Why I Hate The Russell Wilson Pick

January 28, 2012; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Russell Wilson (16) of Wisconsin looks to throw during the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

Hate is a really strong word. I almost never use it. It’s simply too definitive. It is the ultimate black and white word in a universe of infinite greyscale. So when I do break it out, you know that there’s no wiggle room in the way that I feel. Unfortunately, that exactly how I feel about the Seahawks using a 3rd round pick on QB Russell Wilson.

Never in the history of the NFL has a 5-10 QB had sustained success. It just hasn’t happened. And it’s not for the lack of trying. There’s been plenty of really good college QBs who were simply too short to make it in the NFL. If none of them could, why do we think Wilson can?

And I don’t care that he’s got long arms and a high release point. Do you really think that he’s the only 5-10 QB with those attributes in the past 50 years? nope, sorry, I don’t buy it. Like it or not, 6-4 is the NFL QB prototype for a reason.

And no, Drew Brees isn’t a sufficient reason to believe that Wilson can make it in the NFL. Not only is Brees a full 2 inches taller than Wilson, but Brees himself proves that it probably isn’t possible. Brees is the exception that proves the rule. Look at everything that Brees is, not just his height. He’s got a fantastic arm, a lightning quick delivery, flawless footwork and mechanics, uncanny accuracy, and an amazingly high football IQ. And even with all of that, he still struggled for much of his time in San Diego. It wasn’t until he got a lot of talent around him before he was able to carry the load.

Are you really sure that Wilson has all those qualities? And even if he does, what quality, what attribute is going to make up for the fact that he’s 2 full inches shorter than Brees. Isn’t Wilson going to have to something even better than Brees to make up for that? I just don’t see how that’s possible.

Lets face it, all of you will admit that there is height minimum to play QB in the NFL if you’re being honest with yourself. 5-10, 5-8, 5-5? It’s there and you know. Admit it. So why is it that my Seahawks have to be the team that establishes that minimum? Let some crappy team waste their time with it.

The Seahawks have the talent to have a top 5 defense and a top 10 running game. With that, they should be super bowl contenders if the QB and passing game dont screw the entire thing up. Now is not the time to be wasting years trying to figure out if there’s been a massive paradigm shift in what makes an acceptable NFL Quarterback. Finding a QB with all of the requisite skills to be successful is tough enough. Why waste time on player who, even if it turns out that he does in fact have all those skills, that he still might fail because of his height.

That is why this pick simply makes no sense. Instead of getting a player who can play now and help with team win and get to the next level, Pete Carroll and John Schneider take a player who likely wont play a snap in 2012, and may never have what it take to play in the league at all just because he’s too short to get it done.

And before you completely crucify me for my opinion, realize that the rest of the NFL agrees with me. If you look at the film, Russell should have been a top 10 pick. He dropped to the third round entirely because the NFL doesn’t believe that a QB can win when he’s only 5-10. I mean seriously, there was a punter taken before Wilson. A Punter!

Now before you get the wrong idea about what kind of fan I am, I’m not going to be rooting for Wilson fail. I want more than anything for him to prove me wrong and become a truly elite player. I’m going to be rooting for him to succeed at the same level that I do for Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and the rest of my favorites. Thats just the way I roll.

He’s hoping that I’m wrong. I just have a strong feeling that I’m not going to be.

Topics: Draft.Featured, NFL Draft, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks

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  • chucko24

    Some people LOVE to be told they can’t do something…then they go and prove the world wrong. I operate that way and hopefully so does Russel WIlson. I think he may be the best QB on the Seahawks roster.

  • Organized_Opponent

    I completely agreed with the opinion that he is too short. Then I watched some tape and now I’m not so sure. I think there is something special about this kid….I believe he is another exception (like Brees) to the height issue with short Qb’s. The more I hear him talk, the more I see him make difficult throws with his BIG arm, the more I see him find throwing lanes and relase the ball quickly….the more I am glad they are taking a chance on him. 

  • rational_commentary

    I think this article was written simply to attract eyeballs to the website and help drive ad revenue. Nothing more. Anyone who knows anything about Wilson’s body of work, especially the past year at Wisconsin as part of an NFL caliber offense, would not dwell on 1-2″ of body height. Seems ignorant at best. I will agree though that Wilson’s future success (or that of any quarterback regardless of height) is dependent on having the right complimentary talent around you on the same side of the ball.

  • Hawkman

    No problem that they drafted him, but I would have waited one more round. My problem is ( and I hope I am wrong) is I just don’t see Irwin (sp.?) bruce   being what they needed at DE . Granted they will play him basically on pass downs but at 240 -245 is he really going to be big and strong enough to hold up against NFL o-linemen?  I was hoping to see DeCastro picked and then a stud WR along with a couple of quality LB’s. I know they got 1 LB in the kid from Utah , he will be very good. But overall ( and I know I don’t do this for a living) I was disapointed with alot of this draft. Some good FA choices after though.

