Seattle Seahawks, Roster Building, And WRs In The 2013 Draft

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.

Topics: Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Keenan Allen, Robert Woods, Seattle Seahawks, Sydney Rice

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  • thewoods

    nice write-up!

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. This was a surprising difficult article for me to write, because I tried really hard not to write it in a way that seemed confrontational just for confrontations sake. That wasn’t the point, and I didn’t want to the message lost in any perceived combativeness. I’ve very glad that you liked it.

  • Dave

    A guy I really like is Cobi Hamilton out of Arkansas. People list him as a late 2 or 3rd round draft pick but I think he’s better than that. Big at 6’2-6’3 and about 210-215 and he’s pretty dang quick and dynamic in the open field.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      He’s on my list. I have him early round 3 right now; waiting on his official 40 time. I might have to move him up into late 2 if he runs fast enough. But yes, definitely on my list.

  • kikiri

    its not about the receivers its about wilson if you have a qb that can buy time for up to 10 seconds like wilson has done then there is no need to worry about who is the receiver NUMEROUS times sydney rice has been open 40-50 yards down the field all alone and wilson simply did not see him plus he has been a all pro I gurantee rice will have at least a 1k season now that he will be completely healthy and have a competent QB throwing to him all that being said I wouldnt mind seeing markus wheaton and marquoise wilson drafted

    • 12thMan_Rising

      to me, getting another competent receiver means Wilson wont have to run around for 10 seconds waiting for a WR to finally get open. Wilson needs a guy who can help him out and make some plays “easy” for him. It’ll only make Wilson better when he does extend the play.

  • John

    A deep threat with Wilson at QB would be insane.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I know, right? Even if he only gets targeted 3-4 times a game, a legit deep threat would occupy a CB and a S, making it 10v9 over the rest of the field on most plays. Then add in Wilson’s skill set to the equation. it’s frightening.

      • Hawkman54

        I believe that is pretty much what I said after the original article.

  • Dave

    I know youtube highlights don’t mean much but he’s pretty impressive in my opinion. Something I’d kinda like to see would be if the Hawks traded back into the second round, pick up this guy with the one of the two picks then hope Tank Carradine falls because of his injury or take a guy like Corey Lemonier or maybe even a DT like Brandon Williams.

    • Dave

      not “back into” but rather “back to”

      • 12thMan_Rising

        I guessed that was what you meant.

  • 12thFanInNinerLand

    Not sure how effective a SB run would be with a rookie as a #1 deep threat WR.

    I could see Rice retaining that role, and Tate rolling into the slot. Pick up a big and quick WR with size.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Seattle was very close a year ago w/o a legit deep threat. Even a rookie would be an improvement over having none in my opinion. Then again, a vet like Darius Hayward-Bay, if he can be signed cheaply, might be better in the short term. Definitely something to think about.

  • Hawkman54

    Agree- BUT the #1 wide receiver priority has to be a speed guy, then go for the all around type or whatever. I think Baldwin ( now healthy) can be a top notch slot guy as he was with Matt Hasselbeck. It is more of RW getting him the ball and getting into that zone with him. Now Rice is OK and is great along the boundrys , but it wouldn’t hurt to find more people to push him and hopefully find one that is better.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      sometimes it’s all about how the draft falls. If the Seahawks wait until round 2 to get a WR like I expect them to, the top speed guys might all be gone. It might work out that they take a guy like Woods late in round 2, and then look to add a deep threat near the end of the draft.

  • LegionofBoom

    I don’t like woods, not saying he isn’t talented I just don’t like the fit. I believe Patterson will be there at 25 and is the best fit for the hawks, although I expect PC/JS to go after a pass rusher or DT first and address wide receiver anywhere from the 2-4 round. Would love to see Pete somehow lure Amendola in, another guy I think the hawks should really look at is Brian Hartline, he had a respectable season with a stagnant offense I think he would flourish in Seattle but we will see, can’t wait until draft day! Go Hawks

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I seriously doubt Patterson gets by Miami in round 1. I just don’t see him dropping all the way to #25. He has a Julio Jones type Ceiling.

  • Eran

    Yes, i can understand the need for elite 1st round WR. And yes, 2 will be better then 1, and 3 better then 2.

    Actually, after reading this followup I think we should get Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, AJ Green and Woods.

    The reason we don’t talk about it is – we can’t. Or more accurately – Even if we could somehow – we shouldn’t. Not because they are not good but because we have more pressing needs for our high picks.

    Regardless of the specific name and type of wide receiver – the 1st attribute he should have is – AVAILABLE ON 4TH ROUND OR LATER.

    Rice, Tate and Baldwin are indeed not the top 10 elite players in the NFL in their position Neither is Sweezy or Moffit or McQuisten, Hill, Branch or Clem on the recovery table etc.

