We begin our annual position-by-position look at this year’s draft with Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, providing is perspective on this year’s draft class from a Seahawks’ perspective.
We thank Rob for once again taking the time out of his busy work week to do this.
Drafting productive receivers has not been one of the strengths for Seattle. The Seahawks have drafted 38 receivers in franchise history, and only one has made a Pro Bowl – Brian Blades in 1989.
Alex Bannister, a fifth round draft choice in 2001, made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player in 2003.
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Perhaps the franchise's best player, Hall of Famer Steve Largent, came to Seattle via trade with Houston at the team’s inception in 1976.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s record for drafting receivers has been a mixed bag as well.
He found some success in selecting Notre Dame’s Golden Tate in the second round of the 2010 draft. After floundering his first two years in the league, Tate flourished in his first year as a starter in 2012, finishing second on the team in receptions with 45 for 688 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Seahawks grabbed Georgia’s Kris Durham in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, looking for a big receiver to stretch the field on the perimeter. Durham was dynamic and athletic, but had trouble staying healthy and catching the ball. He was released during final roster cuts before the 2012 season.
While this year’s draft class doesn’t have a Julio Jones or A.J. Green at the top of the draft, there are several, talented productive players to be had in the middle rounds. Two players who could make some sense for Seattle are Tennessee’s Justin Hunter and Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton.
At 6-foot-4 and 196 pounds, Hunter ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds, posted a 40-inch vertical jump and an 11-6 broad jump at the NFL scouting combine.
A former track athlete, Hunter won the high jump at the 2010 USA Junior Championships.
He led Tennessee in receptions as a senior with 73 for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Hunter had trouble with drops last season
At 6-feet and 202 pounds, Patton is one of the most elusive runners after the catch in the draft, and could serve as nice backup for Percy Harvin.
Patton ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds at the scouting combine and posted a 33-inch vertical jump. He earned second-team All-American honors thanks to his 104 receptions for 1,392 yards and 13 TDs.
Rob Rang, senior draft analyst with NFLDraftScout.com, reviews receivers Seattle might select in each round of this year’s draft.
Round Pick Name2 (56) Quinton Patton, 6-0, 204, Louisiana TechRob's rationale: Savvy route-runner with soft hands, competitive nature in running game. Stood out vs. top competition over his career, including at Senior Bowl.
3 (87) Ryan Swope, 6-0, 205, Texas A&MRob’s rationale: Not as fast as his 4.3 in the 40-yard dash indicated at combine but is very quick and possesses excellent hands. Think bigger, faster Wes Welker.
4 (123) Chris Harper, 6-1, 229, Kansas State Rob's rationale: Big-bodied receiver who hauls in passes even with defenders draped over him. Faster on the field than in workouts. Originally signed with Oregon as a QB.
5 (138, 158) Josh Boyce, 5-11, 206, TCURob's rationale: Saw production slip in 2012 due to QB being suspended and if scouts do homework they’ll see he’s athletic, tough and very productive. Foot injury a concern.
6 (194) Ace Sanders, 5-7, 173, South CarolinaRob's rationale: Much faster than he timed at combine (4.53). Great elusiveness and is a vertical threat despite lack of size. Viewed by some as the best punt returner in the draft.
7 (220, 231, 241 and 242) Brice Butler, 6-3, 214, San Diego StateRob's rationale: Was not invited to the combine but turned heads at his Pro Day with his combination of size, speed and overall athleticism. Versatile.