I think it’s safe to say that the Seattle Seahawks’ 1-2 pairing at wide receiver through the next few seasons will be Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. The question marks are for virtually everyone else below the depth chart, and it’s why the Seahawks should look to improve this position in the offseason.
I’m not a draft expert nor do I claim to be, but all of the college football scouts seem to concur that this is a great class for wide receivers, which is saying something given how promising the 2019 class looks thus far. Daniel Jeremiah went the extra mile and was giving damn near any receiver in his sights a round 1-3 grade. If you watched Alabama, LSU, and Clemson this year you would think they collectively had ten NFL-ready wide receivers and not all of them are even draft eligible yet.
Anyway, back to the Seahawks’ wide receiver situation. Subtract Lockett and Metcalf and you are left with David Moore, Malik Turner, Jaron Brown, and John Ursua. That’s not particularly inspiring.
Moore wasn’t any better or worse in 2019 than he was in 2018, and he’s consistently a low-percentage target for Russell Wilson. He’s clearly best suited in the open field where he makes the most of his YAC opportunities, but 43 catches on 87 targets is not ideal for a potential #3 wide receiver.
Turner has proven valuable on special teams and in his first full season in Seattle’s offense, he snagged 15 passes (on 22 targets) for 245 yards and a touchdown. In limited snaps, his DYAR and DVOA were quite impressive. Of course, Turner had critical drops against the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers, but he’s inexperienced and those plays will happen.
Preseason superstar Ursua spent almost the entire season as a healthy scratch and then when he did finally get playing time, he nearly caught the game-winning, NFC West clinching touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. Did I mention he’s 26 years old now?
Jaron Brown had 16 catches for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns. I really don’t need to peek into advanced stats to notice how largely ineffective he was compared to 2018, and given he’s a free agent I think his days in Seattle are numbered.
As fans we tend to overvalue our own talent, especially for a team like the Seahawks who have developed quite a number of projected low-end players into at least serviceable NFL depth. With that said, I’m not sure that should be the way to operate at this stage of Russell Wilson’s career. For the Seahawks to really contend, they need more DK Metcalf type draft successes (or presumptive draft successes) who are valuable contributors right away and not longer-term projects.
To be more practical, suppose Lockett or Metcalf suffers an injury that leads to them missing a game or two. Is your confidence level so high in Moore, Turner, etc. that they can be adequate replacements? I thought so.
As for who might be available? This is a pointless exercise, although I’m writing this before the NFL Combine, Pro Days, and a bunch of other things that will wildly fluctuate the draft stocks of many of these players. My photo choice is K.J. Hamler out of Penn State, who’s just 5’9” and 175 lbs but is a dangerous return man and remarkably fast, something the Seahawks decidedly lack on offense.
When evaluating need, it’s evident that pass rush — the whole damn defensive line — is Seattle’s biggest issue that must be addressed through both free agency and the draft. For my two cents, wide receiver is not a pressing need but it’s one that should be upgraded.