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Quarterback Height and Knocked Down Passes

Russell Wilson has been a highly touted prospect for the Seattle Seahawks this year.  The 5'10" rookie quarterback was taken in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft out of Wisconsin (previously NC State University). 

Short quarterbacks usually don't make it in the NFL, in fact there have been just 18 quarterbacks 6'1" or less since 1988.  In the past decade there have only been two quarterbacks 6'0" or shorter that have made a significant impact on the game, Drew Brees (6'0") and the short lived Doug Flutie (5"10) stint in Buffalo and San Diego...coincidentally the same height as Russell Wilson.

In this chart, we compare the # of Knock Downs at the line of scrimmage between Flutie and Brees to two of the NFL's taller quarterbacks Peyton Manning (6'5") and Tom Brady (6'4"):

For purposes of this comparison, we chose Manning and Brady because they throw the ball on average more than most quarterbacks (500+ attempts).

Aside from his height, Russell Wilson possesses a unique set of skills, which is why he still went in the top 3 rounds of the draft.  Knocked down passes will come with the territory with an undersized quarterback, but as Brees and Flutie proved...undersized quarterbacks can still succeed, and even go on to win a Super Bowl


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