For years, NFL scouts have looked for tall quarterbacks with big hands and wide wing span. Fans think Seattle Seahawks Rookie QB Russell Wilson breaks that mold, but in reality, he has two out of three of those and makes up for his height with his legs, intense commitment to the game and crazy football knowledge. Wilson may not be a 6’5″ quarterback with a laser rocket arm like Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, but he does have a rocket arm and can run circles around any defensive lineman in the league.
Wilson should not change the way NFL scouts look at quarterbacks because he is a “diamond in the rough”. He is a one out of a million player who has been playing with his eyes at his lineman’s chest since he was in high school. He knows how to use his height to his advantage. Him being in this league will not change the fortune of short up and comers. I know what you going to say, “Well, what about New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees?”
Brees is another exception to the rule. How many starting quarterbacks in this league are six feet tall or shorter? Two, the fact there are two is amazing in general. They don’t have to account for just accuracy, but where the passing lanes are right down to where the ball is snapped. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady stands straight up in the pocket and sees those same passing lanes, but they are out in front of him. Not right next to his chest.
What Wilson has done this season is nothing short of extraordinary. He tied Manning’s rookie touchdown record throwing the ball 182 times less. That’s part efficiency, but lets not look too far into that because Manning did not have Marshawn Lynch “beastin” his way for almost 1,600 yards on the ground.
When scouts are at the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine don’t expect them to change the way they look at quarterbacks. They still want to have a 6’5″ quarterback with a laser rocket arm and that will never change. Wilson is the exception to the height expectations in this league, not the rule.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33