Last week the folks at Pro Football Focus gave the Seattle Seahawks offensive line a very low ranking entering the 2023 NFL season. Unless Charles Cross and Abe Lucas improve upon their solid rookie campaigns, PFF believes Seattle’s OL could be one of the worst in the business.
Well how about some PFF praise for a change? This one has to do with receiving corps, and I’m not talking exclusively the wide receiver position. These rankings includes tight ends and running backs who “positively affect the passing game.” Seems fair enough to me!
The Cincinnati Bengals take the top spot with the great receiving trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd doing the bulk of the lifting in the passing game. Unsurprisingly the Philadelphia Eagles are second with A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith as their dynamic duo, not to mention tight end Dallas Goedert. The Miami Dolphins are third largely because of speedsters Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, leaving the San Francisco 49ers perhaps a bit underrated even at fourth with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle. Shoot me down if you want but I could make a good case that independent of QB, the 49ers should be number one with that level of depth at multiple positions.
Rounding out the top-five? None other than the Seattle Seahawks.
I mentioned the Bengals having the best receiver trio in the league, but Seattle might not be far behind. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for 190 catches for 2,256 receiving yards a season ago, with both players grading above 77.0. Now, they’ll add first-round receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who recorded a 92.1 receiving grade and exceeded 1,600 receiving yards as just a true sophomore at Ohio State in 2022.
The write-up leaves out that Seattle’s trio of tight ends (Will Dissly, Noah Fant, and Colby Parkinson), all of whom are returning this year, combined for 109 catches, roughly 1,200 yards, and 9 touchdowns. I anticipate that target share reducing with Smith-Njigba’s addition to the offense, but the Seahawks make up for the lack of an elite TE with multiple capable pass-catchers. If Smith-Njigba produces right out of the gate that will go a huge way towards Seattle being as potent as possible in the air.
Seattle normally doesn’t rely too much on running backs as receivers, but if Kenny McIntosh makes the roster I’d keep an eye on him (even over Zach Charbonnet and Kenneth Walker III) as the most dangerous pass-catching threat out of the backfield.
Now... just imagine if the Seahawks can get a screen game going with their receiving targets.