By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
MOBILE, Ala. — Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson will start for the North team Saturday in the Senior Bowl, a Minnesota Vikings spokesman said.
Boise State’s Kellen Moore will be second in the rotation and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins will be third.
The quarterbacks will play two to three series the first time they get into the game, then one to two series the next time.
The Vikings didn’t say how the rotation was established but Wilson and Moore have looked like the two best quarterbacks all week.
Defensive tackle Billy Winn will be one of the most scrutinized NFL prospects from Boise State over the next few months.
His combination of size (6-foot-3, 296 pounds) and athleticism is rare. However, he didn’t have as dominant of a senior season as some expected.
“Billy Winn … is a very intriguing guy,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said.
“Billy Winn is a real active defensive tackle,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said. “He’s a guy I liked on tape.”
Winn drew praise for his performance in Wednesday’s practice, the last of two full-pads practices. He’ll face some talented offensive linemen from the South team in the Senior Bowl on Saturday (2 p.m., NFL Network).
“I’ve made plays where I’ve needed to. I’m still out here trying to work on technique and fundamentals,” Winn said. “It’s been a while. I’ve been a little bit rusty from it, but I shook the cobwebs off.”
Winn has appreciated his time working with the Minnesota Vikings coaches.
“I’m just learning a whole new technique, playing it how the NFL coaches want me to play it,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
I wrote about how height factors into Kellen Moore’s NFL chances in today’s paper. The story is available at IdahoStatesman.com, under Sports.
Moore isn’t the shortest quarterback in Mobile, though. Wilson (5-foot-10 5/8) is more than an inch shorter.
“It’s not a factor at all to me,” Wilson said. “I think the proof is in the pudding. I think I’ve shown that I can play at a very high level. I played behind the fourth-biggest offensive line in the entire country, averaging 6-5, and making every single throw.”
Wilson said the idea that shorter quarterbacks can’t play at the pro level is a stereotype and his athleticism will give him an advantage.
“It makes me that much more unique, I think,” he said. “It’s special that I can make all the same throws that a 6-5, 6-6 guy can make. Also, I have the addition of being able to run the ball and get outside the pocket and extend plays that most guys 6-5, 6-6 can’t make.”
Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick said Wilson has impressed him the most of the North quarterbacks.
“He’s smooth on the field. He is just talented,” Quick said. “It shocked me to see how short he was.”
On Friday, the teams held walk-throughs to get a feel for how pre-game will go and make sure everyone knows their assignments.
Be sure to watch my blog and my Twitter account (@IDS_BroncoBeat) on Saturday for live comments during the Senior Bowl.