  • Keith_12thMR

     @rational_commentary Do you really think that Wilson is the only 5-10 QB in the past 50 years who had a tremendous “body of work” in college? Wilson’s success in college doesn’t mean it’ll translate to the NFL.

  • Keith_12thMR

     @Organized_Opponent I’ve never had a problem with what I saw on the tape when it came to Wilson. Like I said, had he been 6 inches taller he’s have been a top 10 pick. In fact, Id have had him above RG3 on my board if he was.

  • Evilmd80

    I don’t like where they drafted him, as many have argued.  I was pissed when I heard about it from a friend who was watching the draft live.  However, after coming back in off the ledge and watching some video of the kid and perusing his stats, I came to conclusion (personally, of course) that it’s not the wasted pick some people are making it seem.  Yes, he’s 5’10″, but he does have longer arms and the biggest hands of any QB in this year’s draft at 10 34″.  This tells me he should be able to get the ball out over the arms of defenders and his O-line.  Let’s not forget either, that he played at in good D1 conferences in the ACC and Big 10.  If he had put up the numbers that he did (3175 yds, 31 tds, 4 ints, 73% completion and another 335 yds and 6tds running) playing for south midwest eastern arkansas or some other D2 or D3 school, then I’d be more skeptical as to whether he could even compete at the NFL level, but he didn’t, he put those numbers up on a Wisconsin team that was in the Rose Bowl last year.  The average height of the Wisconsin offensive line last year was 6’5″.  That’s the same average height along the Seahawks line.  Will they need to roll him out?  Sure, but do I think that he can make throws from the pocket?  Absolutely.  Remember that he’s got a much stronger arm than Kellen Moore (and that’s why he went undrafteed: short with a weak arm) and he has a pretty quick release and a high football IQ.  Of course, only time will tell.  

  • goofyrider63

    “Look at everything that Brees is, not just his height. He’s got a fantastic arm, a lightning quick delivery, flawless footwork and mechanics, uncanny accuracy, and an amazingly high football IQ.” This is where your argument completely falls apart. At first skim, I thought this list was about Russell Wilson. Instead, it’s used as a contrast comparison, so I’m guessing you’ve never seen Russ play, studied his stats, or seen his tapes. Then, you went ahead and wrote an entire article about why this pick stinks. I’m new here, but a poorly researched article about a popular, much-documented football player on a sports blog isn’t a good first impression. But, Pete Carroll seems like a smart guy, and he thanks you on YouTube for something (not exactly sure what), so maybe it’s not all bad here. Anyway, I’ll give coach the benefit of the doubt. About 12th Man, I mean.

  • Keith_12thMR

     @goofyrider63 I’ve scouted a ton of his games in my evaluations of him and the other players on Wisconsin and the Big 10. I even said that the tape shows that’d he’d been would have been a top 10 pick.  
     
    Bringing up Brees was done because every keeps using him as a example when saying that Wilson will be successful. All i said is that Brees is a the perfect storm of factors that allow him to be successful, and you have no idea if all of Wilson’s skills will translate to the NFL at the same level, and if they do, it may not be enough.

  • Keith_12thMR

     @Evilmd80 I find college stats to be completely useless when evaluating players. So much depends on the system that they play for, and the talent around him. Keep in mind that Wilson played behind by far the best O-Line in college football. The record holders at the college level, Chung, Walter, etc. were all useless at the NFL level. I study the tape and scout their skills. The stats simply aren’t a useful tool for scouting college players anymore.

  • GMunn

    I’m not having it.
    He’s just 3 cm shorter than Drew Brees and Michael Vick. Do those 3cm make all the difference? It’s a third round pick, if he busts he busts, but the upside is well worth the risk.
    He might not be the only 5’10 (and 5/8ths) QB to come out of college with a tremendous body of work, but usually those “tremendous body of works” are really a “tremendous body of work… for a 5’10 QB”. How many other quarterbacks of ANY size have come to a new team and set the all-time single-season record for passing efficiency in their first year?
    In addition to that, he holds FBS records for the following:Most consecutive pass attempts without an interception
    Most consecutive games with a touchdown pass
     
    And his 33 Big Ten TD passes is also second all-time only to Drew Brees.
    He might be small, but the results speak for himself. Wilson is a straight up player.

  • goofyrider63

     @Keith_12thMR No one KNOWS how ANYONE’s skills will translate to the NFL. All anyone can do is make educated guesses based on what they’ve already seen. Russell’s been touted as having all the qualities you mentioned above by professionals and laymen throughout his career, and there’s been plenty of ink, tape, and stats to back it up. Maybe you don’t think the Seahawks should have picked a qb at all, and that’s fine. I’ve seen that argument around, too, and that probably holds more water. But, if your only complaint about the pick is his height, that’s about as rational as preferring a taller guy whose skills, ability, and experience don’t come near Wilson’s. We are talking about winning games here, right? Maybe if a shorter qb has better focus, better discipline, better natural ability, less personal drama, is smarter, and just plain works harder than most quarterbacks… maybe that makes him better than a lotta 6’4″ guys. Maybe that particular “perfect storm” has never shown up in the NFL for 50 years. All those NFL record-setters were firsts; that means it hadn’t been done before. It didn’t mean breaking the previous record was impossible. It just meant that not everybody can do it. Nobody’s saying Wilson’s the best in the world. But there’s reason to believe, by some of the criteria you yourself have mentioned, that he’s better than a lot.

