Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson has all of the necessary tools to be a first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, but that is unlikely to happen given his lack of prototypical NFL size.
Wilson, in his lone season with the Badgers, tossed 33 touchdown passes to only four interceptions. The senior passed for 3,175 yards in this run-first offense.
Stature isn't everything
- Extremely accurate passer, especially in the intermediate and short areas of the field (completed 72.8 percent of his throws in 2011)
- NFL-caliber arm strength
- Athletic and versatile - was drafted by MLB's Colorado Rockies in 2009
- Poised in the pocket and under duress
- Very intelligent - rarely makes a mental mistake
- Adept at reading defenses and manipulating coverage
- Excellent vision and anticipation
- Accurate on the move
- Experienced in a pro-style offense
- Quickly digested Wisconsin's playbook and started opening day after transferring from North Carolina State earlier that summer
- Team captain at both Wisconsin and NC State
- Efficient throwing motion - smooth, over-the-top release
- Size (5-foot-10 5/8, 204 pounds) is his only glaring drawback
- Played behind one of the best offensive lines in the nation
- Essentially no upside - what you see is what you get
Expected draft placement
Wilson's lack of size will certainly hurt him, and he will also be a 24-year-old rookie, although the latter point isn't such a big deal in a draft class with a soon-to-be 29-year-old Brandon Weeden.
Expect Wilson to come off the board no earlier than the late second round. He may slide into the mid-fourth, but a strong third-round grade is appropriate for his skill set.
Given his comparisons to Drew Brees, don't be surprised to see the New Orleans Saints take a shot on him. After all, Brees is 33 years old and remains entangled in a contract dispute with the embattled club.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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