Jaguars never considered Russell Wilson in 2012 NFL Draft

Tom Szczerbowski

The Jacksonville Jaguars bypassed Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft, taking punter Bryan Anger instead, and then Wilson went on to earn the Seattle Seahawks starting job and lead the team to the NFL Playoffs, making it to the Divisional Round before losing to the Atlanta Falcons.

According to former Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey, Wilson was never even an option for the Jaguars in the draft.

"Well, it wasn't as hard as you think it should be based on watching him and what he did last year," Mularkey told Mike Florio about wrestling with the decision to pass on Wilson in favor of Anger. "At the time, Blaine Gabbert had just been a rookie quarterback and did not have the success they'd hoped he'd have with that tenth pick of the draft. We were laying our cards out with Blaine coming in, I hired Greg Olson the quarterbacks coach, Bob Bratkowski, myself we've all been around young quarterbacks. We think he did improve, but that was the whole point. We felt like Blaine was going to be the quarterback going forward at the time before the draft.

"We had just signed Chad Henne who had been a previous starter in Miami, so at the time quarterback was not in the sights for the pick in the third round," Mularkey continued. "We felt like here was a guy that was going to come in, we were trying to get starters. We felt like we got one with (Justin) Blackmon with the first pick and we felt like Bryan (Anger) could be, and I think he's going to be one of the greatest of all time. Watching the guy I've never seen a guy kick the ball like he did, but it's easy now after the fact based on what Russell Wilson did, there's a lot of teams sitting here like we we were wishing that they had made that pick. At the time it wasn't really as a big a discussion as you would think."

While it's easy to make the argument that the Jaguars had just traded up into the Top 10 for Gabbert the year prior, he was one of the worst starters in the league so looking for a backup plan shouldn't have been out of the question, even with the signing of Henne. Even the Carolina Panthers, who had Cam Newton, at least considered drafting Wilson at some point in the draft and went so far as to target him as someone to draft.

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