Receiver Roundup: Seattle Seahawks
By Cody Smith
In the third edition of the Receiver Roundup we’re going to stay out west and take a look at the revamped receiving corps of the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seattle offense will look a little different than it has in the past, as top receiving option Doug Baldwin won’t be with the team. Seattle terminated the veteran receiver’s contract back in May following a failed physical. In recent years Badlwin has struggled with injuries to nearly every part of his body including his knees, groin, calves and also a sports hernia surgery. Baldwin subsequently announced his retirement from the NFL just days after his contract was terminated.
Looking to fill his shoes will be a slew of young receivers along with one mainstay to the Seattle offense.
That mainstay is the one and only Tyler Lockett who - believe it or not - enters his fifth season as a Seattle wide receiver. Lockett posted career highs across the board in 2018 including catch percentage (81.4%), yards per target (13.8), receptions (57), yards (965) and touchdowns (10).
The latter of those stats really helped propel Lockett to a top-20 wide receiver finish in 2018. Lockett found himself on the receiving end of 10 of Russell Wilson’s 35 touchdown passes. Double that of the next nearest receiver. Lockett found the end-zone in six of the first seven games of the season on his way to finishing WR16 in PPR scoring.
The downside to Lockett’s 2018 season is that he never caught more than five passes in a single game, and he only went over 100 yards in a game on one occasion. Lockett has also never posted a 1,000 yard season in any of his first four seasons. This is a slight cause for concern for the receiver and perhaps the reason Lockett’s current ADP is in the late fifth round.
Another question coming into the 2019 season will be where Lockett lines up in the Seattle offense. According to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Lockett has been in the slot most of the time in three-receiver sets thus far in OTAs. However, Seattle Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stated that Lockett will be moved around more in 2019.
Locket ranked second in the NFL in yards per catch from the slot (17.5) in 2018 trailing just Tyreek Hill.
No matter where Lockett lines up, he will be Seattle’s top receiving option to begin 2019. Lockett is currently being drafted as the 26th ranked wide receiver near the middle of the fifth round in 12-team PPR leagues which is a great value for a receiver with top-20 potential.
I believe Lockett is going to see regression in the touchdown department, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finally crack the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career.
Seattle also grabbed three receivers in the 2019 NFL draft in an attempt to add depth to one of its thinnest positions.
Seattle drafted D.K. Metcalf out of Ole Miss in the second round, Gary Jennings out of West Virginia in the fourth round and John Ursua out of Hawaii in the seventh round.
Of these three, Metcalf easily provides the most fantasy value. Metcalf should be a nice complement to Lockett who comes in at 5’10, 182 pounds. Metcalf on the other hand is 6’3, 227 pounds of pure muscle.
The Ole Miss product left for the NFL draft after his sophomore season despite not having the most productive college career. In seven games his sophomore season, Metcalf caught 26 passes for 569 yards and five touchdowns. Metcalf averaged 21.9 yards per reception showing that he is capable of being a deep threat in the Seattle offense.
Scouts going into the draft were in love with Metcalf’s measurables and numbers at the combine.
According to playerprofiler.com, Metcalf measured in the 99th percentile of incoming wide receivers in arm length (34 ⅞”), 40-yard dash (4.33), Speed Score (133.3) and Sparq-x score (139.7).
Metcalf also scored in the 97th percentile in Burst Score and in the 91st percentile in Catch Radius.
The biggest concern among scouts in Metcalf’s agility. Metcalf’s agility score at the combine measured among the worst of the receivers, measuring in the fourth percentile.
According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, he doesn’t see any problems with Metcalf’s ability to run all of the necessary routes. Remember, the Seahawks moved up to draft Metcalf which normally indicates a team really likes what they see.
Quarterback Russell Wilson also likes what he’s seen from Metcalf in OTAs. Wilson said “He can do anything and everything and he’s tremendous.”
This is high praise for a receiver to get from his quarterback this early in the preseason.
Currently being drafted near the end of round eight in 12-team PPR leagues (94th overall) Metcalf may be going off of the board a little too early for my liking. Other receivers being drafted in this area include Dante Pettis, Golden Tate, Larry Fitzgerald and Marvin Jones. All of whom are all but guaranteed to be No.1 or No.2 receivers on their respective teams.
Metcalf will have pressure from Jaron Brown and David Moore as the Seahawks No. 2 receiver to open the season. Both of these receivers have worked with the first team in OTAs.
Brown comes off of his first season in Seattle where he was a big red zone threat for the Seahawks. Brown caught 14 passes for 166 yards and an astounding five touchdowns. Brown has little to no fantasy value unless he wins the No.2 receiver spot out of training camp, though he has impressed early in OTAs.
According to Schottenheimer, Brown is having “an unbelievable” off-season and Pete Carroll has suggested Brown could have a larger role in the offense this season.
David Moore enters his sophomore campaign after also grabbing five touchdowns for the Seahawks last season. Moore played in every game and hauled in 26 receptions for 445 yards. Moore also has limited fantasy value at this time until his role in the offense is determined. However, Pete Carroll has stated that Moore has “made a huge leap in overall knowledge of receiving and ability to play multiple spots”.
I wouldn’t waste a draft pick on Brown or Moore, but both could eventually be quality waiver wire adds during the season.
The Seahawks will round out the receiving corps with Amara Darboh, Jazz Ferguson, Keenan Reynolds, Caleb Scott, Malik Turner and Terry Wright all competing to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
The next Receiver Roundup will be the Arizona Cardinals. Breaking down who rookie quarterback Kyler Murray will be tossing the football to.