One of the best years to need a receiver…

January 2nd, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

These are all tweets from today.

This receiver class really does have everything.

Right off the bat you have three players who could go in the top ten — Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee.

Evans is a Vincent Jackson clone. He’ll need to prove he’s as fast to max out his stock (Jackson ran in the 4.4’s), but there’s no denying he’s a terrific next-level prospect. He’ll be a quarterbacks best friend — coming back for the football, winning endless jump-balls, being a third down demon. He’s a star in the making and would be ideal for any young quarterback (such as E.J. Manuel at Buffalo, who own the #9 pick).

Watkins is a pure playmaker with underrated football intelligence, elite speed, strong hands and great body control. They coach receivers well at Clemson. DeAndre Hopkins had a perfect understanding of his offense and regularly broke down routes and schemes during interviews. Watkins has picked that up too. Teams could target him in the top ten and then go back for a quarterback (like A.J. McCarron or Derek Carr) in round two.

Lee is just a heck of a football player. The last prospect who flashed similar technical gifts and an ultra competitive attitude was A.J. Green. He doesn’t have Green’s size, but they have similar traits. I’d love to see him in a prolific passing offense such as Detroit’s. Imagine having to deal with Calvin Johnson on one side and Lee on the other? Like Evans, he’s pissed off for greatness. Receivers need that.

After that you’ve got a mountain of depth. Penn State’s Robinson is tall at 6-3 but surprisingly better with the ball in his hands as a YAC specialist. Whether he can take on a more orthodox role, make plays downfield and high point the football remains to be seen. He moves well, has a lean frame that can maybe add a bit more bulk. He might need time to adjust to the next level.

Brandon Coleman (6-6) and Kelvin Benjamin (6-5) offer more height and supreme physical qualities — even if they have a lot to work on.

Coleman must high point the football better but he’s really not been helped by the disastrous Rutgers passing offense. Look at him like a ball of clay, ready to be moulded into an effective pro-wide out. Not many guys can do what he does at that size. Don’t be shocked if he ends up being another sensational Josh Gordon-style physical freak. Gordon needed a year before blowing up the NFL.

Benjamin had the Heisman Trophy winner throwing dimes all season and it helped him put up big numbers. If you were designing a #1 receiver, he’d look a lot like Kelvin Benjamin. Great size, powerful frame. Yet he could be so much better than he’s shown in college. He has to cut out the frequent mental mistakes (plenty of lousy drops in 2013). He has to show more desire to dominate — which he is capable of doing. And he needs to show better body control and route running skills. If the light switches on –watch out.

Odell Beckham is an exceptional talent — huge hands, super smooth route runner, fantastic kick returner. He’s one of the best players in the draft. Any team that wants a receiver who can get on the field right away and make a quick transition needs to consider Beckham. He’s not the biggest, but he plays way above his size. Not many 6-0 receivers high point the ball like he does.

His partner at LSU — Jarvis Landry — isn’t too far behind. He’s also a reliable playmaker and a great safety net. Again — not the biggest. No problem. He’s just a really good player.

Oregon State’s Cooks is a smaller, quicker wide out who will likely operate in the slot at the next level and work heavily in the screen game. He won the Biletnikoff Award this year and put up huge numbers. Jordan Matthews is an incredibly polished #2 type who would suit the Indianapolis offense as a heir apparent to Reggie Wayne, while Paul Richardson is a capable playmaker on his day.

The list goes on — Devante Parker, Jared Abbrederis, Donte Moncrief, Cody Hoffman, Josh Huff, Michael Campanaro.

Receiver and offensive tackle are two positions of real depth in 2014.

But it’s the top end talent that is really exciting.

If the Seahawks want to target a wide out — this is as good a year as any. They’re unlikely to get close to Dorial Green-Beckham or Amari Cooper in 2015.

Even if Percy Harvin gets going and they re-sign Golden Tate, for me this has to be an area of focus for Seattle in May.

61 Responses to “One of the best years to need a receiver…”

  1. dave crockett says:

    Yeah, I could see a out-of-the-box-ready big receiver like Matthews falling. He could solve a lot of problems for us and could last into the 3rd round..

