The NFL Draft is a crapshoot. Talent evaluators watch countless hours of film and view extensive live action. Even with this preparation, there are no guarantees. Years ago, the “ideal” quarterback stood around 6-foot-4 while functioning from the pocket. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still incredible, so this idea is not completely dead.
More “hybrid” signal callers have arrived though that have challenged such conventional wisdom. A prime example would be Russell Wilson, who in just his second season has the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. He shows solid passing ability while also hurting defenses with his legs. Before Wilson started his incredible journey, there was a road block.
Concerns about Wilson’s 5-foot-11 height led to him falling to the third round. Supposedly, one team had some interest, but it never happened. Reports have stated that former New York Jets GM Terry Bradway wanted to select him. What happened was Seattle taking the quarterback at 75th overall, two picks before Gang Green took linebacker Demario Davis. Davis has shown potential, but what if the Jets had traded up or even took Wilson earlier?
At the time, starter Mark Sanchez was coming off a career-high 26 touchdown passes, but had the same amount of turnovers. His regression continued as they went 6-10 in 2012. The Seahawks, however, reached the Divisional Playoffs.
Statistically, Wilson has wowed with 52 touchdowns and 19 interceptions during his first two regular seasons. Sanchez and this year’s starter Geno Smith combined for 25 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. It is hard to tell if Wilson would have enjoyed such success with New York’s less-than-stellar receiving corps. His pocket poise that has been an issue for New York’s quarterbacks, combined with a solid defense, may have changed results.
Smith could turn out to be solid, but we will never know if Seattle’s young star might have had the same magical impact as a member of the Jets.