Overreaction Monday: Seahawks need to draft a receiver to be WR1

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seahawks have quite a bit of offensive talent but that doesn’t mean the team can’t get even better. Taking a wide receiver high in the draft might be a good start. I know. I realize that sounds crazy, right? But this is an overreaction article.

But the idea in itself is not a bad one for a couple of reasons. Let alone that there are some very good receivers coming out in the 2023 NFL draft. If the Seahawks want to go big at receiver, they could do so with a player like TCU’s Quentin Johnson. He is 6’4″ and 215 pounds with great speed.

Or if Seattle wants to take a smaller receiver who might be a bit more versatile and can move around in the slot, North Carolina’s Josh Downs might be the player. Downs is 5’10” and 175 pounds with terrific hands and quickness. Plus, Downs doesn’t play small in big games. Against Clemson in the ACC Championship game this year, Downs had 11 catches for 100 yards.

The Seahawks need to find a WR1 in the 2023 NFL draft

But why, you may ask, do the Seahawks need a WR1? They already have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Two things here, Lockett is a small receiver himself and usually, the tread on a small receiver’s proverbial tires wears more quickly than a bigger receiver. Lockett, while still very good, will be 31 years old near the beginning of the 2023 season. Maybe he has two high-yield seasons remaining.

But based on what we have seen from DK Metcalf lately, and especially against the New York Jets in Week 18, Metcalf is better suited to be a WR2 instead of WR1. Metcalf simply misses catches that a WR1 needs to make. In Week 17, for example, Geno Smith threw a perfect pass in tight coverage to Metcalf in the back of the endzone. Metcalf, though, couldn’t keep both feet in and the pass was incomplete instead of a touchdown.

Lockett would have caught the same pass. I say this because we have seen Lockett keep amazing body control and stay in bounds for important catches for most of his career. Lockett is a better pure receiver than Metcalf; Metcalf just is a physical freak who has the capability of doing ridiculous things on the football field. Again, though, Lockett is many years older than Metcalf and Lockett will have to be replaced sooner.

Metcalf on the Jets Sauce Gardner on Sunday, however? Complete mismatch. New York’s rookie shut Metcalf down. Metcalf finished with 1 catch (on 5 targets) for just 3 yards. In the second half, Metcalf had a chance to get a big play on a perfectly thrown pass by Geno down the sideline. The ball was just over two defenders and right where the ball needed to be for Metcalf to catch it, but he dropped it.

Now, mind you, Sauce Gardner is probably a future Hall of Famer (I say this and it’s only Gardner’s rookie year but Gardner is an unbelievable talent), and not having much production against him is nothing to cry about, but for a receiver of Metcalf’s ability to have 1 catch for 3 yards? The blame is almost as much to Metcalf than credit to Garnder, even though both are due. Metcalf is a very good receiver, but he isn’t a true WR1. He needs to be consistently better against great competition and make important catches more consistently.

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If the Seahawks do take a wide receiver in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft (they likely won’t but if they did…), then that receiver would add to an already good receiver group in 2023. But by 2025, that receiver should be capable of being Seattle’s highest-priority receiver. Let Metcalf do what he currently does and be explosive, but when catches truly matter, Seattle needs to choose that receiver this year.