    • CC says:

      Except right now, we don’t have a third rounder – Minn has ours. I look to see us drop out of the first round to pick up a third.

  2. SunPathPaul says:

    Well done…
    What do you think about grabbing Jared ABBREDERIS?
    He played a season w R Wilson all ready back in 2011, in Wisconsin…

    Here are that years numbers with Russell Throwing:
    Rec yards TD avg long
    2011 14/14 55 933 8 17.0 51

    I would be wanting him for extra quality depth behind Coleman, or a possible trade up for Evans…
    He would be a middle round pick, especially good ‘if’ Wilson feels they have a good rapport together!

    What round do you think he would be available until? I would like us to stack or WR core Now…
    He is 6-2, so has some height, and may be a 4.4 guy…?

    I think he might be someone to keep an eye on…

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Abbrederis can be a solid receiver, but I think Seattle already has that type of wide out. They really need a big, ideal #1 type.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        But what about that? Going for an even bigger #1, but adding a Solid guy w previous RW experience, and celebrate an embarrassment of riches in more than our back field?

        • Rob Staton says:

          If he’s around in R4-5 I’m down. Remember though — we have no third round pick so that makes this difficult.

        • Nolan says:

          Two receivers might be the way to go, if we retain Tate and Baldwin this year we will almost certainly lose Baldwin next year so it would be could to have a replacement in the pipeline.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Here is a link to some Jared Abbrederis highlights, and what is kinda bad ass is seeing Russell Wilson throwing bomb after bomb after bomb TD’s to this guy!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGWXphHFTaY

      Now I want him for sure!!!

      Imagine Percy, Jared, Coleman, (perhaps Golden), and Baldwin…Z Miller, L Willson, A McCoy

      I think our value for the buck would be great here. a years rapport and he looks good at breaking away deep, over and over… high pointing the ball, using his body…all, well… at 6-2, 190

      He also looks pretty damn fast! Mix that with Percy? jeez

  3. KyleT says:

    This debate kind of started on the previous post and I think it’s a good one. Since we can all admit we’re going to have to compromise something in a receiver we pick in the first round because of our likely draft position, I would love to see opinions on what exactly we’re willing to compromise. Route running? Hands? Catching technique? Speed? Size? etc…

    I’m excited about Coleman on paper but after watching his tape I realized that what he doesn’t do is something I would rather not compromise on. Which is how he catches the football and what that means in terms of catch radius and the type of target we can rely on him to be.

    I don’t think we need a prototypical #1 receiver. We do need someone who can be a big target and be physical and aggressive enough to win on the margins even without great separation. I’m not sure who that is in this receiver class, but I think that is our greatest need for that position group going into next year. Even if that means taking a slower or potentially smaller (6’1->6’3) receiver.

    We have several receivers who can be the home run threat to score a touchdown from our own territory or that gets us into the red zone. But once we get in there or we need a key third-down we don’t have a guy that people have to really worry about that can dominate in those situations. Consequently our red zone efficiency and third-down conversion rate gyrates between good and abysmally terrible.

  4. Cameron says:

    As great as Josh Gordon has become, it’s worth remembering he was taken in the 2nd round of the supplemental draft. That’s the earliest I’d feel good about taking Brandon Coleman. I’d like to see us trade back out of the 1st round and pick up another 3rd or 4th round pick, unless a stud tackle falls on our late first rounder (doubtful).

    • Rob Staton says:

      The pick Cleveland spent on Gordon ended up being the 39th overall selection.

      If Seattle makes it to the Super Bowl as we all obviously hope, it’s only a 7-8 pick difference.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Plus Gordon had (and still does have) serious character issues

  5. Stuart says:

    Loved seeing Russell throwing some of those bombs! This debate will last until the start of the draft in May. It will be fun arguing the pro’s and con’s til then.

  6. MJ says:

    For me, give me OBJ or Jarvis Landry at the end of Round 1 (realistically could be available). Those 2 I think can become your primary/premiere pass catchers, as they do so many things well and play like they are pissed off for greatness (love that term Rob). I’m continually amazed by how great of route runners they are. Additionally, both dominate the red line despite not having the size. Lastly, like Rob mentioned, plug them in Day 1…could be a scary offense.

