Saturday cyber surfing: On Wagner, and Wilson, too

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there about the Seahawks for today, April 28:

Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times takes a closer look at Bobby Wagner, the linebacker from Utah State and the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice: “Bobby Wagner is used to people telling him what he can’t do, used to people suggesting he get real and stop dreaming. But most important, he’s used to ignoring all of them and believing in himself. In high school, friends, teachers, even family members told him they believed only 1 percent of players made it to the NFL. Only one school, Utah State, recruited him to play the game that would become his career. ‘I’m used to people saying I can’t do something and then I prove them wrong,’ Wagner said from Ontario, Calif. ‘And that kind of throws it in their face a little bit.’ ” Welcome to the 2012 Seahawks’ chip-on-your shoulder draft.”

Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil contrasts Wagner’s options to those of Russell Wilson, the quarterback from Wisconsin who was the Seahawks’ third-round draft choice: “Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson had so many options he had his choice of professional sports. Linebacker Bobby Wagner had so few choices coming out of high school he went to the only school that recruited him, Utah State. Wilson was a Colorado Rockies baseball prospect just a year ago while Wagner has spent four years as a college starter, playing all three linebacker positions and building himself into the highest draft choice from his school in 30 years. They might not share a story — or even a position — but they now share a team. Both were chosen by the Seattle Seahawks in Friday’s portion of the annual NFL draft. The Seahawks were selecting Wilson as a quarterback for the future and Wagner as a linebacker for the present.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune was surprised by the Wilson selection, even though Pete Carroll and John Schneider have talked about adding a young QB since they arrived almost in tandem in 2010: “Pete Carroll is serious about this competition thing. Even after signing free agent Matt Flynn to a lucrative multiyear contract to compete for the starting quarterback job with Tarvaris Jackson, the Seattle Seahawks made another significant investment at football’s most important position, selecting Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round with the No. 75 overall selection.”

Nick Eaton at PI.com revisits how baseball helped lead Wilson from North Carolina State to Wisconsin: “In 2010, he was in his redshirt junior year at North Carolina State, where he was starting quarterback on the football team and a star infielder on the baseball team. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, and it seemed his choice was made for him. It was baseball. His father, Harrison, died the day after he was drafted. But he went to Rockies spring training and played Single-A ball in Pasco, Wash., last summer. Eventually, he decided he wanted to go back to football. By that time, N.C. State had released him from his football scholarship, so he decided to go elsewhere. That’s when he transferred to Wisconsin.”

Don Banks at SI.com says count him in on the selection of Russell: “Count me among those who like Seattle’s third-round pick of Russell Wilson, the undersized ex-Wisconsin quarterback the Seahawks took 75th overall. No, he’s not prototypical NFL QB height at just under 5-foot-11, but all he does is make plays and find ways to compensate for his limitations. I’ll take a shot on a guy who has consistently shown the ability to figure out how to rise to the level of his competition, no matter the league.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how the first three players have drafted fill their biggest needs following an active free-agency period: “Think about it. Coach Pete Carroll needed a speed pass rusher for a defense that ranked ninth in the league last season, and got an explosively quick one by selecting West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin in the first round on Thursday. Carroll and general manager John Schneider wanted to add speed at the linebacker position, especially if that player could possibly fill the void in the middle created by the departure of leading tackler David Hawthorne in free agency; and a young quarterback with the potential to be the long-term future at the pivotal position. That’s why they selected Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the second and third rounds on Friday. ‘We’re pleased with the way it’s gone so far,’ ” Schneider said.”

We also take another look at just how surprised Irvin was to the team’s surprising first-round pick: “Irvin did talk with Carroll at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. But that was the last time they communicated – until Thursday night. ‘Since the combine, I haven’t heard from them,’ Irvin said. ‘That’s what really shocked me, because I didn’t think they were really interested in me. This pick just shocked me. I can’t believe it. I’m just astonished right now.’ Asked what he knew about the Seahawks, Irvin offered, ‘I know my man Pete Carroll is the head coach. That’s about it.’ ”


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