By Josh Kerns
A number of NFL experts say the upcoming draft is one of the deepest at wide receiver in years, and the Seahawks could certainly use some depth to help back up Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and the rest of the receiving corps. But ESPN analyst and former Seahawks wide receiver Joey Galloway says Seattle doesn’t need one of the big name prospects to get real value out of the draft.
Galloway joined “Brock and Salk” Thursday to handicap the likely top picks. Among them, Tennessee receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, and Cal’s Keenan Allen.
Former Seahawk and ESPN analyst Joey Galloway says USC’s Robert Woods could be a prime target for the Seahawks in the NFL draft. (AP)
All are 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4, the latest in the NFL’s increasing dominance by receivers in the mold of Detroit’s 6-foot-5 Calvin Johnson or 6-foot-4 Bengals wideout A.J. Green.
Galloway says one of the big reasons taller wideouts are so appealing these days is because “there aren’t a ton of very accurate quarterbacks.”
“I think if you’re not going to be an accurate guy it helps to have a bigger framed receiver, a 6-3 guy with long arms that can go up for the ball, that has that big range and can reach out and snag the ball no matter where you put it,” he says.
Galloway says a number of teams are also passing far more then they used to, and bigger receivers help offset the pounding dished out by some of the big defensive backs like the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
But luckily for Seattle, none of that is an issue. Quarterback Russell Wilson proved he’s one of the more accurate passers in the league in his rookie season, and the Seahawks still rely on the run to set up the pass rather than simply chucking it around the yard.
Galloway says that creates far more options in the draft for the Seahawks, who unlike many other teams, can go with speed and smarts as much as size in finding value in the draft, like USC’s Robert Woods, DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson and West Virginia’s Tavon Austin.
“I think those guys are equally important especially if you’re doing play-action passing like Seattle does,” he says. “A guy that can get down field, take the top of the defense and get behind those safeties, I think that’s just as important.”
Galloway says the biggest thing the Seahawks need to do is get away from evaluating based on stats and look at their ability to change direction, run routes and catch the ball. And given general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll’s acumen finding draft jewels where others don’t necessarily see them, it’s likely one of the bumper crop will be a perfect fit for Seattle.
Brock Huard and Mike Salk share additional thoughts in the video below.