    What a year for WR. I hope this doesn’t mean we wait til R2, because I think the value at the end of R1 is going to be too good to pass up.

  7. Cysco says:

    Interesting watching those videos. There is a large gap in terms of polish and ability between the group. It’s pretty amazing to watch Evans and Beckham Jr hands catch everything, highpoint the ball, come back for the ball and run good routes. Then you see Coleman and think OMG, that dude is a physical freak! Then you see him catch everything with his body…

    If you can teach Coleman to be a receiver and not just an athlete, then grab him. He’s got physical ability for days. If you don’t believe he can be taught into a premiere receiver, then grab OBJ and don’t look back. That guys is rock solid and will hit the ground running day one.

  8. Justin M says:

    “Odell Beckham is an exceptional talent — huge hands, super smooth route runner, fantastic kick returner.”

    Am I the only person who read “huge hands” and said we have to draft this guy!?

    • MJ says:

      I have an unhealthy man-love for OBJ and Jarvis Landry…both are so damn good.

      • Justin M says:

        Yeah Beckham seems like a player Seahawks would draft. He plays physical, goes up and gets the ball. Is elusive enough to beat 1 on 1 coverage (in blitz situations). I think he is the perfect #2Wr. Besides the WR’s that will be drafted in top 20 (Lee, Watkins, Evans). He has the highest floor in my opinion. You know what you get in him.

        I love the upside of Brandon Coleman but he needs to be coached up. He could be like Josh Gordon or be cut like Chris Harper, Lockette, or Chris Durham (in their defense they all are still playing in the league). With that potential you take the risk. But it would be very frustrating to miss on a wr with such talent this year.

  9. David M says:

    don’t forget we have kearse, who yeah is not a top WR, but when he gets his chance, he makes it count. he can be a good backup. I can see us taking a good No.1 WR in the 1-2rd and then a TE also. or a guard. but in not so sure if they will take a guard or not. i think they like what they see with Baily and Bowie playing those positions.. Carpenter would be good if he dropped a good 20lbs. he has good talent, but he is just too big. if he lost some weight and got a little more athletic. he would make an amazing guard.

  10. Barry says:

    Odell Beckham period. To me he’s this years DeAndre Hopkins. You know what you are getting and he’s a alpha. The type of player you know you dont have to worry about top much and will continue to get better. If we took Odell Beckham with our first pick and then one of the other bigs in rnd 2 I’d be fine with that.

  11. Barry says:

    About Tate I honestly wonder if we will resign him. He’s going to number one money from someone. But watching last weeks game (the biggest of his career) he didn’t seem to enjoy the moment. I didn’t see much hop in his step after he made big plays late in the third quarter and no give me the ball. Its not the best thing to deal with but to a extent those traits are common amongst number one receivers in one way or another.

    • David Ess says:

      I have to disagree, I saw lots of enjoyment and excitement from Tate, he might of toned it down because of the last meeting, where he got called for taunting, so I cant blame him there, but you got to watch it again, he looks happy. I think he will resign for a reasonable amount, I think he likes it here and has grown with RW and the rest of the WR group.

      • cplus says:

        I agree. I think Tate is happy. Its clear he’s passionate about football. Just seems to me he’s shifted that immature, playful, demonstrative passion (since that Rams taunt) to a more cold blooded pissed off passion, which I kind of love.

        • Michael M. says:

          I think I’ve heard Tate say, “we’ve got something special here” at least half a dozen times. I think he likes it here. That said, I think he is going to be more expensive to keep than most people realize. Honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see him get $9MM a year.

      • Barry says:

        Yeah, Ok let me rephrase that. I do agree he would seem happy but I didn’t see that bravado that you expect maybe. I did consider the a$$ chewing he got from the taunting call of the previous game. I heard Pete on Brock and Danny and he was still not happy the next day so I can imagine.

        I hope he likes it here. But if we are going to pay him good money (and I think it will be in that order) then I expect more games like this last one from him in the playoffs. I think we have good depth at receiver. We just don’t have someone who shows up when the offense is struggling to make a play from a receiver position. We have seen Miller do it from the TE spot but he’s been banged up a lot this year. Its too bad that just when Luke Wilson was getting it he got that injury.

