Seahawks' Wilson was worth the wait in draft

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 15, 2013 - 8:35 AM

The Seahawks gambled he would fall in the draft.

 

With the 47th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Utah State.

No offense, Bobby, but your new coach, Pete Carroll, wanted no part of you on that April day 19 months ago. His sights were fixed on a smaller prize of greater potential value: 5-11, 206-pound Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson.

“It killed us not to take Russell in the second round,” Carroll said Wednesday. “But we made it through [to the third round].”

But first, Carroll and the Seahawks would have to weather 27 picks before going back on the clock. The Vikings were among those who passed, taking cornerback Josh Robinson 66th overall. The Bills also joined them at No. 69 (receiver T.J. Graham), while the No. 70 Jaguars (punter Brian Anger) and No. 74 Chiefs (offensive tackle Donald Stephenson) followed.

Then, with the 75th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Seahawks selected Wilson, or, as Carroll calls him, the “franchise changer.” And that pick came just a month after the Seahawks had appeared to settle their quarterback situation by signing Matt Flynn as their starter via free agency. “I’m just glad that [General Manager] John Schneider figured it out and led the charge,” Carroll said. “We didn’t want to miss a chance on [Wilson], but John is extremely savvy and knew the lay of the land. He knew we could do it. He couldn’t have been more correct in every way, from evaluating him to determining where to take him, that he was a great kid and that he could change the fortunes of the franchise.”

Twenty-six regular-season games later, Wilson, 24, leads the NFC-leading Seahawks (9-1) into a home game against the 2-7 Vikings, whose race for quarterback of the future is a neck-and-neck-and-neck battle between current starter Christian Ponder, recently signed Josh Freeman and a prospect in next year’s draft.

Wilson enters the game as the fifth-ranked quarterback in the league. He’s completing 63.4 percent of his passes (163 of 324) for 2,132 yards (8.3 per attempt), 17 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 101.8 passer rating. Throw in the league’s No. 2-ranked running game led by Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and the probable Seattle debut of Percy Harvin and, well, things could get troublesome for the Vikings’ 30th-ranked defense on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

“Their quarterback really, really makes a big difference,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “He makes everybody better.”

So, once again, quarterback-needy teams throughout the league are left looking at the evolution of another former hidden gem and asking whether they could have done anything differently during a draft preparation process that’s already beyond exhaustive.

Carroll was asked to name the greatest trait about Wilson that so many teams missed on draft day. He chose to look at it another way.

“I think it’s what they feared,” Carroll said. “They feared that he wasn’t big enough to play. There’s nothing about his game that isn’t just extraordinary. … They missed it because of the factor that he wasn’t as tall as people thought he needed to be. We didn’t care about that. We wanted to know how it was going to pan out. We weren’t really sure. That’s why we [took] him in the third round.”

Wilson was asked the same question.

“One of the things I always pride myself on,” he said, “is always being poised in clutch situations.”

Wilson said he aspires to be “like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and the Peyton Mannings of the world.” To do that, he said, one needs to do more than put up good numbers.

“When situations arise, you want your quarterback to be the calm in the storm,” he said. “That’s what I try to bring to the table.”

Since 1970, the record for wins by a quarterback in his first two seasons is 22, by Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. Wilson sits at 20 with six more regular-season games left. He’s also 12-0 at home and 16-2 in his past 18 games. And in those past 18 games, his 109.5 passer rating ranks second in the NFL behind Manning’s 112.7.

“I believe in my talent,” Wilson said. “I believe that my height doesn’t define my skill set. I believe that I can do everything I can to play at a high level.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close