Seattle Seahawks Draft Target Profile: WR Markus Wheaton

Sept. 22, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins cornerback Aaron Hester (21) defends as Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (2) grabs a pass in the second quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

You want a deep threat profiled? Here’s one of the very best in this year’s draft. Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton doesn’t get the press that other receivers in this draft class get, but he very much belongs in the discussion of guys who could go in the first round.

Because of the depth at the position in this draft class, Wheaton very well could slip into middle portions of the 2nd round. That makes him a great target for the Seahawks if they either trade down out of the first round, or decide to cash in some of their other 11 picks to move up their 2nd round pick.

At 5-11, 183 lbs. Wheaton doesn’t have the size that the Seahawks seem to covet at the WR position. What he does have is elite speed that can stretch a defense, and that is something the Seahawks definitely need.

Wheaton gets off the line quickly, and can eat up any cushion the CB gives him as fast as any player in this year’s draft. He also uses his hands well and get past the press very well for someone of his size.

There are 3 concerns about Wheaton which are why I think he’ll slip into the 2nd round. First, he has streaks where he drops a lot of passes. While he is very sure handed most games, he does have a some drops, and they tend to come in bunches. This suggests that he loses focus at times.

The 2nd issue is that he rounds off his routes at times. It’s frustrating because he doesn’t need to. He’s a good route runner and has good quickness in and out of his breaks. I believe his occasionally lazy route running probably comes from the fact that his speed allows him to get away with it. Hopefully the better opponents he’ll see on Sundays will keep him focussed enough that this problem will go away.

My last concern is related to his size. It would be nice if he were taller, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Wheaton is thin, especially in his lower half. Guys with his frame size generally have a tough time staying healthy in this league. Luckily, Wheaton doesn’t have an injury history, so there’s hope this wont be a problem, but that doesn’t mean I wont be worried.

Draft Projection: 2nd round

Pros

  • Elite straight line speed
  • Good body control in the air
  • Good Downfield blocker
  • Can play in the slot, not afraid to go over the middle.

Cons

  • Occasionally loses focus leading to drops
  • Rounds off routes on occasion
  • Doesn’t have elite size
  • Not a great yards-after-catch player on short throws

Here is some game film from OSU’s game vs Cal:


Game film provided by NFL Draft BreakDown

Topics: Markus Wheaton, Seattle Seahawks

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  • Hawk_Eye

    I would love to get this guy. This is why I think we trade our 1st round draft pick this year and move down into the second. There are a lot of good players available in the second round, especially receivers and tight ends.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      The one thing I’d question about that scenario is that the D-line is the biggest need on this team. With guys like Ziggy Ansah, Sharriff Floyd or Kenwan Short possibly there at #25, I have a tough time thinking the Seahawks trade back then take a WR. Maybe if all those guys are gone, then the WR idea is a nice fall back.

      I think it’s more likely that they move up from pick 57 in round 2 into the mid 40′s to get “their guy” at the position. Especially because they’re going to have 12 picks, and I don’t think that 12 rookies have a shot at making this roster. moving down from 1 into the 2nd to get more picks doesn’t help that situation.

      • Green Apple

        I am sorry, but we have only 10 picks this year. right? 7 + 1 7th round for Tarviris Jackson (+ 2 undisclosed picks) = 10. correct?

        • 12thMan_Rising

          our 7 picks, a 7th for Jackson, a 7th for Ruud (Saints), a 5th for Aaron Curry (Raiders) and 2 more 7th that are compensatory picks for the losses of Atari Bigby and Charlie Whitehurst.

          That’s a total of 12. The 2 compensatory picks haven’t been announced yet, which is why most people are saying 10.

      • Hawk_Eye

        I think once free agency begins, we go after a free agent like DE Dwight Freeney or DT Desmond Bryant from Oakland on defense. That would allow John Schneider to pick according to his board. He loves to trade down and at the top of the second round you should be able to get one of the two top tight ends. That would be my choice.

        • 12thMan_Rising

          Free Agency will change things, clearly. This all does depend on what Schneider does there.

          Looking at the team’s cap situation, I don’t expect the Seahawks to sign any and big free agents, but a 2nd tier guy or 2 might happen. Someone like Fred Davis perhaps at TE, or Bryant who you mentioned at DT.

          I could even see Branch returning on a 1 year- 2-3 million dollar deal.

          • Hawk_Eye

            If we trade Flynn, we have some extra cap room there.

          • 12thMan_Rising

            true, but I wont count on that cap room until he’s traded. If he’s cut instead, the team gets $2 mil less in cap space, and signing his replacement will almost certainly use up all of what the team “saved” and then some in that scenario.

  • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

    Wheaton would be a really nice find if he’s still there in the 3rd round or beyond. I don’t think the Hawks take him in 2 based on his size. Just my thought but it seems to me that PC and JS surprise us with at least one of their first 2 or 3 picks. As much as they have liked hoarding picks in the first few seasons, I have a tough time believing that they use 12 this year. There is less room on the team than before and I am leaning towards trading up and taking a surprise pick before trading back this year, at least early in the first 3.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I just don’t se 12 rookies making the roster in 2013. Especially considering Pete Carroll’s comments recently being young for young’s sake doesn’t make sense. Pete wants the team to be talented. going young was the quickest way to get there, but the team is in a different spot now.

      I’m not sure if they trade up though. It’s just not something that Schneider likes to do. Instead, I could see them simply trading a few picks for picks in the 2014 draft.

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