    • Madmark says:

      Don’t forget he shouldn’t be to far behind on the money since he was a 2nd round pick before the new CBA. He deserves a small increase but the stats don’t pan out to a Mike Wallace contract.

  12. David Ess says:

    I would love to have OBJ with the 1st pick and another WR in the 2nd, but I don’t think thatd happen, I don’t see the hawks going and getting two WR’s back to back, they’ll prolly go D-line some point with their mid picks and hell even trade out of the 1st (depending on where they sit hopefully the 32nd) and picking up some early mid rounders maybe a 3rd or 4th. I can see them going O-line but not till later rounds. and maybe a receiver in the 2nd, PC and JS love their athletic freaks so if OBJ tests out good I can see them selecting him like they did with Christine Michael this last year.

  13. Don says:

    When I watch Odell Beckham, I see another Tate. They are both physical players, go up high and battle for the ball, great hands, elusive, and can catch everything in traffic.

    I want the Hawks to resign Tate, but I also want the Hawks to sign a big WR target with great hands also. Would Beckham next to Tate be good or bad because they are the same type? If they are both good, does it matter?

    I would like the Hawks to bundle their picks and get 3-4 higher picks total, including moving up to get Evans and a OL. Quality instead of quantity.

    • David Ess says:

      From what I’ve seen of OBJ is he is a little more polished then tate when tate first came out, and I guess it would depend on what he measured because if he’s another sub 6′ guy I don’t know if I’d be interested unless we got a bigger WR later or something, I love the idea of a big target for RW.

      • Miles says:

        Since Baldwin is a UFA after next year, perhaps Beckham would be a good choice as he could potentially work slot with his size. But he can also play outside. And this scenario is a good one, without even mentioning the possibility that Tate walks. I think at the end of the day, if you think Beckham is going to be a stud WR2, you take him. That’s much better than taking a player you have little idea about, especially a player like Coleman who you’re unsure can adapt his size to the game.

        • Michael (CLT) says:

          I think Baldwin is RFA next year. I suspect Seattle to tag him with a 2nd round tender with a 2M price tag.

  14. EranUngar says:

    This year it’s all about – dig a hole then fill it.
    We have no glaring holes to fill other then those we are forced to create due to cap restrictions etc. I would assume that the choice of who to keep and who to let go will be effected by what they see as the easiest to fill in the draft. So far it’s bad news for WR and OT on the current roster.
    Having said that – it’s PC and JS so they have their special mid round gems that they count on to fill holes (Wilson, Willson…). Those will factore into who goes and hence who’s needed.
    It’s time we finally nail a quality WR draft pick so WR/OT in the first 2 rounds sounds like solid plan and that’s enough of a reason for me to believe it won’t happen. They never ever do “solid plans”.
    Maybe another RB in the first followed by a CB in the second?

  15. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I agree the depth at WR is outstanding. Unless one particular player we like drops, I’d expect us to address a different position and pick up a WR in round 2. We’ve done that before and given how we like to draft quality throughout the draft — it makes sense that we will look to make use of that depth by addressing other needs earlier where the draft may not be as deep.

    I would say we’re probably looking at the Devante Adams/Parker, Abbrederis/Landry/Coleman/Benjamin type prospects — seeing who drops into the late 2nd/3rd.

  16. Cysco says:

    I agree with others. If we lose Tate, Beckham JR would be a solid replacement. Same speed (4.4 40) same size 5’10 or 5’11 200ish lbs. Beckham JR can apparently jump higher than Tate, but by the looks of it Tate is stronger.

    Both have great hands. Both have silky smooth moves. Both seem to play with tons of confidence.

    If we keep Tate, I have a hard time justifying taking OBJ since he would appear to be a bit redundant. More of a luxury, where at least with Coleman, you’re taking a swing for the fences on a player profile that isn’t currently on the roster.

    But damn I do like me some Beckham Jr. I hope he doesn’t get drafted by someone in the NFCW. I don’t know what I’d do if he landed on the 49rs or Rams.

