Obscure Seahawks Bi-Weekly: Luke Willson


Nov 17, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls tight end Luke Willson (82) runs after a catch against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the first quarter at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The seventh installment of “Obscure Seahawks Bi-Weekly” profiles rookie tight end Luke Willson. He may not be obscure enough for you because he was a 5th round draft pick this year, but leading up to the draft few had heard of him so I’m going to call it close enough. Also, he is a good Canadian kid, a fellow Ontarian (one who is from the Canadian province of Ontario) and a guy who has connection to two Toronto sports franchises so I’m going to show him some love. Good? Good.

The Basics

Age: 23

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 252 lbs

Position: TE

Number: #82

College: Rice

Method of Acquisition: Drafted by the Seahawks in the 5th round  158th overall

Years Pro: R

40 yard dash time: 4.51 seconds

Vertical: 38 inches

Bench Press Reps:23

NCAA career stats: 45 GP, 78 Rec, 986 Yards, 12 TD

Fun Fact: Luke Willson was drafted in the 5th round of the CFL (32nd overall) and also signed as an undrafted free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays in the summer of 2011 as a first baseman.

Scouting Report

Willson is a unbelievable raw athlete when it comes to size/speed numbers with surprising strength (his 23 bench press reps would have but him between Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert at the NFL Combine) and an excellent vertical leap. Interest in Willson is almost entirely speculative because it’s not very clear what he can produce at the NFL level. His college stats are very pedestrian but he has all the tools and only recently committed exclusively to football. Willson profiles as a receiving tight end due to his speed. He is slightly undersized and has not shown much as a blocker so far. Looks a little bit like an even more athletic, even more raw Cameron Morrah.

Chances of Making the Team

Pretty good, actually. Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy are locked into the first two tight end spots and more likely than not there is only one more available. However, Willson has some fans in the Seattle front office given that he was drafted so much higher than expected. Among his competition (Cooper Heflet, Sean McGrath, Victor Marshall and Daniel Fells) Fells is the only one with a similar level of athletic prowess. Fells is also a whole lot bigger, but his football acumen is questionable as a lifelong basketball player. It seems that Willson is the most likely to make it as the 3rd tight end but the sheer number of other bodies at the position makes it very possible that Willson misses out. If he fails to distinguish himself it’s likely that someone in the previously mentioned group of four will. That being said, with McCoy and Miller both competent blockers Willson could be used in a primarily receiving role for Seattle, which would give him the best chance to succeed. It’s hard to make arbitrary estimates for my new favorite Seahawk because he is the type of guy who could flash star potential or fall off the face of the Earth. I’ll say 45% Willson makes the team and 30% he ends up stashed on the practice squad.