    Considering our priority list – ROG, DE/ DT, Joker TE, WLB are all needed more then a WR. Hence the main attribute of a WR to be discussed should be – late round availability. Late round picks, especially at WR are just the best value for this late pick. If that guy who happens to be available that late is a speedster or a big guy or a Woods type – any type is welcome.

    If all our earlier picks work great and perform admirably we’ll probably talk WR in round 1 next draft and even then it’ll be on the 32nd pick of the first round so none of the top candidates again.

    Drafting a WR in the top rounds is a sexy exciting pick but an ROG that will give Russel one more second of pass protection will net us more receiving yards then any new WR.

    That’s my view…JS/PC seems to know better so we’ll find out on draft day.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I’m sorry, but no. Guard is the position on this team the Seahawks need the absolute least. They have 4 players who could start for most teams, and a 5th whom the coaches absolutely love as a 1-2 year project. Even with 12 picks, I have a difficult time seeing the Seahawks drafting a Guard, even with one of their 5 7th round picks.

      Now, if you’re talking right offensive tackle, then sure, it’s a need. It’s not a massive need, but it is a need. RTs though don’t tend to go high in the draft. a starting RT can be found in the 3rd and 4th rounds most years.

      WR on the other hand is a major need. The Seahawks don’t need a WR because it’s “sexy.” They need one because their overall talent at the position is among the worst 10 or so in the NFL. The Seahawks must upgrade at the position. They don’t need just a body, they need a major upgrade of the type you can only get in early rounds of the draft.

      There’s also a reason why I’m focussing on 2nd rd WRs. It’s because DT is a bigger need, and a much more likely choice given the team’s scheme and given the recent comments from both Pete Carroll and John Schneider.

      As for WLB, it is a 4th rd or later priority. Malcom Smith proved last season he can hold down the position in the sort term, and was an upgrade over LeRoy Hill. Remember that KJ Wright was a 4th round pick. Remember that 4-3 WLB is a considered a low-value position on draft day. the best players at the position don’t come off the board until the mid rounds, there’s simply no reason to waste a top pick on the position.

      • Hawkman54

        Their weakest position in 2012 on the O line was ORG, there is no doubt in that. So why then do you think they won’t even think of an upgrade. What if Carpenter doesn’t fully recover? What if their 2012 failed experiment with Sweezy doesn’t bear fruit this year. I think with all the picks they have it would be a mistake to NOT look at that position.

        • 12thMan_Rising

          RG was only the “major problem” it seems if you include Swweezy’s disastrous week 1 game vs Arizona. The rest of the time is wasn’t the problem it’s being made out to be.

          Carpenter will recover. His knee problem this year was a major problem. He was shut down specifically so that he’d be ready for the start of the offseason program on time.

          And Sweezy wasnt a failed experiment. It was year 1 of a 3 year project. Just look at where he was at the end of the year compared to the beginning. Considering he’s only been a offensive player for 10 months now, he did fairly well. We wont know anything about where or not he’ll ever be good until after next season.

    • Hawkman54

      AGREE- But I could see a Speed WR in say the 3rd or 4th round. Can’t tell me there will be know one out there.

    • Scott

      You obviously didn’t watch the games and if you did then your blind. Did you not see the how many times Russell had time to throw but nobody could sniff separation? Did you not notice he’d then scramble around for 30 seconds and still nobody could buy separation? Did you not see this happen 3 straight plays at least twice a game? The Seahawks have 2 glaring needs, 1 is pass rush and 2 is 2 new WRs, everything else isn’t that big of a deal. Malcolm Smith play ju. fine as the Will and Swezzy was mauling fools the last part of the year. As long as we get a pass rushing DT and DE with 2 new WRs We’ll be in great shape, if we don’t then next year will end just like this year did because no matter how good Russell is the WRs still have to get open, and the ones we have CAN’T.

  • Scott

    Thank You, I’ve been saying this since it became obvious Rice, Tate and Baldwin are all no better than #3 WRs. Their route running and ability to get separation down grade all their other skills to the point of being almost useless because they suck at getting open, if they can’t get open Tate can’t make people miss and Rice & Baldwin can’t use their great hands. If we were to use our 2nd & 4th rounders on WRs then Woods & Wilson would be great, it would allow Tate, Rice & Baldwin to trade of in the slots on 3 & 4 WR sets and they’d still get their 2-3 catches a game but it’d come much easier. With Woods & Wilson on the outside they’d be facing a safety or a LB instead of the CB which they’ve proven to be unable to beat with any regulrity, and both Woods & Wilson have shown the ability to draw doubles which would make life much easier on those 3. If people don’t like Woods then Hunter is the option I perfer anyway, he’s 6’4″ and runs a 4.4. No matter the case the Hawks need 2 new WRs and this draft is the perfect place to get them.

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