Which Day 2 wide receiver fits best with the Seattle Seahawks?
2020 Seahawks Draft Panel: Part 3
The Seahawks have two fantastic wide receivers: DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, obviously. But Seattle remains in need of a consistent third option. That roster flaw showed itself in 2019 after Will Dissly’s Achilles tear.
Jacob Hollister did his best to fill in, but the Seahawks were never able to establish a consistent presence that took some pressure off of Metcalf and Lockett. Jaron Brown, Malik Turner and David Moore all underwhelmed while John Ursua was never given a chance.
Moore, Ursua and newly signed Philip Dorsett will be in the mix, but I still expect Seattle to dip into one of the deepest receiver draft classes of all time.
Which leads us to Part 3 of our 2020 Seahawks Draft Panel: Which Day 2 wide receiver would be a great fit in Seattle? For context, the Seahawks have two second-round picks (59 and 64) and one third-round pick (101).
Our 10 experts made their picks.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
I like USC’s Michael Pittman in the second round. You look at where Seattle’s picking, 59 and 64, I think that’s a perfect spot for where I have Pittman. He’s great with 50/50 balls and the run after the catch. He refuses to go down. He’d be one I’d put in that department if I was going to use a second-round pick on a receiver. Penn State’s KJ Hamler has that speed, which it seems like everyone is trying to build these track teams. Seattle already has a pretty fast group and to add a guy like that would add more speed to the bunch. If you go beyond that to pick No. 101, that’s where I love a guy like Van Jefferson because he’s such a good route runner. I think he’d be a real good complement to DK Metcalf. They’re like polar opposites. It would be fun to watch Jefferson with Russell Wilson.
Charles Davis, NFL Network
I’m thinking Van Jefferson out of Florida. I absolutely love him, even though he’s coming off of a foot injury. He put on a show at the Senior Bowl. John Hightower out of Boise State would be a guy who would fit in Seattle. He can run. He’s tall, but there’s a quickness to him – a bit of a suddenness. He goes up and gets the football. One other guy I really like is James Proche out of SMU. He’s a slot guy who always gets open. He reminds you a little of Tyler Lockett, but he’s not able to play outside like Lockett. He just catches balls and the chains move.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
I like K.J. Hill from Ohio State in the third round. He’s more of a slot, but you don’t want to get a duplicate of what you’re dealing with in DK Metcalf. You want somebody who does things differently. Hill runs a variety of routes, and he’s a really good route runner. Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden is another one who you might be able to find at No. 59 that gives you two big targets. Golden is a little more loose-hipped than Metcalf and can probably do a little more from a route standpoint. He would also be in consideration for me. If you want to look into Day 3, keep an eye on Isaiah Coulter from Rhode Island. I think he’s really intriguing and could be an early contributor.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
I would love USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. to be there. I’d love Seattle to say, “Let’s just roll out there with two 6-foot-4, 230-pound monsters at wide receiver with Tyler Lockett in the middle. I’m not sure he’ll be there. I think Chase Claypool from Notre Dame is really intriguing. To be 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds and run a 4.38-second 40, that’s the kind of athleticism you’re looking for. And he had production at Notre Dame. This isn’t just a guy who is an athlete. He’s a team-first guy. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault had a chance to go in the first round, but injuries have been significant for him, especially in a paired down pre-draft process without additional in-person visits and medicals. He’s a lot like Percy Harvin and Golden Tate – a shorter, thick dude who you just want to get the ball in his hands.
Jim Nagy, executive director of the Senior Bowl
This is one of the deepest wideout groups we’ve seen in a long time and there will be starter-level players still on the board later on in Day 2. Rounds 2-3 are the sweet spot value-wise for this position so there are a bunch of guys that could help the Hawks passing game in that range. The Redskins took Terry McLaurin last year at No. 76 overall in the third round, and I think Florida’s Van Jefferson is this year’s McLaurin. Both guys showed off classy route running ability and both were the fastest players (max speed per Zebra Technology data) in Mobile.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic
If the Seahawks go receiver in the second round, I think the prospect to watch is Penn State's KJ Hamler. Undersized and had too many drops on his tape, but that is because he would look to run before finishing. He has blur speed and can stretch doubles into home runs. If Seattle waits until the third round, Florida's Van Jefferson is the fit that makes sense. He will fall a little because he had foot surgery recently, but he is arguably the most polished route runner in this class. He is ready to step in from day one and make an impact.
Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network
Two guys who I really think Seattle could get the most out of are Donovan Peoples-Jones and Bryan Edwards. DPJ seems like the easy one, as Seattle like their athletes; they’ve done good work with those athletes. Peoples-Jones’ numbers and even sometimes his film wasn’t the best at Michigan, but it was hard to develop and improve with that quarterback situation. In a similar story, Edwards’ production was held back by what South Carolina’s offense was doing around him. As long as he’s healthy, he can be a best of an outside receiver.
Jordan Reid, The Draft Network
There's a couple of options that they could go to in order to fill the need there. Van Jefferson (Florida) is one who has a skill set that fits in admirably with that offense. If they want to wait to address the need in the third-round, Donovan Peoples-Jones out of Michigan is another whose traits fit in well, but one that I would have circled for the franchise is Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty), who could be had with a later round pick.
Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network
One name that stands out to me would be Florida's Van Jefferson. Jefferson is a player who will be much more productive in the pros than he was in college and with strong hands in traffic and some of the best route running skills in the class, he has a chance to be an early impact contributor at the pro level. Metcalf will provide Seattle with a big bodied presence and Lockett has inside/outside capabilities and tons of speed. Jefferson isn't necessarily like either one. He's a bigger bodied route technician who has enough play speed to separate at the pro level. He might slip a little bit due to a foot injury that was discovered at the 2020 NFL Combine but he'd be a steal in my opinion at 64.
Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network
When I look at the Seattle depth chart and type their wide receivers, I look for deep play ability. I like explosive and long route runners who can win above the rim in contested situations, or separate on multi-break routes in the intermediate levels of the field on play-action shot plays. Accordingly, two have always stuck out in my mind: Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards.
Edwards didn't test in Indianapolis as a result of a broken foot that has thrown his draft stock entirely into the air. Edwards could likely be had on Day 3, but he fits the Seattle mold well: he's explosive, tough with the ball in his hands, and has great flashes as both a route-runner and over-the-rim downfield threat.
Edwards would have tested well at the Combine, but likely not as well as DPJ, who's now the ideal Seattle option. Raw on the outside, Peoples-Jones' best plays come as a downfield separator and adjustment receiver for deep jump balls. He has the requisite height and explosiveness, and with enough time, he could very well be an actionable route-runner from the slot.