  • goofyrider63

     @Keith_12thMR  @Evilmd80 Now I’m curious about something. What specifically bothers you about his lack of height? Getting balls batted down, risk of injury, blocked vision? Or is it just a general fear of the unfamiliar?

  • Evilmd80

     @Keith_12thMR I didn’t throw those stats out as a means to predict his NFL success, but rather to show that even at 5’10″ behind a mammoth line and versus good competition, he was able to put up good numbers.  The Badgers run a West Coast offense and we run a West Coast offense, so the transition into our playbook, especially with his football smarts, SHOULD be smooth and he might even impress during the preseason.   Like I initially said, i’m not in love with how early they picked him, but I do like the pick.  

  • kt0071

    I didn’t like the majority of the Seahawks draft, but this was one pick that I liked. Sure he’s short for an NFL QB, but unlike Tavaris Jackson, he has tremendous upside. We know what Jackson can do, he’s not going to get any better. He will never be able to lead the ‘hawks to a win in the 4th Qtr. Assuming Flynn beats out Jackson for the starting job, I think there is a good chance Jackson gets the boot and we keep Wilson and Portis as the back-ups. Huge upgrade at QB over last season.

  • bellefson91

    It’s a pretty lazy argument to say that since no one has done it before no one else can. If you’re going to tell us why you hate the Wilson pick, tell us what he does that makes you not like him, not how he fits the profile of a small QB. We’ve all heard that before. Brees is an exception to the “height” rule but is a great exception at that. You think that the width of your thumb that separates them in height will be the difference between record-breaking QB numbers and a guy who can’t start? I just can’t buy that.

  • Biestieboy

    Russell is 5’10 3/4, which gets rounded to 5’11″ on any roster listing. For those who say no quarterback less than 6 feet has ever succeeded, you obviously just don’t know your football history.
     
    Eddie LaBaron (known as “Little Eddie”) was 5’9″, as was Doug Flutie. Sonny Jurgenson was 5’11″, and he was one of the greatest ever QBs (and don’t give me that QB rating bullshit…the rules were very different when Sonny played, and you can’t compare across eras). Joe Theisman was listed at 6 feet, but was doubtless shorter than that, and a friend of mine who is 5’9″ said he has met Mike Vick and that he is “maybe an inch taller than me.” Pat Haden had a fair amount of success as a starter with the Rams, and he was 5’10″. There is actually also quite a bit of doubt as to whether Drew Brees is really 6 feet tall.
     
    As for Russell Wilson, he played in two pro-style offenses for two different D-I colleges. He was a four year starter and threw 109 TD passes vs. 30 interceptions. He also threw for over 11,000 yards. He has few peers on roll-outs and play-action plays, and while an excellent pocket passer, he is also always a threat to run, either on a designed play or on a scramble.
     
    During the last season, Russell had only three passes batted down, which was fewer than 6’7″ Brock Osweiler. He has a high release, and is great at finding passing lanes.  
    Russell holds three NCAA records:
     
    *Most passes without an interception–389
    *Most consecutive games with at least one TD pass–38
    *Highest ever QB rating–191.8 (better than RG III)
     
    Russell was all-ACC in his freshman year. This year, he finished 9th in Heisman voting, was third-team All-American, and won the Greise-Brees award as the best QB in the Big Ten (besting Kurt Cousins).
     
    Especially as a Big Ten player, he played against many of the fastest, biggest, and most athletic players in the country, and he excelled. His o-line averaged about 6-5 and 320 pounds, and he had no problem seeing and throwing over them. It’s not clear why you think he wouldn’t succeed at the next level.
     
    Instead of listening to Mel Kyper, who never played the game, listen to guys like John Gruden, who know football inside out, and can’t stop singing his praises.
     
    GB
    Brooklyn, NY
     
     

  • Keith_12thMR

     @goofyrider63  @Evilmd80 Pretty much all of the above. Mostly for me it’s the lack of field vision. When I looked at the tape from wisconsin, the O-line opened up these huge gaps in the defense for him to see/pass through. He just wont get those gaps at the Pro-Level.

  • goofyrider63

     @Keith_12thMR  @Evilmd80 Have you seen any NC State footage?

  • J

    Hahaha. Looks like you were wrong

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.weber.731135 Hawks Playbook

    Dead wrong!

  • yyyuuufffaaagg

    How stupid do you feel now. Please keep your opinion to yourself this year football expert.

  • Little foot

    Who should have the Seahawks drafted with that 3rd round pick?

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