MOBILE, Ala. At the meat market otherwise known as Senior Bowl weigh-in, there was more than a passing interest among NFL scouts in Russell Wilson's official height.
The former N.C. State quarterback was college football's most successful free agent last season. Wilson threw for 3,000 yards and led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl after transferring for his final season when Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien tired of waiting for Wilson to choose between football and baseball.
But Wilson, who was listed at 5-foot-11 at N.C. State, did not grow during his season at Wisconsin, as evidenced when he measured 5-10 1/2 Monday inside a ballroom filled with scouts, coaches and media at the Mobile Convention Center.
"I think I've shown I can play at a very high level. I play tall. I play fast. I have a high, quick release," Wilson said. "You see guys being very successful in the NFL right now and in the past who've done it. It has no effect on me at all. I played behind the fourth-biggest offensive line in the country all season, and had a great season doing it."
With just three weeks to learn Wisconsin's offense, Wilson passed for 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns, with just four interceptions as the Badgers won the Big Ten title. Wilson said he did not try to throw over the Badgers' line, which included bookend tackles 6-7 or taller.
"I don't have a problem seeing over them. I see through lanes and know where guys are going to be," he said. "I understand defenses and just play with rhythm and timing."
Tony Pauline, draft expert for SI.com, said Wilson's size is only part of what he has to overcome this week in Mobile. Despite a 72.8 completion percentage in Wilson's lone season at Wisconsin, Pauline said he still struggled with his accuracy at times.
"He's got to show when he's asked to make the NFL-type passes, he can make them accurately because he had a tendency to spray his downfield throws, and even his throws at the flanks, at Wisconsin," Pauline said.
Wilson, a fourth-round pick by Colorado in 2010, recently informed the Rockies he will not report for spring training.
"I was having trouble hitting the curveball a little bit, so I had to focus on football," said Wilson, who hit .228 with three homers and 15 RBIs last summer in 61 games with the Class A Asheville Tourists.
He will have to repay a portion of his $200,000 signing bonus, but said he has great respect for the Rockies. Likewise, Wilson said he holds no grudges against O'Brien, who gave the starting job to Mike Glennon when Wilson's baseball commitments interfered with the Wolfpack's offseason workouts.
"If the only thing they can crack on me is the height, then I'm all right," Wilson added. "The Lord made me this way for a reason. I believe I can make every throw. And I've shown that. I've just got to keep working."