QUARTERBACK RUSSELL WILSON
WHEN DRAFTED: 2012, third round, 75th overall
SEAHAWKS CAREER: 2012-present
WHY HE’S ON THE LIST: We concluded our list with what may turn out to be the most fortuitous pick in Seahawks’ history, the decision to take a flyer on Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012 a few weeks after having signed Matt Flynn as a free agent.
As this story details, it was a pick pretty universally panned at the time, analysts judging that Seattle had reached and/or taken a player that didn’t make sense to take given the signing of Flynn.
Pete Carroll is enthusiastic about everything the Seahawks do. Still, his comments on the day of the drafting of Wilson are interesting to review now, given what Wilson has accomplished. Here’s what Carroll said at the time:
“With Russell, this is such an incredible athlete that has had such extraordinary, historic success and has done some things that people have never thought he’d do before. The fact that he’s also such an extraordinary kid – he can handle all of the pressure that he’s going to be under and all the scrutiny that he always has that he’s going to deal with. We think more than anybody else that was alive in the draft that this guys gives you a chance to have a great player. It’s going to be really exciting to see what he can bring. All he’s ever done is be great and the way he finished at Wisconsin last year was with great finishing effort, extraordinary ability to control the game and then knowing what kind of kid he is and all that athleticism that he has it was just a fantastic chance for us to take right here. It was a great pick for us, so we’re fired up about that.”
And here’s what GM John Schneider said that day:
“His feet and his agility and naturally finding passing lanes, sliding the pocket, he’s has long arms, he’s got big hands, he’s really confident, he gains the trust of everybody around him, he’s one of those guys that – and you’ve heard us talk about this before – he can tilt a room. And he did it in a month at Wisconsin. They lost three games this year and in every one of those games he was driving them down the field at the end of the game looking for a chance to win the game.”
With their strong defense and running game, Seattle has as much balance last season as any recent Super Bowl champ. Still, it doesn’t happen without a pretty elite QB calling the shots. Being the first QB in team history to win a Super Bowl says enough.