The undrafted free agent recruitment process has been, and will be, quite different this year. Without a rookie minicamp to invite undrafted players to, the only UDFAs who the Seahawks will get a look at will be those who were offered a contract.
It has been nearly two weeks since the 2020 NFL Draft concluded, and Seattle has officially signed 17 UDFAs since then. Every year, an undrafted free agent manages to make an impact in the preseason and stick with the Seahawks. Who could it be in 2020?
Anthony Gordon (QB)
The favorite to stick in Seattle among the team’s UDFA class, the former Cougar is currently the only quarterback on the roster behind Russell Wilson. Gordon would not be the first UDFA to serve as Wilson’s backup (Trevone Boykin), but he would likely be the most talented. It was a major upset Gordon went unselected, after a prolific 2019 at Washington State throwing for over 5,500 yards and 48 touchdowns. To have Wilson, perhaps the most durable player in the NFL, backed up at such a cheap rate would be ideal. (As a bonus: Gordon would immediately make preseason games considerably more entertaining.)
Patrick Carr (RB)
The two tailbacks the Seahawks’ signed as rookie free agents, Carr and Anthony Jones, could be battling it out for a roster spot. With Rashaad Penny set to start the year on the PUP list, Seattle’s running back room is locked in with three players: Chris Carson, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas. There’s room for another tailback, particularly with Homer and Dallas (at least early in the rookie’s career) more limited to passing downs.
Carr, a compact 5-foot-9 and 205-pound runner, had his 2019 season derailed by a knee injury. However, he will enter the NFL relatively fresh—with just 237 touches in three seasons at Houston—and he was a consistent producer. Over his final two seasons with the Cougars, Carr averaged 5.7 yards per carry. He runs hard, stepping out of tackles and shedding off arm tackles at the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks surely liked the way he seeks out contact at the end of runs, too. Carr could absolutely make some noise in training camp and into preseason, and he could be an early-down contributor while Penny rehabs his injury.
Finishing up some work on the Seahawks' UDFA class, and RB Patrick Carr is among the guys I'm most excited about.— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) May 6, 2020
- Super compact 5'9 and 205 pounds
- Averaged 5.7 YPC over his final two seasons
- Fresh: 79 touches per season on average at Houston
- A lot to like about him! pic.twitter.com/tWVnHapW2b
Anthony Jones (RB)
Jones has a similar size to Carr, at 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, though his mass is more evenly distributed than the squatty Carr. The former FIU tailback was productive in college, topping 2000 yards and scoring 21 touchdowns in his career while overcoming serious health issues. Jones is, however, the type of player that’s difficult to see making the transition to the pros. He’s a gliding, one-cut runner who struggles to break tackles at the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the type of athleticism to succeed with that style in the NFL—he reportedly ran a 4.7 in college.
Seth Dawkins (WR)
While it’s a wide-open competition behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, it seems unlikely either of Dawkins or Aaron Fuller would beat out Phillip Dorsett, Penny Hart, David Moore, Freddie Swain and John Ursua for the final three or four spots.
Dawkins’ Cardinals career was quiet, with the 6-foot-3 wideout totaling 94 catches, 1,510 yards, and nine touchdowns across 42 games. Worryingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Dawkins’ best season came in Lamar Jackson’s final year in college in 2017—when he produced 42 catches, 642 yards, and four scores.
Dawkins is the type of receiver who should impress in preseason, with good size and steady hands, and a strong ability to track the football. However, he lacks any single great trait—he is not strong enough at the catch point for a receiver his size—and will have a hard time displacing the group of receivers ahead of him.
Aaron Fuller (WR)
Similar to Dawkins, Fuller will have a hard time standing out for any one reason. He brings return ability, but so too does the rookie Dallas, among others. He won downfield in college but doesn’t possess the type of athleticism to continue to do so in the NFL. Worse still, he has poor hands, with 17 drops to his name. Fuller has the playmaking ability to provide some preseason spark, but it’s unlikely he pushes for a roster spot. Fuller’s best path to the roster is as a core special teamer, but it appears to be a long shot for the former Husky.
Tyler Mabry (TE)
Maryland’s Mabry and Tennessee’s Dominick Wood-Anderson will both have their work cut out for them to make the 53. Seattle has ridiculous depth at tight end, with Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Colby Parkinson, Luke Willson, and Stephen Sullivan set to begin preseason ahead of the two UDFAs.
Mabry is undersized, at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, and as a result, is far more receiver than blocker; not ideal with Olsen, Hollister, Parkinson, and Sullivan ahead of him in that regard. Among the Seahawks’ UDFAs, Mabry is one of the longest shots. Barring a sparkling receiving performance in preseason, it’s difficult to envision Mabry even cracking the practice squad.
Dominick Wood-Anderson (TE)
Wood-Anderson, more so than Mabry, possesses an intriguing physical profile. At 6-foot-4 and 261 pounds as a former quarterback, Wood-Anderson has a really good frame and the size to develop as a blocker. To do so would be to round out his game, as Wood-Anderson is already a steady receiving threat at all three levels.
While there may not even be room for one of Wood-Anderson or Mabry on the practice squad, with Sullivan likely headed there, Wood-Anderson’s development could be worth tracking ahead of the regular season.
Tommy Champion (OL)
The former Mississippi State offensive lineman was labeled as a tackle when his signing was announced by the team, but he may feature inside, as well. While most of his college career was spent as a backup, Champion started four games at right tackle and two at left guard. The numbers on Seattle’s roster would indicate he’ll start at tackle, and he’ll really only be competing with Chad Wheeler, Cedric Ogbuehi, and potentially Jamarco Jones to backup Brandon Shell.
Though the pathway is there for Champion to be a reserve tackle, the Seahawks may envision him replicating George Fant’s role as a sixth offensive lineman. He saw a fair number of snaps in a similar role as a backup with the Bulldogs, with the large majority coming as a run blocker. Whatever Champion’s role ends up being, it appears Seattle is optimistic about him, as he received a sizable signing bonus, per Over The Cap.
After not finding any producers on offense in rookie free agency a year ago, this year’s crop of UDFAs is encouraging. Between Gordon and the running backs, the Seahawks can feel optimistic about receiving cheap backup quarterback play and potentially depth at tailback.