The Seahawks have pressing needs at cornerback, defensive tackle and on the offensive line, still a big wide receiver is on the shopping list
The Seahawks are a team full of smaller and speedier receivers. Doug Baldwin has made himself into one of the better pass catchers in the league. Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson, when healthy, are fast and sure-handed. Jermaine Kearse underperformed last season but before that was a reliable target.
This means that the top receivers in the 2017 draft will not end up in Seattle. This does not mean there is not quality for the Seahawks. There a several taller wideouts who Seattle could take in rounds three through seven. Here are three:
Malachi Dupre, LSU
Weight: 196 pounds
40 Time: 4.52
Dupre will need to be around in third round for Seattle to take him. I do not think Seattle takes a receiver before the third round. Seattle has three picks in the third round. Currently, Dupre is projected to go in the second or third round, so there is a chance Seattle can pick him. Dupre may have gone higher in the draft but LSU could not throw the ball in 2016 consistently well so Dupre’s skills were not showcased. Dupre has good hands. Luckily for him and Seattle, he will not be expected to be a number one receiver right away and would have time to grow into his role.
Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
Weight: 187 pounds
40 Time: 4.53
Reynolds knows how to catch contested passes and that will work well in Seattle. Remember all those great highlights Kearse made over the years? Like the one to send Seattle back to the Super Bowl against Green Bay? Almost all were contested passes. Kearse did not seem to make any of them in 2016. Reynolds could be Kearse’s replacement. Plus, Reynolds played in an offense at A&M that relied on the receiver making reads of his own and working in unison with his quarterback. Reynolds has the potential to be a Russell Wilson favorite.
Weight: 208 pounds
40 Time: 4.40
See the specifics? Bigger than Reynolds and Dupre and faster yet Malone is way down on some draft boards? Why? Maybe it was because he came into college a 5-star recruit but did not do much his freshman and sophomore seasons. In 2016 Malone became the player scouts expected for the most part. Will Malone come into his rookie season and be the next Odell Beckham Jr.? No. But Seattle does not need him to. Malone has the skill to become a very good target in the NFL, though. (12th Man Rising has a deeper look at Malone here.)
Why no Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington? Because he is slow. He ran a 4.62 40 at the combine. Can he catch? Yes. And he is a great route runner. Most likely, however, NFL defensive backs will be able to cover him well. Kupp is also just 6’1”. The Seahawks need someone bigger. And faster.
Others like JuJu Smith-Schuster of USC and Corey Davis of Western Michigan would fit great in Seattle. If they are there in the third round, Seattle should grab one of them. The problem is they won’t be so Seattle will never have the chance. The Seahawks have higher priorities than wideout.