Seahawks tight end picture could change with Hollister

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Jacob Hollister of the Seahawks

JACKSONVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 16: Jacob Hollister #47 of the New England Patriots rushes for yardage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hollister is now with the Seahawks. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Seahawks made what seemed to be a minor trade two days after the draft. Turns out it could have big repercussions for the Seahawks offense in 2019.

All 12s are familiar with the wizardry weaved by general manager John Schneider in the 2019 draft. A move that slipped under the radar a bit happened two days after the draft when the Seahawks traded a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Patriots for backup tight end Jacob Hollister. That small move could have a big impact on the Seahawks roster and scheme this season.

I said Hollister was a backup in New England. To be accurate, he was the backup to the backup. When Rob Gronkowski couldn’t go, the Pats turned to 2017 Pro Bowler James Develin, who split time between fullback and Gronk’s caddy. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Hollister still got a couple of starts in his two seasons in Foxborough. He was actually listed as a wide receiver last year.

This flexibility naturally drew the attention of the Seahawks, who love players that can shift to multiple spots on the field. Hollister only has eight catches in his career so far, but he has a few other items on his CV that stand out. He’s 6’4″ and 245 pounds and ran a 4.69 40. That isn’t world-beating time, but it’s at least two-tenths faster than either Will Dissly or Nick Vannett.

I didn’t mention Ed Dickson for a couple of reasons. First, the listed 40 times for him range from 4.59 all the way to 4.73 seconds, depending on the source. I’ll assume the nine-year veteran has lost a step since the NFL Combine, so let’s say he has a slight edge on Hollister. The other reason I didn’t list Dickson is that he seems to increasingly be the odd man out of the tight end rotation for the Seahawks. The arrival of Hollister has a lot to do with that.

I think Dickson is very underrated, but there’s no disputing that Seattle doesn’t think he’s as useful as I do. Dissly is the starter, of course, but when he went down for the season, the Hawks turned to Vannett as his replacement. Dickson was on the injured list, but he said he was ready to go. Regardless, when Dickson was activated, Vannett kept the starting gig. Dickson played in 10 games last year but got just one start. Vannett played well, but he wasn’t exactly Rob Gronkowski.

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