04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Seahawks' picks: Round 3/75 - Russell Wilson, QB, 5-11, 206, Washington...Somewhat of a surprise pick by Seattle, but the team loves his skill set and leadership skills. Don't be surprised if Wilson manages to make some noise at quarterback in 2012. - The Sports Xchange
If Wilson was a few inches taller he might rank as the top senior quarterback prospect in the 2012 draft.
Having originally signed with North Carolina State out of high school, Wilson was named the Scout Team MVP while redshirting in 2007. A year later he exploded onto the ACC scene, earning First Team All-ACC honors and the conference's Rookie of the Year with 2,343 yards and a stunning 17-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Though he dropped to second team all-conference honors in 2009, Wilson led the ACC with 31 touchdown passes and posted 3,287 total yards, the third-best mark in school history. Wilson torched the conference again in 2010, completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also led the team with nine rushing touchdowns.
Despite Wilson's success (including a remarkable 76-19 touchdown to interception ratio) as the Wolfpack's quarterback, head coach Tom O'Brien and his staff wanted more from their quarterback, pressuring him to commit full-time to football. Wilson played baseball for N.C. State as a freshman and was drafted in 2009 by the Colorado Rockies.
Unwilling to give up baseball and having already graduated, Wilson took advantage of a now-defunct NCAA rule that allowed him to transfer to another Division I school and play immediately. He did precisely that in 2011, taking over the helm for the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to the Rose Bowl by again demonstrating superior decision-making (33 touchdowns against just four interceptions) and versatility with the football.
Athletic, strong-armed and poised under pressure, Wilson proved to be an immediate standout in two power conferences, easing concerns about his ability to handle the jump in size and competition in the NFL despite his less than ideal stature. Every short quarterback is inevitably compared to Drew Brees. Considering Wilson's production, winning percentage and leadership, he's one of the few who warrant being mentioned in the same breath as the Saints' All-Pro.
Accuracy: Was the nation's most efficient quarterback in 2011, earning a 191.78 QB rating -- over 22 points higher than the next highest rated QB from a pro-style offense (Andrew Luck)... Showcased the ability to consistently throw receivers open versus single coverage as a senior, demonstrating impressive improvement in this area from his time at NC State... Delivers a tight spiral that is easily tracked and caught. Typically hits his receivers in stride whether on zipped crossing routes, touch passes dropped over the top of defenders or line drives leading receivers out of bounds on the deep out.
Arm Strength: Arguably Wilson's most impressive trait, especially considering his lack of ideal size. Can easily make every NFL throw, showing the ability to drive the football to the sideline on a line from the opposite hash. Can send the ball 40-50 yards downfield with a flick of his wrist.
Setup/Release: Efficient set-up and delivery of the ball. Experienced taking snaps from under center and shotgun. Drops back quickly and shows good rhythm and timing despite limited experience playing with Wisconsin's receivers, planting his back foot and driving the quick slant. Has a quick, over the top release and does an excellent job of finding clear passing lanes from which to throw.
Reading Defenses: Cerebral quarterback who is rarely fooled by coverage. Makes strong pre-snap reads and demonstrated improvement as a senior in manipulating the defense with his eyes and legs. Shows good poise in a muddy pocket, stepping up to avoid the rush and challenging linebackers to either commit to stopping him from scrambling or dropping off to cover receivers behind them. Is more than willing to scramble but does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield until the last possible second.
On The Move: Very good elusiveness and speed for the position but his most impressive trait may be his vision. Anticipates pressure well and does a nice job of forcing the defense to commit and taking advantage of the weakness exposed once they do. Very good mobility for bootlegs and roll outs, showing good accuracy and arm strength to fire passes downfield.
Intangibles: Voted a team captain at NC State and Wisconsin... Attempted 379 passes between interceptions -- the longest streak in NCAA history -- over a two year span of 13 games in 2009-10. Finished his collegiate career 30-20, including 11-3 as a senior... Wilson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. The second baseman hit .229 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in the Northwest and South Atlantic leagues. Wilson notified the Rockies in January 2012 that he will pursue playing in the NFL over baseball... Good bloodlines. His father, the late Harrison Wilson III, played football and baseball at Dartmouth and spent time on the San Diego Chargers' practice squad...