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Which wide receivers should the Seahawks keep?

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks-Training Camp Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It is more likely that the Seahawks would keep five receivers than it would be for them to keep six, so let’s keep that number as the target for the purposes of this piece. Even though you may really like the sixth receiver you’re going to cut under this scenario, remember that it still means you’d have to keep one less player somewhere else and you might also really like that guy. Also remember that only so many receivers will have an impact on offense this season and guys like Tanner McEvoy and Amara Darboh were on the roster all of last year and combined for 22 targets.

The top two are easy: Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Number three also makes too much sense to not be a lock, and that title belongs to Jaron Brown. Narrowing down the other 10 receivers to the final two spots will not be so easy.

Brandon Marshall

He seemed like very much a longshot when he signed with Seattle, but Marshall’s gotten very positive remarks at camp from both coaches and Russell Wilson. He gives the Seahawks a 6’5 option to put on the field next to the sub-6’ Baldwin and Lockett, but should he start over the 6’3 Brown, who has also seemed to do everything right in camp? Does it make sense to keep both Brown and Marshall?

Can we discount his added value as a blocker?

Seemingly you’d want to have three receivers who at least are capable of starting on offense, then two receivers who contribute on special teams or at least have the excuse of being a young grenade of potential that you’re willing to wait on until next season. Marshall is neither of those things. You only keep Brandon Marshall if you’re going to start him and make him a key part of the offense. Will Seattle do that?

We need to maybe wait and find out what happens in Week 2 and 3 of preseason, if Marshall is healthy enough to finally start.

Marcus Johnson

Just two weeks ago, I wrote about Johnson’s excellent performance in camp up to that point. Things have been a little more quiet on Johnson ever since, but he does fill in that “special teams contributions” position that I mentioned before. At 24, he also has that potential in him to become an option on offense, though we don’t really have any evidence up to this point in his career to suggest that he will develop that part of his game.

He’d be a tough one to put on the chopping block, and also a tough one to keep over someone who was recently drafted and has a lot more evident qualities of being an NFL staring receiver some day.

Amara Darboh

The 106th overall pick in 2017, Darboh has done very little to make his draft position matter anymore. Darboh had a good excuse last season, because Baldwin, Lockett, and Paul Richardson all played in every game, so what was Darboh to do? That being said, he doesn’t receive much praise by coaches after practices and now injury has sidelined him during the most pivotal moment of his career so far.

Darboh can’t afford to miss much more practice because he needs to be ready to go for the next three preseason games and then he really needs to “wow.” Only an injury could get Darboh considered for one of the top four spots on the depth chart, at this point he’s just fighting for that spot as the last guy onto the roster and that’s pretty disappointing, not only for us but for him.

Remember: Kris Durham was the 107th overall pick and was cut after one season. E.J. Wilson was the 127th overall pick and was cut after one season. Jaye Howard was the 114th overall pick and was cut after one season. Chris Harper was the 123rd overall pick and was cut after one season. Kevin Norwood was the 123rd overall pick and was traded after one season. Terry Poole was the 130th overall pick and was cut as a rookie.

Darboh’s draft position is not enough to save him this year. Can he save himself?

David Moore

He’s ahead of Darboh now. Moore is playing and he’s making plays.

The Seahawks cut Moore and kept Darboh a year ago but that seems to have flipped. Moore is healthy and he was back at practice this weekend after a rough hit to the helmet on Thursday night. Darboh was still out. Moore has been getting more reps higher on the depth chart too and so it might make the most sense to have him as your “wide receiver with potential to be a starter one day” over Darboh or anyone else.

Keenan Reynolds

He’s got fans. Important fans.

The former sixth round pick of the Ravens in 2016, Reynolds has yet to be active for an NFL game and has spent most of the last two years on practice squads. He’s got versatility, could do stuff on special teams, and as a quarterback at Navy finished fifth in Heisman voting in 2015. That makes it more clear why two years of development could be necessary and maybe this is the time for Reynolds to make a roster and prove what he can do.

He’s a dark horse candidate maybe, but he’s arguably the best dark horse candidate. Potentially a very difficult one to lose, but where do you fit him in after Baldwin, Lockett, Brown, and the others listed so far? This one may have to come from a decision to not keep Marshall.

So let’s recap: Baldwin, Lockett, and Brown are in. Two spots are left.

Five guys for two spots: Marshall, Johnson, Darboh, Moore, and Reynolds. Which two do you keep? And are these next five guys completely on the outside...

Cyril Grayson, Tanner McEvoy, Damore’ea Stringfellow, Caleb Scott, Malik Turner

These five players are likely fighting for a job on the practice squad (my knowledge on their eligibility to do so only goes so far, but I believe they could all do so) and nothing more. That’s wild for McEvoy, who was active in 29 of 32 games over the last two years but has yet to develop in the way that coaches had hoped; it was probably never all that likely that he would turn his crazy measurables into being a full-time receiver but the hope was always fun to toy around with.

Poll

Who should be WR4?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Brandon Marshall
    (1872 votes)
  • 32%
    David Moore
    (1118 votes)
  • 3%
    Marcus Johnson
    (110 votes)
  • 2%
    Amara Darboh
    (73 votes)
  • 7%
    Keenan Reynolds
    (248 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (37 votes)
3458 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who should be WR5?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Brandon Marshall
    (438 votes)
  • 43%
    David Moore
    (1336 votes)
  • 9%
    Marcus Johnson
    (282 votes)
  • 6%
    Amara Darboh
    (209 votes)
  • 23%
    Keenan Reynolds
    (716 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (101 votes)
3082 votes total Vote Now