Seahawks receiver John Ursua may be the next man up in Seattle
By Geoff Shull
I don’t want to make light of the suspension of Seahawks receiver Josh Gordon. However Seattle now falls back on Coach Pete Carroll’s timeless saying, “next man up.”
It’s quite clear Seahawks receivers Malik Turner and David Moore are both very solid situational receivers. Both excel at blocking, have strong hands and are good with obtaining yards after the catch. However, neither has developed into a go-to receiver on key downs and both have been inconsistent in the passing game. With Josh Gordon no longer on the active roster, Seattle needs another player who can create separation and get open. Looking through the Seahawks roster, I believe that that player to be John Ursua.
In 2018, Ursua led the nation in college with 16 touchdowns, was fifth in receiving yards with 1,343 and ninth in total receptions at 89. Draft analysts loved his explosiveness, football IQ, route running and field vision. His only real knocks in the draft process were his size and being more quick than fast.
I spent a few hours studying film from both Ursua’s time with Hawaii and the preseason with the Seahawks. I was very impressed with what I saw. He was unafraid of contact and has strong hands, quick feet, and confidence in his route running ability.
Ursua has a natural smoothness to his route running much in the way Tyler Lockett does.
He runs with intention. Every move he makes has a deliberate intention to force the defenders to adjust. In one play from his senior year in college, he led the defender to believe he was aiming to get out of bounds through a small skip-step. However, Ursua instead side stepped the defender and gained an additional 7 yards. There is no fear of creating contact to gain better field position.
Urusa has impeccable balance and spatial awareness that reminds me so much of Doug Baldwin. This is simply something that cannot be taught. With the Seahawks top receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf possessing sub-4.4 speed. The Seahawks don’t need another burner on the field. They need a Doug Baldwin type player who excels at getting open and can read the defense to find holes in the coverage.
For much of the season, Ursua has been buried behind a talented receiving corp. However, for only the second time in his young career, Ursua got regular-season snaps against the Carolina Panthers. This shows Coach Pete Carroll is starting to develop a level of trust with the young wideout.
With Gordon out indefinitely, his 30-40 percent of offensive snaps are out there for the taking. It’s time to get Ursua on the field and see what he can do. I believe he has all the tools to be a star in this league. All he needs is an opportunity to show it.