Performance Under Pressure: A Russell Wilson Story

Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Diamonds are considered one of the nicest pieces of jewelry you can own. The crystal’s style symbolizes wealth, power and success. But what makes diamonds as valuable as they are is not just how they look. It is also because of how they are made.

It is a stressful process and it is tough to manufacture, but when it happens you get one of the most beautiful minerals on Earth. Something incredible is made from the harshest of circumstances.

That has been the career of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Since 2015, the Seahawks offensive line has failed to finish in the top 10 of all offensive lines across the NFL. In fact, Seattle had more bottom-20 finishes than it has top-half finishes. The result? The Seahawks will finish 2019 with double-digit wins in four out of five of those years. But how? Look no further than Wilson’s performance under pressure — a diamond, though he is already shining, in the making.

In scouting, it is all about evaluating traits. How strong is a quarterback's arm? How quick is a running back? How reliable are a wide receiver's hands? But it is often other traits that mean the most, something that does not always have a numerical value. How well can a player process the things around them and within them?

Playing under pressure is a make-or-break area at the position. In the NFL, good offensive line or not, you are not going to have a clean pocket all the time. It is up to you, as the QB, to avoid disaster in those situations. When pressured, you do not want a pick, a fumble or sack. If a quarterback can avoid those things, you can consider the down a win — even if it is a loss.

Wilson does that. Then he goes beyond that. 

He not only avoids disaster in pressure, but he makes plays in it. The numbers, nine touchdowns to just one interception, are hard to believe.

If that does not do it, Wilson's QB grade is what you hope to see from your quarterback from a clean pocket. That is the kind of year this guy, an MVP favorite, is having.

Make sure you are taking note of how QBs are preforming when conditions are not ideal. That is often the area that carries the most weight when it comes to projecting success at the next level, especially with top-10 selections.

Written By:

Trevor Sikkema

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-Host of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast.