Size Matters: Russell Wilson
Yesterday I discussed LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu’s size (or lack of) and how it could affect his draft stock. The conclusion was that there’s a good chance he could overcome his small stature and become a productive NFL player. However, size matters at some positions more than others. 2012 QB prospect Russell Wilson is a good example of a successful college player who is almost certainly too small to succeed in the NFL.
Wilson, who is currently sporting a 74.8 Cmp% and a gaudy 12.53 YPA, is listed at 5’11 191. Not exactly the prototype size for an NFL QB. But is he too small? Recent history tells us that he most likely is. Since 1980, only 4 different QB’s under 6’0 have attempted more than 10 passes in a season:
Not exactly a great track record. Seneca Wallace performed well for half a season in 2008 and Doug Flutie had a solid 1998 campaign. But otherwise, short QB’s have not fared well in the NFL. The most successful short QB is Drew Brees, who is often used to counter the “too small for the NFL” argument. Unfortunately, Brees is a rare exception. Were we to include 6’0 QB’s like Brees in the discussion we’d see that there haven’t been too many more success stories:
Michael Vick and Joe Theismann stand out as other success stories, but other than 2010 Vick has not had much success as a passer and Theismann might be one of the most overrated QB’s of all time (check out that TD to INT ratio). Take out Drew Brees and 2010 Michael Vick and 6’0 QB’s have thrown a combined 294 TD and 286 INT with a 56 Cmp%. Not too great. The one thing that Wilson has going for him is that his college numbers aren’t significantly worse than Brees’:
While Wilson’s performance has been pretty similar thus far, it should be noted that it’s rare for a top NFL QB to ever post a <60 Cmp% in college. That he hasn’t hit that benchmark until this season could spell trouble for him if he even gets a shot in the pros.