Seahawks Training Camp Battles: Wide Receiver


The Seattle Seahawks have incredible depth at wide receiver, and limited spots to try and fit them on the roster. The result is one of the most competitive battles to watch during training camp.

It wasn’t that long ago that wide receiver was considered a major weakness for the Seattle Seahawks. The continued development of a couple of players, and an influx of talented youngsters, has changed that weakness into a major strength.

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Now the team has a new problem. They have significantly more talented players than roster spots available. While that is a good problem to have, it does make for a very interesting and competitive roster battle during training camp.

The Big Four

Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse

Last season’s trio of starters all return and will slide back into the same roles that they were used in last season for the most part. Baldwin will be the primary slot receiver. Lockett will continue to be the split end. Kearse will still be used in a hybrid role that maximizes his usage in ISO concepts.

If any of these players see a major shift in their playing time, it’ll be Kearse. He was the primary benefactor of the Jimmy Graham injury last season. Once Graham comes back fully, Kearse will have to share the ISO opportunities with the big tight end.

Paul Richardson

The only thing holding back the 2014 rookie right now are concerns about his ability to stay healthy. Richardson tore his ACL in the playoffs of his rookie year, and subsequently played only 6 snaps last season. The ACL tear was his 2nd on the same knee.

When healthy, Richardson is the fastest player on the roster, even faster that Lockett. That fact alone will help create a role for Richardson. Using him and Lockett on the field at the same time will create immense pressure on opposing safeties, and force defenses to defend a much larger portion of the field.

The Best of the Rest

Kenny Lawler

The Seahawks added Lawler in the draft, but that doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot. They’ve shown no fear of cutting their own draft picks in the past if better players are available.

Lawler brings length to a position filled with undersized players. He doesn’t have the speed of that most of the other players at the position have. Instead he has a tremendous catch radius and incredibly soft hands.

Kevin Smith

Smith brings a level of polish and short-area quickness to the table that the others in this category cannot match. When the Seahawks needed to add a receiver in the middle of last season, it was Smith who was the first one called up to the active roster.

Unfortunately, Smith is a short receiver that is best used in the slot. He doesn’t bring any skill diversity to the position, which may lead the Seahawks to prefer one of the other options.

Kasen Williams

Williams has the physical characteristics of a early-round draft pick, but a nasty foot and leg injury have mostly wiped out the last three years for him. He flashed his tremendous potential in training camp last year, and looked even better at minicamp this offseason.

If Williams finally starts to realize his potential, the Seahawks will have another young star on their hands. That’s a huge “If” though, and they can only wait so long for him to figure it out.

Douglas McNeil

Don’t sleep on McNeil in this competition. Consider yourself warned. This kids some some serious talent.

McNeil was making a very strong push for a roster spot a year ago when the Seahawks, desperate for CB depth, suddenly moved him to the defensive side of the ball mid-camp. That he almost made the roster at CB, after only a couple of weeks at the position, will tell you the type of athlete he is.

McNeil is now back at WR, and ready to fight his way onto the roster. Seriously, don’t sleep on him.

The Longshots

Deshon Foxx

Foxx was with the team last year in training camp, and then on-and-off the practice squad all season. He’s of a similar makeup to Kevin Smith in a lot of ways, and there won’t be room for both of them on the active roster.

Anton Goodley

I’m a bit confused why the Seahawks have kept this former Baylor product on the roster. He’s entering his third season, and has trouble even landing practice squad spots in his first two seasons. They clearly see some potential in him, but we won’t know until training camp begins what it is that they like.

Next: 3 Seahawks ready to become superstars

Tyler Slavin

The Seahawks have shown a lot of interesting in Slavin in over last year, but I haven’t seen enough of him to comment on his skill set. All I know is that he’s got a ton of athletic upside, and that he played his college ball at a school I’ve never heard of (New Mexico Highlands).