Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 12.
#12. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
After winning the starting quarterback job over veterans Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson in last year’s training camp, Russell Wilson led Seattle to an 11-5 record, winning one playoff game and coming 25 seconds close to winning another.
Now, the Seahawks are considered favorites to represent the NFC in New York in February. If Wilson can repeat what he did last year, there’s no reason that can’t happen.
Physical traits and athleticism
Wilson is somewhere between 5-10 and 5-11, which is considered short for a quarterback in the NFL. Last year, he proved everyone wrong, perhaps making a statement about succeeding in the league even at that height. Wilson nicely compensates for the height drawbacks with great mobility, which allows him to get outside of the pocket, providing clean throwing lanes. Seattle occasionally runs the read-option with Wilson, utilizing his speed. Grade: 7.5/10
Wilson has a strong arm and can make deep comeback throws and deep outs with ease despite his 5-10 stature. His arm strength doesn’t compare to that of quarterbacks such as Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford, but it’s good enough to succeed. He doesn’t rely on his arm an excessive amount. Grade: 8/10
There hasn’t been a time where I haven’t seen Wilson set his feet inside the pocket. His footwork is excellent. His three, five, and seven step dropbacks are consistent with little to no flaws. His pocket movement is also good, which helps him avoid sacks and get the ball out without taking hits. Grade: 8.5/10
Fans and broadcasters know Wilson spends countless hours in the film room and looks to constantly improve his mental game. He did a good job in 2012 of recognizing blitzes and getting the ball out quickly. He didn’t miss many reads in the passing game, either, and thrives under the spotlight. Grade: 8.5/10
Before the draft, Wilson’s intangibles were perhaps his strongest asset, with his height being his only disadvantage. There were reports before Seattle selected him about how he used to get up at 5:30 every morning in grade school and throw footballs with his dad. He worked hard to win the starting job in last year’s camp, a job that nobody expected him to win after he was drafted. His intangibles are off the charts, which is part of the reason he’s been successful in the NFL so far. Grade: 9/10
Russell Wilson is a star-caliber quarterback, if he’s not a star already. After a very successful 2012 for Wilson which included proving about everyone wrong about who could and couldn’t succeed in this league, he looks to lead a team to the Super Bowl after being pegged as NFC favorites earlier in the offseason. Overall Grade: 41.5/50