Russell Wilson cracks 'Top 100' players list as a rookie


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was voted No. 51 on NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players of 2013." The ranking places him 11th among quarterbacks.

It's a fair ranking for a player who started the season slowly only to finish furiously while tying Peyton Manning's mark for most regular season touchdown passes (26) by a rookie. After managing to top 16 points just three times in the first seven games, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell took the reins off Wilson. The results were a sterling 19:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 32.4 points per over the final 10 games (including the playoffs).

Much like Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season, Wilson was bolstered by a dominant rushing attack and an elite defense. Unlike Roethlisberger, Wilson also had the benefit of the read-option, which coincided with his improved play down the stretch. The Seahawks ran the third-most read-option plays in the NFL last season, averaging 7.1 yards per on those 52 plays.

Let's not paint Wilson simply as a product of his surrounding talent and a gimmick offense, though. Mixing efficiency with dynamic plays, Wilson also drew high marks in Pro Football Focus' Deep Ball Accuracy Percentage (48.4) and Accuracy Under Pressure (66.0).

On a grander scale, Wilson shifted the outlook of a franchise coming off four consecutive losing seasons. Seattle now boasts the most stacked roster in the NFL, thanks in no small part to their advantage at quarterback. Wilson's presence is a major reason why a difference-making talent like Percy Harvin now is with the Seahawks as opposed to the Vikings.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.