In all seriousness, one of the more impressive players from the Seattle Seahawks preseason has been seventh-round WR John Ursua. The 25-year-old Hawaiian was Seattle’s last pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, with the Seahawks trading back into the seventh-round to get him.
The cumulative stats may not be gigantic — 4 catches for 100 yards and 1 rush for 11 yards — but all of his catches have resulted in first downs, while his one jet sweep run turned 2nd and 20 into 3rd and 9.
Highlights have been scarce for most of the Seahawks receivers in preseason action, but Ursua’s plays have been the most eye-catching.
An impressive play from John Ursua. His hands, spatial awareness, balance, mental toughness...kid is a gamer. pic.twitter.com/Cu0U4kE8eg— hawkschronicle (@HawksChronicle) August 20, 2019
That little hop from last night still has me laughing pic.twitter.com/uViQVseez3— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) August 25, 2019
John Ursua just gets route concepts, route timing and coverage. He has a deep comprehension of how to get open. Yes he's a slot only right now, but he should be climbing fast up the depth chart and could do serious damage with Russell Wilson.— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) August 25, 2019
Without going way too overboard, Ursua looks more like Doug Baldwin’s replacement than anyone else on the roster. He has been super effective from the slot position, works well in the open field, finds holes in zones to get open, and is quite quick on the run. At 5’9” and about 180 lbs, he has a fairly similar physical and athletic profile to #89, who just happened to wear #15 in his rookie season when he was a preseason star.
“He’s always been open. You see him,” Russell Wilson said of Ursua (via The Athletic). “He’s got this catlike reflex. He’s got this ability (to) kind of make people miss. It’s pretty special.”
At present, Seattle’s wide receiver corps has one established NFL talent: Tyler Lockett. Jaron Brown is a veteran who’s eclipsed 30+ catches one time in his six-year career, David Moore is both injured and has had only a handful of games to his career, and literally everyone else on the current depth chart has a combined nine NFL receptions (Amara Darboh - 8, Malik Turner - 1).
To temper expectations - Ursua still hasn’t (and won’t against the Oakland Raiders) done anything against first-team defenses. To my recollection, he hasn’t had a snap on the field with Russell Wilson at QB. There’s no guarantee he makes the team, but I am more confident than not that he’ll be on the 53-man roster come the evening of August 31st.
If Bobby Engram was the “slot machine” from yesteryear and Doug Baldwin was the slot machine throughout the Russell Wilson era, the Hawaiian has great potential to be the slot machine of the present and future. D.K. Metcalf might be the splash talent, but for consistent week-to-week productivity, I have high hopes that Ursua could be another classic Seahawks Day 3/UDFA gem.