Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed the most significant mistake his side has made over the years. The 70-year old still lament the error they made way back in 2012 is not getting hold of Russell Wilson in the NFL draft.
The Eagles missed out on signing Wilson as the Seattle Seahawks had already brought him in the third round of the draft, something which the Eagles had initially planned to do. However, they did get the services of Fletcher Cox in the first round, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry with their two picks in the second round but did not get their main target in the draft.
It’s fair to say that Russell Wilson has become quite a player since then, and it is understandable why Jeffrey Lurie called this the biggest regret of his career. Wilson won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 and took them to another Super Bowl appearance the following year.
In an interview, Lurie said, “Wilson is a player we didn’t get, and I’ll always regret it. It was someone I wish we had drafted in the second round and didn’t wait. But we didn’t think anyone would jump us and take Russell, so that was that.
Jeffrey Lurie also acknowledged the fact that it’s not always possible for a franchise to get hold of their ideal franchise quarterbacks and gave the example of Josh Allen’s improvement to suggest that players can often improve and attain a level that might be good at another franchise.
Lurie said, “It’s tough to project what you call franchise or what we might call franchise quarterback,” he said. “It happens. It just happens. After year one or year two, is Josh Allen a franchise quarterback? Was he even thought to be a franchise quarterback when Buffalo drafted him?
“I think the answers are clearly no, no, and no. He developed into one. We all have this vision of an automatic franchise quarterback, myself included. It’s almost nonexistent, and when it exists, you’re very lucky to have that,” he said.
Russell Wilson recently ended his association with the Seattle Seahawks as he earned himself a trade move to the Denver Broncos to move for the first time in his career in the NFL.
The Eagles planned to take Wilson with their third-round pick (No. 88 overall) but were leapfrogged by the Seattle Seahawks, who took the Wisconsin product with the No. 75 pick. Philadelphia would pivot and take Nick Foles at No. 88.
We must note that the Eagles—and all 31 other NFL teams—had opportunities to select Wilson before Round 3. If he were a shining beacon of light in the 2012 NFL draft, the Eagles would have taken him over Vinny Curry and Mychal Kendricks, their second-round selections.
There is some level of 20-20 hindsight going on when a late-round quarterback hits big. Look into the past, and you’ll find several general managers waiting to jump on Tom Brady after passing on him for five rounds in 2000.
The fact is that NFL teams significantly undervalued Wilson due to his size. He had prototypical arm strength and accuracy and the ability to scramble outside of the pocket, the type of skills teams dream about building around in the current climate.
Wilson likely is the “one who got away” from many executives running teams a decade ago.