Russell Wilson: studying "The Asterisk"
Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:05 PM
The best quarterbacks in the NFL have become skilled at delivering the football to a spot where only the receiver has a chance to make a play on it. Wilson is adept at throwing receivers open in a variety of situations. Here’s a play-action bootleg against North Carolina where Wilson completes a 48-yard pass on first-and-10.
The play begins with an excellent play-action fake where Wilson not only extends the ball towards the runner, but he completes the action by turning his head towards the line of scrimmage just before he begins his roll to the opposite side of the field.
This is a level of detail that Wilson executes consistently with his play-action fakes, and it helps freeze the defense an extra beat before he begins his rollouts. On this play, the N.C. State quarterback unfurls a deep ball that he places 40 yards downfield, intentionally to the sideline, so his receiver can make the best adjustment against his coverage for the reception.
As you can see above, Wilson’s receiver is looking to the inside, but Wilson knows that he is less likely to deliver an accurate deep ball with a throw to the inside, since he’ll have to make that throw across his body. Instead, Wilson places the ball short and to the outside.
Considering that Wilson has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to throw the ball 50-55 yards on the move with accuracy, I believe the placement of this 48-yard completion was intentionally short and to the outside to give his receiver the best chance to make the play.
Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:07 PM
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin: 2,650 DYAR
Important stats: 48 games started, 60.7% completion rate, senior passer rating rose 64.1 points.
I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the ridiculous projection that the Lewin Career Forecast spits out for Russell Wilson. Yes, that projection is even higher than the one for Robert Griffin. No, it doesn't particularly mean that Wilson is a sleeper prospect. There are a few things going on here that the LCF is just not designed to account for.
First and foremost, the change in Wilson's passer rating between his junior and senior years is insane. Remember that earlier I noted that Griffin had a larger senior year passer rating increase than any quarterback in our data set? Well, Wilson's senior year passer rating increase is 40 percent larger than Griffin's. But does it matter when the quarterback is playing in a completely different offense for a completely different school in his last year of college eligibility? At Wisconsin, Wilson got to pick apart defenses that were concentrating on stopping Montee Ball. At North Carolina State, I doubt opponents were quaking in their boots at the thought of Mustafa Greene and Dean Haynes. It goes without saying that there isn't another quarterback in the LCF data set who transferred between his junior and senior years.
There's also the issue of height, another data point where there's nobody in our data set that can be compared to Wilson. At first, it seems strange that LCF doesn't include a variable to discount short quarterbacks, but when you look at the data set that went into creating LCF the reasons are pretty clear. There's no penalty for being 5-foot-11, like Wilson is, because there are no quarterbacks in the data set who are shorter than 6-foot-0. There's no penalty for being only 6-foot-0 because the two quarterbacks who are 6-foot-0 are Drew Brees and Michael Vick.
Quarterbacks who are Wilson's height simply don't get drafted in the first three rounds of the draft, period. The FO master database only includes three quarterbacks who are below six feet tall: Seneca Wallace, Joe Hamilton, and Flutie. That's a fourth-round pick, a seventh-round pick, and an 11th round pick from 25 years ago. Even if we go all the way back to 1991, the only quarterbacks taken in the first six rounds at 6-foot-0 or shorter were Vick, Brees, Wallace, Joe Germaine (fourth round, 1999), and Troy Smith (fifth round, 2007).
Wilson too will probably be drafted on the third day of the draft, round four or later, which would render his absurdly high LCF moot.
From a separate article.
Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:33 PM
Love this kid.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:47 AM
Having said that, I think a place like SF is a great place for Wilson. We have a run heavy offense with a solid offensive line, and he has proven that he is capable of not turning the ball over. Which is exactly what Harbaugh preaches, and is why Alex Smith is still our starting QB. Not sure if everyone knows but Wilson holds the NCAA record for most consecutive pass attempts w/out throwing a INT.
Plus he is light years ahead of Kaepernick from almost every standpoint. If we did draft Wilson, which I would love, I think 2 years down the road he's our starter.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:35 AM
Don't get me wrong, I really like Montee Ball but consider...
The 2010 Badgers were more successful on the ground than the 2011 Badgers. They also had a 3-headed monster in Ball, John Clay, and James White. Ball and White shared responsibilities in 2011. As for the rushing TD record... Sanders had 37, Ball had 32. Ball had 38 TDs if you count his receiving TDs. But in regards to overall TDs, the 2010 Badgers rushed for 48 in 13 games while the 2011 Badgers had 48 TDs in 14 games.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:28 AM
Sanders - 39 touchdowns (44 if including the bowl game)
Ball - 39 touchdowns including the bowl game
Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:36 PM
Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:36 AM
That would be nothing to scoff at considering how many teams can use that sort of guy, and a great value for where he is likely to be taken. I just don't think he will shock everyone and become a franchise guy a team can build around. He's got as good a shot as anyone in this draft though, and not many QBs ever do reach that level. I definitely like him more than guys like Cousins, Foles, and Weeden.
Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:19 PM
Yeah, guys like Todd McShay mentioned Foles as having 2nd round value. I might be in the minority but he's not even one of my top-10 QBs.
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