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Six Mid Round Receivers That Seattle Could Target

With the NFL Combine right around the corner, my draft analysis is really ramping up trying to gauge major needs, when to draft what etc. Things will, undoubtedly, become a lot clearer with regards to needs once free agency gets underway, but It’s hard to believe that with the possible departures of both Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson that Seattle doesn’t pick up at least one taller receiver to add to the stable. I don’t envision them spending an early pick, they will likely go after one in the mid rounds.

Firstly, Seattle typically sets the benchmark for wide receivers around their 40 time. Specifically, something starting with a 4.4x. There have been exceptions to this (Kenny Lawler ran a 4.64 and Chris Harper ran a 4.50) but historically, somewhere in the 4.4’s is the benchmark. Amara Darboh ran 4.45, Paul Richardson ran 4.40, Golden Tate ran 4.42, Tyler Lockett ran 4.40, Kris Durham ran 4.46 and Kevin Norwood ran 4.48.

Here’s some players to keep an eye on –

Tre’Quan Smith – WR – Central Florida – 6-2” 202 pounds

Smith may struggle to get into the 4.40’s and if he does, it’ll be right at the top end of that range. He has been a 3-year starter at UCF leading the program in receiving yards in each of those seasons, too. He can also line up at X, Y & Z which is advantageous and could give Seattle more flexibility to move Doug Baldwin out of the Y (slot). He can absolutely be used in Pete Carroll’s ‘deep ball’ offense, he managed 41 career catches over 20 yards.

You could potentially call Smith an Allan Robinson lite.

Round projection – Late 3rd early 4th

J’Mon Moore – WR - Missouri – 6-3” 209 pounds

Moore was another receiver that led his team in receiving yards for the past three seasons and he certainly looks the part, too. He excels when he’s in press coverage from the DB and has a great burst of acceleration and power off the LOS. He is also a great route runner so would likely see a rookie season akin to Golden Tate (250-400 yards) rather than Amara Cooper (71 yards). He also excels at cutting so wouldn’t struggle to gain separation, something that Russell Wilson would undoubtedly look for out of a rookie WR if he’s to throw the ball his way.

Round projection – Late 3rd early 4th

Allan Lazard – WR – Iowa State – 6-4” 227 pounds

Lazard is my personal favourite in this draft class (for Seattle, anyway). He has a huge frame and the perfect X receiver. He is consistent (caught a ball in 48-straight games, every game he played in) and simply doesn’t ‘disappear’ like receivers tend to do in this league. He would bring favourable matchups when it comes to jump balls given his track record. He is also good as a blocker, something that will tick a massive line on Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s clipboard. He isn’t the most athletic, though and may or may not rule himself off the board with his 40 time but he’s certainly a player I will be interested in seeing at the combine.

Round projection – Late 4th early 5th

Marcell Ateman – WR – Oklahoma State – 6-4” 216 pounds

Ateman is absolutely a candidate that could rise rapidly up team’s draft board after the combine. He is never going to be a 1000-yard receiver in Seattle as he is expected to struggle with separation in the NFL, however he can be a real red zone threat in the right system due to his frame, long arms and misdirection abilities. Think of Ateman as a poor man’s Jimmy Graham and you’re along the right lines, although his blocking is infinitely better.

Round projection – Late 4th early 5th

Cedrick Wilson – WR – Boise State – 6-2” 194 pounds

Say it with me, “Wilson to Wilson with a great block by Willson”. Cedrick was born into football with his father, of the same name, also a receiver for the Steelers in the mid 2000’s. Wilson would be another candidate to add to the deep ball threat that opposing teams would have to account for. He is fantastic at ball tracking as well as changing speed quickly. He would almost definitely be a low impact rookie, though. His route running and general football IQ will need to be improved to be successful in the NFL but has the potential to be a player that ‘comes out of nowhere’ onto the scene the following year. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Round projection – Late 4th early 5th

Auden Tate – WR – Florida State – 6-4” 220 pounds

Another receiver that can line up all over the formation giving the team personnel flexibility, he has fantastic size and uses it well. He has never put eye popping stats on the board (548 yards and 10 TD’s in 2017) but would certainly be a player the team could take a fly on with a later round pick and see how he performs in training camp. If it doesn’t work out I would expect him to be able to sit on the practice squad without getting poached while he develops. Certainly a player that has great upside but I’d say a 50/50 chance of succeeding in this league.

Round projection – 5th round

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