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Gruden: Wilson comes up 'short' in one area

Apr 14, 2012 -- 12:11pm

GREEN BAY – Jon Gruden has the same question – and his opinion, it’s the only question – as most others do about University of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson’s NFL prospects.

Gruden, the ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach who does an annual made-for-TV series with quarterback prospects in advance of the NFL Draft, raved about Wilson during a conference call last week with reporters.

Wilson was among the quarterbacks who worked with Gruden on the series.

Asked about how the 5-foot-10 7/8 Wilson’s lack of height might impact his draft status, Gruden replied, “I think that is the issue with Russell Wilson. That might be the reason that he's not picked in the first couple rounds. 

“The only issue with Russell Wilson is his height. He's got tremendous mobility. I've got him at 4.50 in the 40. He's mastered two different offensive systems. When do any of us remember a kid transferring from N.C. State to Wisconsin in July and breaking every Wisconsin Badger record?  The Badgers could have won every game this year if not for a couple Hail Marys.

“This is a tremendous kid. His intangibles are off the charts. He walks into Wisconsin, he's a team captain. We all know what a great athlete he is. He's a high draft choice in baseball.

“The only issue is his height, and we use Drew Brees as the classic example. If you just look at one inch or an inch and a half, that's the height difference in Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. But he's got a lot of questions and answers. There are not a lot of quarterbacks under six feet that are playing in the NFL today or who have played the game, period. He's going to have to answer those questions. Hopefully the right guy gives him an opportunity and he takes advantage of it, because when you watch the tape, every film you watch at N.C. State or Wisconsin, the results are very similar. It's successful, solid, game day competitive. It's exciting. I wish him the best. He's a special kid. I just hope he gets with the right guy.”


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