Not that he’ll be mad about it or anything, but David Moore really has no choice in the matter at this point: He’s probably the second most valuable receiver or tight end on the Seattle Seahawks right now.
This is not a personal attack on D.K. Metcalf, just an observation that Moore’s two years of experience and moderately effective stretch of eight games in the middle of 2018 likely gives him an edge over the late second round rookie. In the long-term, Metcalf has more value than Moore as of today in late June. But in talking about where Russell Wilson is most likely to focus his attention in 2019, the answer after Tyler Lockett is most likely going to be David Moore.
Neither Wilson nor the Seahawks seem particularly concerned about that.
Wilson recently highlighted Metcalf — then Moore and nobody else — as potential “superstar” receivers next to Lockett. Keep in mind that Seattle was not so hot on Moore in 2017 as to protect him on the roster but no other team made their move to make a steal. Moore returned in 2018 and won a job over Amara Darboh and others to become a number five option after Lockett, Doug Baldwin, Brandon Marshall, and Jaron Brown.
In the first three games of the season, Moore caught 0 of 1 target. He next got the start against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, catching two of two for 39 yards. A week later against the LA Rams, Moore caught three of four for 38 yards, plus two touchdowns. Whether preseason or regular, it’s not hard to make a decent compilation vid of Moore’s highlights from 2018 and the reasons to be excited for his potential are just about everywhere.
David Moore made multiple plays each game this preseason. pic.twitter.com/f8Vorpbhyo— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 25, 2018
Then the very next play, David Moore did this pic.twitter.com/NcykGw8tXS— CC SportsTalk (@KGAFSportsTalk) August 19, 2018
The All-Access footage of the David Moore TD is so good. pic.twitter.com/CRcy4NaIQD— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) November 27, 2018
David Moore is Jermaine Kearse, but gooder pic.twitter.com/d5WLNQI1PJ— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) October 28, 2018
There’s also blocking:
Pancakes aren't just for the OL ( David Moore up top) pic.twitter.com/6ZffqvjNkL— Alex Duplessis (@dupems) November 13, 2018
And an understanding that not every missed target was Moore’s fault:
The extra-slow-motion replay of Russell Wilson’s final throw. Safety Jahleel Addae tips it just enough at the last second to alter the trajectory right before it gets to David Moore. pic.twitter.com/knSDZRgiXz— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) November 5, 2018
From game 4 to game 11, Moore 22 of 36 targets for 413 yards and five touchdowns. His 18.7 YPC and 11.5 yards per target are both elite figures. If he manages that for a full season, then on the high end the Seahawks could be looking at some version of Desean Jackson. Even on the low end, if he’s say Robert Meachem, there’s value in that too. Given that he was a seventh round pick in 2017, Moore has already exceeded his draft day status by a long stretch, but Seattle is looking for a legitimate number two receiver right now.
They, and many fans, believe that Moore can be that. At the very least, Wilson and Pete Carroll are going to make him try.
It’s safe to say that Lockett will receive the most targets next season, which in my estimation will be 100-110 targets. Lockett has consistently received around 70 targets per season over his first four years in the league. In the last five years, Baldwin has come in around 107 targets per season. Lockett’s game will most likely change notably without Baldwin, even though over the last two years Tyler has already spent about half of his snaps in the slot already.
But how Wilson leans on him in critical times — without Doug around — will be the biggest different in the two’s relationship next season. And after Lockett, Wilson will hardly be able to recognize anyone else.
Metcalf, Gary Jennings, and John Ursua are rookies. Brown has never fulfilled any potential to be more than a number four option. Keenan Reynolds, Malik Turner, Darboh would all have to overcome significant hurdles at this point to become key figures in a passing offense; how many examples can you think of in regards to receivers who weren’t first or second round picks (in two of these cases, not being drafted at all), waffled around the league for a few years, and then became starters? It’s rare.
The tight ends group does not have a “Jimmy Graham” anymore and the focus for them will likely be blocking over receiving. We can’t even begin to predict what kind of a year Will Dissly will have, Ed Dickson is not a receiving tight end, and Nick Vannett’s opportunities have been underwhelming. That leaves Moore.
Barring a sign or trade for a legit starting receiver — something that even Brandon Marshall was not last year and that is the type of veteran most likely to be acquired at this point — David Moore stands out as Wilson’s most likely second option in 2019. Given his highlight plays last season and his opportunity to maybe grab 80 targets (sneaking this in now: yes, there may also be an uptick in targets to Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, JD McKissic, and CJ Prosise because of Seattle’s personnel), Moore could indeed become a starter, if not a superstarter.
The problem lies in Moore’s perceived limitations in only being able to consistently run one or two routes and by December, he was virtually useless to Carroll and Wilson. This offseason has been and will continue to be spent on helping Moore become a more complete receiver, which is something they could really use right now. He has the size and agility to be great, and as you can see above, at times he’s great already. But for 16 games, what could he be? And what could the cost be to the Seahawks if he and Metcalf are not the stars next season that they’d like them to be?
Who finishes 2nd on the Seahawks in receiving yards next season?
This poll is closed
Tyler Lockett (who do you think is 1st instead?)
Other (comment below!)