When the Seahawks selected Russell Wilson in the third round of the NFL Draft, they had an idea the rookie QB could be good. Wilson proved to be even better as fans voted him NFL.com Rookie of the Year.
Those who voted for NFL Rookie of the Year at NFL.com saw something that eluded those with votes for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Russell Wilson had a greater impact on his team than any of the players selected before him, or after him, in last April’s NFL Draft.
The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback was named NFL Rookie of the Year on Saturday night during an awards ceremony in New Orleans as determined by fan vote. Earlier, it was announced that Wilson had finished third in balloting for Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year behind winner Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.
In voting for NFL Rookie of the Year at NFL.com, Wilson received more votes than those other quarterbacks as well as Redskins running back Alfred Morris and running back Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
One factor in the contradictory nature of the outcomes could be that voting for the NFL.com honor lasted longer, so Wilson benefitted from playing progressively better as the season progressed – and was the last of the rookie QBs standing in the playoffs, as Wilson and the Seahawks eliminated RGIII and the Redskins in the wild-card round, when Luck and the Colts also lost.
Along his way, Wilson tied the NFL rookie record by throwing 26 touchdown passes and also broke the league record for passer rating by a rookie QB – as his 100.0 rating and RGIII’s 102.4 both surpassed the previous mark.
During the Seahawks’ five-game winning streak to end the regular season, Wilson had one game where he passed for four touchdowns (in Week 16 against the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers) and another where he ran for three scores (in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills). In the postseason, Wilson rallied the Seahawks from a 14-0 deficit in their 24-14 victory and then overcame a 20-0 deficit to give the Seahawks a momentary lead late in the fourth quarter of their loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round.
Not bad for a guy who was the 75th pick overall in the draft, and had to beat out free-agent addition Matt Flynn and incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson to win the job.
“Well, when we named him the starter we certainly had high hopes that he could (become the player he is now),” coach Pete Carroll said late in the season when asked about his rookie QB. “We never doubted the makeup of the kid and his athleticism. We just didn’t know if he could translate it to his game, and how fast he could do it. And he was able to do it.”
Was he ever.
“He’s been more impressive as he’s grown more and been able to allow us to expand things, and take on ideas and concepts and game plan more so than I wouldn’t have thought. It’s been pretty exciting.”
Wilson was nominated for Rookie of the Week at NFL.com eight times during the regular season and won in Week 10.