My suggestion yesterday that Robert Woods is a possible target for the Seahawks in the April’s draft was met with an amazing amount of contention. The general complaint was simply that he’s not the deep threat that the Seahawks need, and thus he shouldn’t even be considered. I simply do not buy that argument.
Would it be better for the team if they drafted a deep threat at WR? Of course it would be. A player with the speed to stretch the defense would make the entire offense better. It would keep at least 1 safety back, opening up more space for the rest of the team to use.
But does that mean that all non-deep threat WRs are off the board? Certainly not.
By my count, the Seahawks had 11 different receivers on the 53 man roster last season, and all by 3 failed to make a meaning contribution to the offense. Clearly, the Seahawks need to add talent to the position, and not just 1 new guy. Thus, drafting a guy like Woods doesn’t mean the Seahawks wouldn’t look to add deep threat later in the draft or in free agency.
Plus, rosters are fluid entities. Things change.
Golden Tate is coming off a good year, but is due to be a free agent at the end of the season. His good year last year also follows 2 dismal years. It isn’t necessarily safe to simply assume he “continues to develop” next season rather than “regressing to the mean.” Yes, it is more likely that he continues to improve, but if that happens what will be his market value a year a from now when he’s a free agent. Will the Seahawks have the cap space to keep him?
Also, this position group isn’t “1 player away” from being an elite group, because it simply doesn’t have an elite player in the group. I like Doug Baldwin and Sydney Rice as much as anyone, but lets be honest with ourselves. Baldwin is great, but he’s not in the same class as Wes Welker or Danny Amendola in terms of slot recceivers.
Similarly, Rice has some elite skills, but he isn’t in the same category as Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, or AJ Green. Rice is also expensive. If the Seahawks are going to continue to be a Super Bowl contender for many years, they’re either going to need to get more out of the $9.7 mil they are paying him, or they’ll need to replace his production at a cheeper cost.
Put all of those things together, and it becomes clear that decreasing the draftable talent pool at WR by only being willing to draft a deep threat just doesn’t make sense. The Seahawks simply need to add talent, regardless of what that talent look like.
Yes, Robert Woods would be redundant. He also would make the position group better as a whole. He would also provide insurance in case Tate regresses or decides to walk as a free agent after next season. And even if neither of those things happen Woods would still be better than 8 of the receivers that spent time on Seattle’s roster last season.
Keenan Allen similarly be an upgrade overall, as well and providing insurance in case Rice gets hurt. He could also offer the Seahawks a low cost alternative to Rice in 2014 when the Seahawks will need the cap space to re-sign Thomas and Sherman, or in 2015 when it’ll be time to re-sign Russell Wilson.
Do you really want to completely rule out these players simply because they don’t perfectly compliment the players that will be on the roster in 2013?
I’m sorry, I just can’t get behind being that short sighted. If the Seahawks are going to be the perennial contender that we want them to be, and that the coaches and front office personnel want them to be, then they have to be able to continuously acquire talent at every position, and not try and fill some checklist of immediate needs.
Like I said above, if the Seahawks can do both, then that’s even better. Tayvon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson would be an ideal fit. Both can stretch the field and offer a new element to the Seahawk offense. Both, obviously, offer more value to to the Seahawks than other WRs in the class.
But the problem is what happens if those 2 aren’t available when the Seahawks are finally on the clock? If those guys are gone, should the Seahawks just skip the other talented players at the position?
When you think of it that way, then I hope it’ll make some sense. And yes, I’m going to keep profiling WRs that will be interesting to the Seahawks, even some that aren’t deep threats.