Hey all, it's been a while. For those of you who don't remember me (aka everyone), I'm an assistant editor over at Black Shoe Diaries, the SB Nation Penn State blog. Aside from being a PSU grad and fan, I am also a lifelong Seahawks and Mariners fan due to family connections to Washington (the good Washington, not the one I now live near). But I'm not here to tell you about me, I'm here to tell you about Brett Brackett.
Watching Penn State football over the past five years has allowed me to watch some fantastic tight ends play football. Some names that you NFL Draft followers probably know well by now are Kyle Carter and Jesse James. In a few years you'll also know the names Adam Breneman and Mike Gesicki very well too-trust me. Even current Seahawk Garry Gilliam was first introduced to my football mind as a Penn State tight end. But before all of those names, came Brett Brackett.
You'll probably hear plenty about Brackett's NFL career this week, but what sticks out for me are still his years spent in State College. Despite the 2010 Penn State roster including many names that have found their way onto NFL rosters (Jordan Hill, Stephan Wisniewski, Devon Still, Matt McGloin, Silas Redd, and Justin Brown to name a few), Brett Brackett was arguably the most important player on the roster. Aside from being named a team captain, he was also the quintessential tight end. He was as valuable of a blocker as nearly the entire offensive line, as well as the most reliable receiving option the team had. Whether it was catching the ball over the middle, chipping a block and clearing out, or splitting outside to create a mismatch with his size, Brackett was always one of the first reads in Rob Bolden/Matt McGloin's progression. The results spoke for themselves that season, as Brackett ended as PSU's second leading receiver with 39 catches, 525 yards, and five touchdowns.
The benefits of giving Brackett a shot are pretty obvious. He's 6'5"+ and can play tight end, which is exactly what the Seahawks need as long as Zach Miller and Luke Willson remain sidelined. It's been a while since his Pro Day occurred, but the numbers are still somewhat relevant as well.
The 6-foot-5, 248-pounder had a strong Pro Day with times of 4.53 and 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 34 1/2 inch vertical leap.
He also registered a 9-10 broad jump, 22 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, a 4.14 shuttle, a 6.72 three-cone drill and an 11.27 60-yard shuttle.
It would be completely shocking to see Brackett light the world on fire and become a linchpin in the offense, but there's no reason why he can't produce reasonable and respectable numbers while the starters heal up.
What I think is the x-factor in Brackett coming on board, is that he provides special teams value. Originally recruited as a quarterback, Brackett has the size and speed to be a valuable piece of the kick coverage and blocking teams, which is where he will likely get his first action as a Hawk. It's the type of athletic versatility that Seattle has been known to covet.
And hey, worse comes to worse, Brackett simply joins Jordan Hill, Deon Butler, Garry Gilliam, Curt Warner, Bobby Engram, Michael Robinson, and others in the long line of Nittany Lions turned Seahawks. Good luck, Brett.