Jim Irsay: Colts were ready to draft Russell Wilson in 2012’s fourth round

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

During a characteristically rambling response to one of the questions posed to Colts owner Jim Irsay at Sunday’s press conference aimed primarily at publicly lobbying to keep the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Irsay dropped an interesting nugget.

Irsay said that, during the 2012 draft, the Colts were going to select quarterback Russell Wilson in round four.

With the first pick in round three (64th overall), Indianapolis had selected tight end Dwayne Allen. The Seahawks picked Wilson 11 selections later, at No. 75. (The Wilson selection came five spots after the Jaguars drafted a punter.)

The Colts’ fourth-round pick was the second in the round, at No. 97. They’d eventually trade up to No. 92 with the 49ers in order to select receiver T.Y. Hilton. (The 49ers eventually traded the 97th selection to the Dolphins, who selected running back Lamar Miller.)

If Wilson had lasted until the second selection in round four, or if Indy had traded back into round three to get Wilson, Wilson would have spent a while on the bench, barring a trade. Andrew Luck, the first overall selection that year, didn’t miss a game until the 2015 season.

That same year, the team that traded up to take quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the draft did indeed select a quarterback in round four — Kirk Cousins.

It’s hard to imagine Wilson not eventually becoming a great quarterback. However, his career would have started very differently if Andrew Luck and not Matt Flynn had been leading the depth chart when Wilson arrived.

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