Thursday, May 8, 2014
Receivers the Seahawks may consider
By Terry Blount
The Seattle Seahawks probably will look for a big-body receiver in this draft and this is a good year to find one.
Most draft experts believe this is the best draft in years for wide receivers. It could set a record for the number of receivers selected in the first round.
That means some of the best ones will be long gone by the time the Seahawks make their selection at the end of Round 1, but the depth of the position also means good ones will be on the board later in the draft.
Receivers who probably will be gone when Seattle picks are Sammy Watkins of Clemson, Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU and Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. Evans, however, is the only one of that group who fits the big-body look.
So here's a list of receivers, including a couple of tight ends and one punt returner, who may be on the Seahawks' draft board:
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana (6-3, 215) -- No one in this draft has shot up the draft boards faster than Latimer. Two months ago, he was viewed as a fourth-round pick. But his pro day and his team workouts have wowed everyone, including a workout for the Seahawks. He probably won't get to the end of Round 1, but Seattle hopes he does.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State (6-5, 240) -- He's just what the Seahawks are looking for in a big, strong receiver who can be a physical presence and out-muscle defenders for the football. Benjamin isn't overly fast and occasionally drops balls due to a lack of concentration, but he's the hybrid type of receiver/tight end who could fit in the Seahawks' system.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington (6-5, 260) -- A true tight end isn't a big need area for Seattle after restructuring Zach Miller's contract, re-signing Anthony McCoy and having talented 2013 rookie Luke Willson in the mix. However, it's an important position in the Seahawks offense and Seferian-Jenkins would be a popular pick as a local guy with enormous talent.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (6-3, 210) -- He has excellent hands, which shouldn't come as a surprise for the cousin of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Matthews is a lanky receiver with 4.4 speed, often beating defenders on deep routes. He is known for his route-running skills, but he isn't the strongest guy around and sometimes struggles against big, press corners. Practicing every day against the Seahawks defenders would help him improve there.
Allen Robinson, WR Penn State (6-3, 220) -- He had eye-popping stats last season with 97 catches for 1,432 yards. Robinson is one of the best receivers in this draft at yards after the catch, but he isn't much of a deep threat. He's a possession receiver who will make the tough catch over the middle and become a running back after he catches it.
Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech (6-5, 265) -- The other tight end in this draft that could get Seattle's attention because he also is more of a hybrid who can runs routes like a wide receiver. He rarely drops a ball and can outmaneuver most linebackers. But Amaro is a little stiff in his blocking technique and can get beaten off the edge.
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State (6-2, 215) -- Tough and physical, Adams usually wins the one-one-one battles with defenders. He's an excellent blocker with a bit of a mean streak, almost daring defenders to try to stop him. But he's not fast and will fumble at times in pushing hard for extra years.
Marqise Lee, WR, Southern Cal (6-0, 190) -- He doesn't really have the size the Seahawks seek and he suffered through injury problems last year as a junior, but his talent and physical skills are unquestioned. Lee was the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 when he caught 73 passes and had 11 touchdowns. Despite his slender build, Lee is excellent at getting past press coverage.
Donte Moncrief, Mississippi (6-2, 225) -- Lightning fast for a man his size with 4.4 speed, including an impressive first-step burst. He's also a good blocker, an important quality for wide receivers with the Seahawks. Moncrief is known for his making the highlight-reel catches.
Chris Davis, PR, Auburn (5-10, 200) -- Yes, Davis is actually is a cornerback, and a small one at that, which doesn't fit the mold for the Seahawks. However, he is an exceptional punt returner, averaging 18.7 yards per return last season. This is a clear need area for the Seahawks after losing Golden Tate. Maybe the Seahawks take a flyer on Davis as a special-team guy who could be a game-breaker on returns. After all, he is the man who broke the heart of Alabama fans with his 109-yard Kick Six return on a missed field-goal attempt that won the game against the Crimson Tide.