The Seahawks had five receivers on their active for the 2016 season. That number is expected to remain the same in 2017.
In 2016, this was the group that made up the receiver room for the Seahawks: Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett, Tanner McElvoy and Paul Richardson. One, or possibly two, of the players will not be on the active roster in 2017. Here is who we think will make up Seattle’s receivers week one in 2017.
Well, this is a no-brainer. Anyone who has recently written about (or watched) Seattle would be stupid not to include Baldwin. He has been Seattle’s best receiver for several years. Baldwin holds the Seahawks’ record for receptions in a year with 94 (tied with Bobby Engram). He also has the record for touchdown catches in a season with 14. Baldwin is expected to be the Seahawks’ best receiver for the next few years.
Lockett does a few things extremely well. He is great at punt and kick returning, having made the Pro Bowl for both. Lockett also catches the ball well on deep routes. Before his injury at the end of 2016, Lockett was clearly cementing his place as the number two receiver in Seattle.
There was some doubt as to whether Richardson would be an important part of the 2017 roster prior to his late-2016 resurgence. After his performance after Lockett left with injury in 2016, not only is Richardson expected to be a difference maker in Seattle in 2017, he should be a Seahawk for years beyond. Baldwin, Lockett and Richardson all on the field? Boom. Now if Richardson can only stay healthy.
Kearse had the second most targets among Seahawks receivers in 2016. To be honest, he should not have as many targets in 2017. He should not even rank third in that category this year or beyond. Kearse has been a favorite receiver of Russell Wilson but is not dynamic and was far less reliable in 2016. With better options in Seattle, Kearse would not be on the active roster.
Darboh is the rookie who will most likely take Kearse’s place on the team. Darboh is faster and slightly bigger. If he can show more consistent hands than Kearse, Kearse will not be on the team in 2018. This is no offense to Kearse. He is a good teammate and a likable person. Darboh, though, is a younger, bigger and faster version. Between Darboh and Kearse, Darboh should be the one who is on the team in three years.
By that time, Seattle could have drafted two or three other receivers. Kearse could be long gone. So could Richardson. In 2017, however, the five above could be the receiving core that leads the Seahawks to a deep playoff run.