  17. Phil says:

    No doubt in my mind that we need one or more receivers. But, what kind of skill set are we looking for? IMHO, this depends on the answers to 2 questions: (1) who are we likely to lose to free agency, or who do we simply choose not to re-sign, and (2) what kinds of changes do we plan for our offense of the future?

    Regarding the second question, some opponents seem to be having success at limiting RW’s ability to extend plays, either by limiting his ability to roll out, or boot leg, or scramble. So, I think we are likely to see more throws from the pocket than we have in the past. And, I think this places more emphasis on having receivers who can gain separation running pre-defined routes (like Marquise Lee) than by improvising (like Mike Evans, although Evans’ height can provide separation too).

    Regarding the first question, if we lose Tate to free agency, then I think that we have to find a receiver who can work extensively with RW so that when RW is able to extend a play, the receiver will know instinctively where RW wants him to go. I think that Tate and RW have this confidence in one another that has come from lots and lots of reps, and Tate is great at improvising (just as RW is at his end of the play) and then out-fighting the DB for the ball. I think the Manziel/Evans combination is a lot like the Wilson/Tate combination, but if we re-sign Tate, do we need someone with his same skills? Especially if signing someone with those skills means that we miss out on a really skilled route runner?

  18. Stuart says:

    Excellent points Phil.

  19. Josh says:

    I think what I’d prefer to see is trade back a few spots into the 2nd rd to recoup a pick or two and try to grab Gabe Jackson and then use our 2nd rd pick on a WR. That would go a long ways towards helping our offense IMO.

  20. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Of all the WRs in this draft, perhaps of ALL the players in this draft, I like Marqise Lee most.

    Why? His attitude. That kind of attitude drives a player to compete, and such a player is priceless and valuable beyond his measurables. Like Michael Jordan or Ray Lewis.

    I don’t think there’s any way Seattle gets him, but man it’s nice to dream.

    • Barry says:

      I don’t know too much about Lee’s personality, but I know he got a lot of hell for his play the beginning of the year. Most of it coming from a perceived slacking off and not trying hard. Jordan and Lewis’s egos wouldn’t even allow that from them.
      But like I said I haven’t seen many interviews and that’s only what I’ve read and observed.

  21. E.T. says:

    Another developmental receiver that wasnt mentioned in this article is Paul Richardson of Colorado. He doesnt have great size, being about 6-0, 170lbs, but he was an excellent, speedy, playmaker on a very bad Colorado team. I wouldn’t be mad if PCJS spent a mid round pick on him and stashed him in a redshirt year in 2014.

  22. Colin says:

    Hawks have not invested heavily in the receiver position, through the draft, since Pete and John arrived.

    However, they have constantly been looking for big, fast receivers in free agency. They were in talks for Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson before getting Sidney Rice.

    The defense is pretty well set with the exception of some depth and maybe some D line concerns going forward. It’s time for an infusion of some offensive talent, particularly on offensive line and WR. I don’t think Tight End is as big a need as some think, in a pass catching sense, particularly given the style of offense we run, but that isn’t to say it’s out of the realm of possibilities.

    Really, really hope Seattle has a more offensive minded draft this year.

    • Ben2 says:

      I wonder what the ratio of defense to offense has for this FO….is this ratio similar in each of their past drafts? If so it might be indicative of a draft philosophy….or not. Correlation and all that….still, would be interesting. I’m pulling thus from my butt, but a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio favoring defense….maybe?

  23. Barry says:

    To Me OBJ and Tate are not at all the same player. Remember Tate is a converted Rb and that shows in his game with the ball in his hands and when he came out with his routes (which are still improving and in need of improvement) When Tate was coming out I remember comparisons to a poor mans Percy (apparently no one told the scouts Tate CAN stay healthy).

    OBJ reminds me of a cross between Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Harrison’s smooth routes and quickness and Wayne’s strength and concentration when going for the ball.

    But all n all from their builds to how their muscles react I don’t see a similar player.

  24. Scott says:

    Great reading, thank you…

    I get concerned reading that a receiver needs to work on being able to “high point the football”. That strikes me as more of an innate talent, rather that a skill that can be learned. It seems to me that if a guy doesn’t go up and get the ball at the top of his leap naturally, then he probably never will.

    Am I wrong?

