Quarterback Russell Wilson joined Max Unger (No. 95), Percy Harvin (No. 90), and Earl Thomas (No. 66) as the fourth Seahawk to be represented on NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 players of 2013, appearing at No. 51 on tonight’s unveil of players ranked 51-60.
He’s also the fourth quarterback to crack the Top 100, as his peers voted him higher than fellow signal callers Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers (No. 81), Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (No. 76), and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 61).
It was what Wilson did a season ago for the Seahawks that landed him on this list.
After being selected with the 75th overall pick (third round) of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson beat out incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn to claim the starting job in preseason. He led Seattle on an 11-5 campaign where he tied Peyton Manning’s 1998 record for the most touchdown passes by a rookie (26), became the first rookie in NFL history to lead his team to an undefeated home record, set a club record with a 100.0 passer rating – the second-best ever by a rookie, and quarterbacked a 24-14 come-from-behind victory in the Wild Card round over the Washington Redskins to give the club their first road playoff win since 1983.
And all of those rookie accolades landed Wilson in the Pro Bowl, where he went 8-of-10 passing for 98 yards, tossing three touchdowns in the process.
He is the first of last season’s trio of first-year quarterbacks who were in the running for rookie of the year honors to be unveiled on the Top 100 list. But you can bet that last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck and 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III will show up on the list in the coming weeks.
The Top 100 countdown picks up again next Thursday with players ranked 41-50.