Cameron Morrah: A Berkeley (Cal) Perspective

With their final pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected Cameron Morrah, a tight end from California. Morrah was one of Cal’s more reliable targets in the passing game last season, and could develop into a nice option behind starter John Carlson. Although his blocking may need improvement, he is very athletic and has the ability to make plays downfield.

Morrah was a questionable selection for Seattle, but only because he doesn’t fit the usual mold of a Tim Ruskell draft pick. He declared for the draft after his junior season at Cal, and probably could’ve benefitted from an additional year playing college football. In addition to being an underclassman, Morrah didn’t become a big-time contributor until his final season. Tim Ruskell prefers to draft players who’ve contributed throughout their collegiate careers, and usually shies away from underclassmen.

A lot of people were puzzled when Morrah declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He appeared ready for an outstanding senior year, and would have surely benefitted from more experience in college.

It was revealed, however, that Morrah primarily chose to declare for the NFL for personal reasons – his grandmother was ill and he wanted to give her the opportunity to watch him play at the professional level. He seems confident that he is ready to develop at the next level, and has what it takes to be a successful player.

To find out more about Cameron Morrah, I contacted Phil Nho, who writes a blog about California Bears football at BearsWithFangs.com. Here is his take on Seattle’s rookie tight end:

Although many Cal fans thought that Morrah would have improved his draft status by staying for his senior year, there’s very little question that Morrah has the skills to emerge as a great receiving threat at tight end.

Morrah was the Golden Bears’ most reliable target during the 2008 season, setting a single-season record for touchdown catches by a Cal tight end with 8 touchdowns, including a stretch of five games in which he recorded at least one touchdown in each game.  Morrah also certainly ended his Cal career on a productive note with 27 receptions, 326 receiving yards, and 8 TDs.

More than anything, when thinking of Morrah, one of the first attributes that comes to mind is his reliability as a receiver.  He shows great ball skills, soft hands, runs good routes, and can be counted on to make tough catches over the middle.  He also has the ability to wow you on occasion, as he’s had his share of highlight grabs over the course of his career.

The biggest knock on Morrah is that he didn’t really emerge a solid blocker until the tail end of last season.  While he has good size for a receiving TE, his size and bulk becomes only average when taking on bigger and stronger defensive linemen, and hasn’t shown a true toughness as a blocker.   He also isn’t much of a threat to do much after the catch, although that could largely be in part because he is such a threat in red zone situations.

Morrah is athletic enough to help out on special teams right away, and don’t be surprised if the Seahawks use him as a receiving target in a couple of goal line packages in the near future.  If given the time to develop, I’m confident that he can emerge as a solid and reliable NFL tight end.

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Tags: 2009 NFL Draft Bears With Fangs California California Golden Bears Cameron Morrah John Carlson Phil Nho Rookie Seattle Seahawks Seventh Round Tight End Underclassman

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