possesses many of the same qualities of athleticism, leadership, maturity and passing ability as Brees. Whoever decides to take a “chance” on this young man will definitely have the last laugh. Wilson could be as big a steal as Pro Bowl Houston Texans RB Arian Foster.
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