Commentary

Rookie Watch: Wilson's got game

Seahawks have only scratched the surface of their QB's potential

Originally Published: September 26, 2012
By Matt Williamson | ESPN.com
Seattle's offense is about as basic and predictable as there is in the NFL right now. Russell Wilson might be the most sheltered quarterback in the league.

Obviously, the Seahawks' theory is to play amazing defense (which they do) and run the ball over and over. That makes sense and is easy on a rookie quarterback, but it is just so tough to win games without scoring a lot of points or being able to consistently throw the football.

That being said, I am still extremely high on Wilson, and before long, I expect him to be a legitimate starting NFL quarterback who can handle the entire workload. I very much believe Wilson is at his best in an up-tempo approach, often from the shotgun. But we only see that very late in games, when Seattle is scrambling for points.

If you compare how Seattle is handling Wilson to how Washington is handling Robert Griffin III, it isn't even close. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is doing a way better job of getting his QB comfortable and playing to his strengths.

On the first scoring play of Monday night, a long touchdown pass to Golden Tate, Wilson had the tight end on a slightly shallower route and forced Green Bay's Charles Woodson to pick which receiver to cover. Woodson chose wrong, but I wonder -- considering Woodson's fantastic track record -- if Wilson was able to manipulate the future Hall of Famer with his body posture and eyes, which is a real veteran move.

One thing that is amazing, and possibly stems from having a new quarterback, is an inordinate number of pre-snap penalties Seattle's offense takes. And as for that ridiculous Hail Mary to clinch the Seahawks' Monday night win, I can't give Wilson much credit for that one. But he sure does have a knack for making things happen.

Again, this young man will be a fine NFL quarterback before long. Below are my top 10 rookies. I must say, few have really distinguished themselves and the bottom half of this list could fuel much controversy. As it stands today, this year's rookie class doesn't compare to the excellent one of a year ago.

To see the rest of Matt Williamson's rankings of the top NFL rookies, you must be an ESPN Insider.