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Kitna: Size held Wilson back in QB rankings

By Brent Stecker

Russell Wilson’s time has come on ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski’s rankings of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks, as the second-year Seahawk checked in at No. 12.


Former Seahawks QB Jon Kitna said that Russell Wilson, who was ranked No. 12 on Ron Jaworski’s NFL quarterback rankings, is “12, but trending up.” (AP)

Wilson’s spot may seem a little low, especially considering his rapid ascent during the second half of the 2012 season that helped the Seahawks reach the NFC divisional playoff round, but former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” that the ranking isn’t surprising.

“I think a lot of times when you’re a guy that doesn’t fit the mold of what they look for, they’re always kinda looking for a reason to not make you an elite guy,” Kitna said of the 5-foot-11 Wilson. “Drew Brees fought that for years and years until he won a Super Bowl, and I think the same thing with Russell — people are going to make him prove it over and over because he’s not a 6-foot-4 guy.”

Kitna doesn’t see the 24-year-old sticking at the No. 12 ranking for long, though.

“He’s 12, but he’s trending up, I would say,” he said. “When he’s on the field, he’s dynamic. He can beat you with his legs, he can beat you by being smart and knowing what you’re doing, he can beat you with his arm. He’s got the whole package, and on top of that he’s a good guy.”

Of course, Wilson will need to improve to rise up the chart, but Kitna believes he has that well under control.

“He’s gonna expand the knowledge he has, and his skill set is gonna expand. Nobody works harder than him, nobody’s more dedicated. His game is going to continue to grow.”

With the Seahawks expected to spend a lot of early downs either running or aiming big down field, Kitna pinpointed one area that be important for continued success for Wilson.

“Aside from wins and losses, I would probably say third-down efficiency for him, because they’re gonna run a lot of first and second downs, do a lot of creative things, and they’re gonna take their shots on first down,” Kitna said.