  25. Barry says:

    I believe that’s want and desire, but like everything takes time and work.

  26. OakHarborHawk says:

    All I ask John Schneider is that you come out of this draft with a big tall fast WR. Benjamin or Coleman please. We can coach them up like we did Tate.

    On the subject of Doug Baldwin does anyone think we might lose him even with a second round tender? Only team I could see going after him is the Colts who were rumored to be trying to trade for him early in the season.

    I’m really torn on him, as I love Baldwin as a player, but I don’t know if we can pay him after next season. Losing him for a draft pick in a deep draft year for WR where we’re missing a third rounder would be ideal. If we lose Tate in FA though we gotta keep him.

    • Phil says:

      Lost in the fact that Baldwin was an undrafted FA out of Stanford is the fact that he led Stanford in receiving yards and TDs in his last year (2010). I’m sure that Andrew Luck would love to see him in Indianapolis.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Baldwin should be safe with the R2 tender. I think it’s unlikely Indy show interest — they’ve already dealt their first rounder to Cleveland for Trent Richardson after all.

  27. troy says:

    I dont believe its out of the question despite the fact that this FO doesnt normally trade up in the draft but I can envision a scenerio where the Hawks trade up with say the Dallas @ #17 just ahead of the #18 NYJ(WR starved) and taking either Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins. Regardless of what “conventional wisdom” says it doesnt matter how unlikely it seems either will be there in the mid-late 1st RD it happens every year, I wouldnt be shocked to see one of them still there in this draft class. If things were to unfold in such a manner and taking in to consideration the draft’s point system and values what would it take to pull off something like this?

  28. Cysco says:

    Trading up? perhaps, but I seriously doubt it would be with Dallas. Living down here in Dallas, there’s one thing that I’ve learned is a certainty – Jerry Jones is too proud to trade back very far. He is so infatuated with the new shiny toy that doing the smart thing gets overruled by doing the thing that he thinks makes the biggest single impact on his team.

    Every time I’m forced to watch a cowboys game I thank the heavens that my team is run by people who have a clue what they’re doing.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Worth noting though on Dallas — they did trade down from #18 to #31 last year and eventually took Wisconsin center Travis Frederick.

      • troy says:

        Obviously Im not saying or predicting this is how things will unfold but if the Hawks are high on Evans, I certainly think theres a possibilty hes there @ # 17.

  29. AlaskaHawk says:

    Sammy Watkins has 16 receptions for 227 yards and 2 TDs. He is an awesome receiver.

  30. CC says:

    Donte Moncreif – Ole Miss is a guy I’m interested in. A bit of a slow starter, but has good speed and hands. Has anyone watched/heard anything about him? He’s my sleeper for the Seahawks right now – under the radar guy.

  31. JimQ says:

    Perhaps the big red zone target that the Hawks need can be had at a much lower cost than spending a round one/two pick on Coleman? This OC speaks pretty highly of this kid and he may be a good selection in the later rounds? He seems pretty similar to Coleman and is indeed a red zone threat! Really, is he the fastest on their team? He is a only a junior, so he may or may not enter the draft?

    WR-Martavis Bryant, Clemson, 6-4, 200, (Rd 6/7 if there?)
    “”Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant, according to offensive coordinator Chad Morris, is “every bit as good of an athlete as Sammy” Watkins. The biggest thing with him is just being able to play consistently, be the same guy every day. That’s the thing you like to see with him. He’s as talented a wide receiver as we’ve got. He’s the FASTEST guy on the team. He’s big, he provides mismatches. It’s just getting his confidence up to where he needs to play at.”” – http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/60192/tigers-looking-for-more-from-wr-martavis-bryant?ex_cid=espnapi_public

  32. Robert says:

    So far, I like Kelvin Benjamin the most. He is a physical monster that dominates cornerbacks. He’s a high pointer and hands catcher with gynormous catch radius. He’s the red zone, 3rd down, ever-present deep threat that is ALWAYS open with RW’s extraordinary ability to throw the high ball and KB’s ability to go get it!

    Scout: http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/12/27/2014-nfl-draft-scouting-report-florida-state-wr-kelvin-benjamin/

    Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTkyr7Qv8mc