Professional Soccer Focus’s annual “PFF50” record of the 50 finest gamers within the NFL is trickling out, with the highest ten to be revealed tomorrow. We wont have to attend that lengthy to search out out the place the Seahawks’ franchise quarterback ranked, as he landed on the respectable place of twenty-second. Per Sam Monson of PFF:
“Because the begin of the 2018 season, the one lively quarterback with the next general PFF grade than Wilson is Patrick Mahomes. Wilson’s season unraveled fairly rapidly down the stretch final yr, however earlier than that time, he was the front-runner for MVP and had been enjoying at an extremely excessive degree for a few years. Wilson has the very best big-time throw fee within the league during the last three years at 7.9%, and solely Aaron Rodgers has a decrease turnover-worthy play fee than Wilson’s 2.3%.”
Russ finally ends up one spot behind Chargers’ move rusher and former third general decide Joey Bosa, and one spot forward of Denver defensive again Justin Simmons. He’s solely the third quarterback to make the record to this point, rating forward of Josh Allen and Dak Prescott. Along with this, he’s at the moment the one Seahawks participant to make the record. Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner made appearances final yr (Adams was nonetheless listed as a Jet on the time), and each are candidates to crack the highest ten, however we must wait one other day to see if PFF agrees. What we do know proper now could be that Wilson dropped fourteen positions from his preseason rating final yr when PFF had him within the high ten (seventh general). This brings up some questions, however primarily… are there actually twenty one gamers going into the 2021 season who are higher at what they do than Russell Wilson?
The Seahawks completed 2020 on a chilly streak offensively, and all of us watched as the identical crew that set the scoreboard on hearth for the primary half of the season struggled to regulate to an improved slate of defenses within the second half. However after posting team- and career-record stats together with main his squad again to a different NFC West title and postseason look, I discover it troublesome to think about why Wilson is ranked considerably decrease heading into the approaching season than he was final yr. Factoring in his speeding, he mixed for over 4,700 yards of whole offense and 42 touchdowns. And there may be little cause to suppose that his tempo will decelerate; new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s scheme is already receiving rave evaluations from gamers, and the passing assault will as soon as once more function two of probably the most proficient large receivers within the league in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, together with explosive rookie D’Wayne Eskridge. Wilson will flip 33 in November, however after posting two of his most statistically spectacular seasons in ‘19 and ‘20, he seems to be each bit the a part of a sign caller who has many productive years forward of him. And the rumors of the demise of his floor sport are wildly exaggerated; final season, Wilson posted over 500 speeding yards for the primary time in three years, and tied for his second finest YPC with 6.2. His PFF speeding grade of 75.9 was the second better of his profession, falling only a hair behind his rookie rating of 76.1.
Additional concerning PFF scores, Wilson has obtained his two highest general grades within the final two seasons. Whereas his rating did drop barely in 2020, he nonetheless managed to surpass 90 for the second consecutive yr. By all accounts, Russ is trending up if he’s trending any course in any respect. Few gamers can maintain such a excessive degree of play all through their careers, and those that do are uniquely proficient. Which, once more, brings me again to my authentic query; is Russell Wilson actually the twenty-second finest participant within the NFL proper now? In no specific order, listed here are a couple of gamers who’re listed above Wilson:
All phenomenal gamers in their very own proper, however are they higher than Russell Wilson? Perhaps, however I don’t suppose so. Wilson successfully shattered the prototype of what an NFL QB seems to be like, paving the best way for gamers like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray to get drafted first general regardless of missing the prerequisite further inches of top that groups used to deal with because the gold normal for sign callers. And he continues to carry out at a excessive degree, arguably enhancing his sport with every successive yr within the league. In fact, preseason lists are largely arbitrary and are extra of a mirrored image of the Soccer media zeitgeist than anything. However I nonetheless discover myself curious as to why PFF appears to be a lot decrease on Russ heading into this season than they did final yr.
2021 will definitely be an necessary yr for the veteran QB. After a flurry of commerce hypothesis within the offseason that in the end fizzled out, Wilson is about to enter his tenth season as a Seahawk. For a participant who has typically carried out his finest within the face of adversity, I go away with one ultimate query… has the disrespect been nicely famous?