The Seahawks utilized a three-man rotation at tight end in 2020 featuring Will Dissly, Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister.
That trio yielded underwhelming results:
Dissly – 24 receptions, 251 yards and two touchdowns Olsen – 24 receptions, 239 yards and one touchdown Hollister – 25 receptions, 209 yards and three touchdowns
That’s a meager grand total of 73 catches for 699 yards and six touchdowns. Some of that limited production is a result of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett commanding a majority of targets in Seattle’s passing attack. Still, the Seahawks are surely expecting more out of the revamped trio of Dissly, Gerald Everett and Colby Parkinson in 2021.
“Those three guys are really, really exciting for us,” Pete Carroll said following mandatory minicamp. “There's flexibility in the guys. They can all run and catch the football. I'm really pumped about that position, and I know Russell (Wilson) is jacked about it. He's got different types of targets. We like to do stuff with the guys that they do that's unique to them. That's what we're working out right now with them. We're developing that.
Carroll went on to gush about each player specifically and compared their varying skill sets.
Dissly finally had an offseason to train rather than rehab. Though he played in all 16 games in 2020 on the heels of an Achillis tear in 2019, he was evidently still working his way back to full strength. Dissly said himself that he feels much better than he did a year ago. We may see his per-game numbers balloon back toward where they were at the first two years of his career.
“Will can do everything,” Carroll said. “He can catch the football, he can run with it after it and he's our biggest, best on-line blocker. That's kind of the stability of the position.”
Everett signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Seahawks after spending his first four seasons with the Rams. His familiarity with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron should give him a leg up when learning the verbiage and intricacies of Seattle’s new scheme.
Everett figures to be the most explosive of the three tight ends and could be a weapon in space in regard to his yards after the catch ability.
“Gerald brings some factors that we have not had here before,” Carroll said. “His route-running ability. His speed. If you watch his stuff, his run after catch is excellent. He's a very, very aggressive runner with the football, which is really exciting -- catching and running, you know you can get the ball in his hands and he'll make things happen. He's been a really active willing blocker in our scheme as we've seen in the Rams program.
“He's just an incredibly exciting addition because of the flexibility. You can line him up out of the backfield, he can be in a slot, he can be outside, all of that stuff. He's got wide receiver ability as a tight end, so that's a real positive for us, and I'm really pumped about that. He knows everything. He knows the offense, too. He's just been really a great addition.”
Parkinson, a 2020 fourth-round pick, essentially had a red-shirt year as a rookie. A foot injury during training camp put him behind the eight-ball, and he was never able to overtake Hollister for gameday reps. Parkinson played in just six games last season, catching two passes for 16 yards in garbage time against the Jets.
Yet Parkinson is a breakout candidate for the Seahawks in 2021. The 6-foot-7 tight end looks like he lived in the gym this offseason and now resembles Marvel hero Thor. While he may not be the god of thunder, he should be a prominent red zone target for Wilson.
“Colby is going to be a factor,” Carroll said. “There's nothing to keep him from being a factor. At 6-7, you know he's got a target that's just obviously unique. He's got great hands. He's a natural catcher. His catching range is as normal as it can be. He can use it all. He gets off the ground well, too, when he has to. He's a really bright player. He's picked stuff up.
“Because of the time he missed on the field with us, he really dove into the strength program, and he just pumped up. He's better now than he was at the end when he became active with us at the end of the year.”