Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck were tagged as stars the second they left college and were the talk of the town going into the 2012 NFL Draft. But, amid all the noise and hoopla, there was a diamond in the rough: Russell Wilson.
The 5-foot-11 rookie from Wisconsin is not your prototypical NFL quarterback.
He was not drafted in the first round. He did not get the big contract or the media attention that Luck and RGIII did or the commercials. What he did do, though, is make a name for himself in the league.
Where did this third-round pick come from?
He was supposed to be a backup. After the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn as a free agent, it was expected that he would emerge from training camp as the starter. But then something happened: Wilson impressed and won over the Seahawks’ coaches and his teammates in training camp.
The rest is history.
Wilson turned heads in his rookie year as he threw for 3,113 yards (completing 64 percent of his passes), 26 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, good for 100.1 passer rating. Wilson is dangerous; he has the ability to make plays with his legs and the accuracy and ability to throw the deep ball.
Because of what Russell Wilson brings to the table, the Seahawks have become a very scary team, and last night’s shellacking of the New Orleans Saints proves it. Wilson dismantled the Saints’ defense, completing 73 percent of his passes, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
No, Wilson is not going to break any passing records, but what really stands out is his ability to keep plays alive and convert very important third downs. This season, Wilson has a 65 percent completion rate throwing for 2,672 yards, 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions; Wilson has also been dangerous with his legs, scrambling for 456 yards and a touchdown.
Sure, what Luck and RGIII have done in their young careers has been magical, but what Wilson has shown with his scrambles, his bombs downfield, his ability to lead, and his tough mentality has been breathtaking. And due to that he has surpassed the other two former rookie phenoms.
Yes, he’s short for a quarterback at 5-foot-11, but the way he has played in his first two seasons have been huge.