I was thinking just now about Wilson, and how in some ways he's a good fit for the Seahawks. At a minimum, he could replace Edwards on our roster as Sidney Rice insurance, and he's the kind of flawed but gifted WR that needs to go somewhere that doesn't need him to be a #1. His deep ball skillset fits Seattle's well, both for it's scheme and QB. It seems likely now that Wilson will go in the 2nd round at the earliest. If you could get Wilson in round 3 or 4, it's a slam dunk right? Well, maybe not.
A couple years ago, Seattle was entering the 2011 draft desperate for a QB, but pretty much SOL. The only QBs who fit the offense were mid rounder types like Kaepernick and Dalton that were sure to be over-drafted. The only guy that looked like a potential pro-bowl QB was Ryan Mallett, but his profile was very much at odds with Seattle's offense.
We found out just before the draft that Mallett was completely off of Seattle's draft boards- among many, many other teams. Seattle passed on Mallett at #25 before doing so again in the late 2nd round.
I can't say for sure, but I'm reasonably certain that Seattle banned Mallett because of his character red flags, not his mobility. QBs who lack mobility usually drop a round or two in draft stock- it's not often they get removed completely. And in college, Mallett showed enough mobility to get the job done. Further, Seattle proved that mobility was not a must have when they signed Matt Flynn to a $19 million contract. There is only one time I know of where the bulk of the league took a guy completely off their boards because of mobility, and that guy was Tom Brady. Teams tend to learn from mistakes like that. Fittingly, Mallett was drafted by the same team.
Another example: Chris Polk. Seattle was looking for a RB in the 2012 draft, no later than the 3rd round unless special circumstances (Russell Wilson) pushed that priority back a round. By the time Seattle's 4th rounder came up, there were only two notable RB prospects left: Chris Polk and Robert Turbin. Turbin was an under-rated RB prospect that probably deserved to go sooner than he did, but Polk was rated higher than Turbin by almost every draft analyst, and was one of the best RBs in his school's history, including a HoFer and a near HoFer among them. Polk also fits Seattle's offense like a glove, coming from an offense ran by Carroll disciple Steve Sarkisian. He even played in the same city.
But Seattle took Turbin, and Polk shocked everyone by going undrafted. Apparently, the word was out on Polk. For something, we're not sure. It does not appear to be health related in retrospect. Matt Waldman offered an insight shortly after the draft where he talked about meeting Polk at the combine or senior bowl, and Polk just didn't give a damn- he didn't want to be there. Other rumors surfaced about Polk giving terrible interviews. This is a front office that talks about QBs who tilt the field and looks for players with a chip on their shoulder. Attitude matters a lot to this FO, and few coaches anywhere knew Polk better than Carroll must have. Polk was a potential steal in the 4th round, and Seattle passed. When Polk went undrafted, Seattle did not even pursue him as an undrafted free agent. This despite giving reps in the preseason to guys like Kregg Lumpkin and Vai Taua. For a brief time, Lumpkin even made the final roster.
So I look at Wilson v. Leach at WSU and think that Wilson probably just blew his chance with a lot of NFL teams, Seattle included. Leach may be an ass- he might be an abusive monster even, but the bottom line is that Wilson only had to put up with it for a few weeks before being free from the program and avoiding unnecessary damage to his draft stock. Maybe on it's own it wouldn't mean much, but with Wilson's pre-existing reputation it will probably make Wilson this year's Maurice Clarette- at least in terms of perception.
Seattle doesn't want players like that. The closest they have ever come to acquiring players with that kind of baggage was rolling the dice on Lendale White, Terrell Owens, and Kellen Winslow. Combined, those three players have had just one day between them on Seattle's 53 man roster.
We know that the Seahawks are not like Bill Polian or Tim Ruskell, taking character and putting it on a pedestal. They've taken risks on guys like Irvin and McCoy, guys that are currently on the roster with long Seahawks futures ahead of them. But one thing they will never accept is a player who would "quit" anything.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the stories about Wilson are overblown and Seattle does their homework to discover that. Maybe he becomes a value pick in the mid rounds as another White/TO/Winslow longshot at redemption. I doubt it though. Mallett and Polk were taken OFF Seattle's boards, not simply dropped a few rounds, and it took precious little for that to happen. I'm a fan of Wilson's talent, but I'm starting to think that his chances of ever being a Seahawk are very close to zero.