The Seahawks have been rotating through different receiving options for Russell Wilson over the last few years and no season in awhile has had more uncertainty headed into it than 2019. With Doug Baldwin not a part of the offense for the first time since 2010, Seattle is looking at Tyler Lockett as a number one option and a flurry of competition to grab targets behind him.
And months after D.K. Metcalf became the fan favorite as WR2, it seems more and more likely that Jaron Brown is the coach’s favorite and in the best position to be second-in-line when the Seahawks host the Bengals in a few weeks.
Coaches hinted earlier in the year that they regretted not involving Brown into the offense more often last season, our first clue that he wasn’t going to be released despite a cap hit that far outweighed his 2018 production. Brown had five touchdowns but on only 19 targets in 16 games. On Sunday night against the Vikings Brown had two catches for 52 yards and drew significant praise from Pete Carroll in his postgame press conference for his ability and football IQ.
Clearly in a room where there are so many new faces and players with no experience Brown is standing in for the lost wisdom of Baldwin, as well as he can do that. Now that Metcalf is expected to have knee surgery on Tuesday it further pounds home that there is little competition at this point between Brown and WR2.
That should make it as Lockett, Brown, and David Moore — who had one catch for eight yards on Sunday — as Russell Wilson’s top three options against Cincinnati, and Metcalf on the roster while he potentially misses a little bit of action over the next month. The Seahawks then must shuffle through a handful of names to fill in the final one or two receiver jobs, not to mention potential names who aren’t even on the roster as of today.
Gary Jennings seems to have the best case as he was a recent fourth round pick and provides a different skillset to that of the other four. John Ursua was a seventh round pick and has shone out more than Jennings over the course of the year and up to last night’s game. Jazz Ferguson has done a few good things but overall it doesn’t seem to be enough to not be released with the hope of getting him onto the practice squad. Terry Wright has had good moments in camp and gives himself an advantage on special teams. Keenan Reynolds, Malik Turner, and Amara Darboh all have experience with Seattle prior to this year but this could be the last chance for all three and nothing special has happened thus far for any of them.
At this point my expectation is that the Seahawks keep six receivers. Lockett, Brown, Moore, and Metcalf are locks. Jennings and Ursua seem like the best bet at five and six, though Wright could maybe push out one of them with a solid next couple of weeks. You’d hate to think it, but Jennings might need to catch up in a hurry if he’s going to be around in September — and I would not expect him to make it through to the practice squad.
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