Much of the focus on the ills of the Seattle Seahawks offense has rightly been on the historically bad running game, and a pass-first offense is not something Seattle is well-equipped for outside of having Russell Wilson.
Of the many failures that plagued the Seahawks as a team, dropped passes was something I doubt anyone could’ve foreseen at the start of the season. Seattle and the Jacksonville Jaguars both dropped 26 passes (regular season only), tied for fifth-most in the NFL.
Literally half of Seattle’s drops were attributed to two players: Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, both of whom are free agents in just one month. Graham is listed as having spilled 7 passes, while Richardson dropped 6.
The NFL’s definition of a drop may differ from others, hence these two videos by Parker Lewis Jr. show more “drops” than what’s on the stat sheet. He did clarify that he highlighted “catchable targets” and that difficult catches aren’t necessarily drops.
It's hard to imagine a scenario where the Seahawks re-sign both Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson in free agency. So with that in mind, I thought it be worth comparing the 2 players. Let's start with dropped passes. pic.twitter.com/OhZhMZDyTj— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) February 7, 2018
And here's the Jimmy Graham dropped passes video. I have him leaving ~151 yards and 2 TDs on the field this season. pic.twitter.com/4Gu3qEgSP0— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) February 7, 2018
Your full Seahawks drop table is as follows:
Jimmy Graham - 7
Paul Richardson - 6
Doug Baldwin - 2
Luke Willson - 2
Nick Vannett - 2
Thomas Rawls - 2
C.J. Prosise - 2
Tyler Lockett - 1
Mike Davis - 1
Tanner McEvoy - 1
Only Jacksonville’s Marquise Lee (8) had more drops than Graham among all NFL players, and he had the same number of targets (96) as Graham. Also with 7 drops are Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas, both of whom exceeded 140 targets, which is at least 75% more targets than Richardson’s 80.
In 2016, the Seahawks had just 15 drops despite a relatively similar number of targets. Back in 2015, only 2.5% of targeted throws were dropped by Seahawks receivers, so that percentage just about doubled in 2017. The last time Seattle had a stubborn case of the dropsies was in 2012, when Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks with 4 drops, and the team as a whole had 23, which is pretty damn high when you consider how infrequently Russell Wilson threw the ball that year.
It doesn’t need to be said that Seattle must execute better in 2018 if they want to return to the playoffs, but... yeah, they need to execute better. And depending on how free agency goes with Graham and Richardson, I believe that pass-catching talent is quietly a major priority for the Seahawks this offseason.