Wassell: Would you take any other ‘elite’ WR over Doug Baldwin?
Which would you rather have on the Seahawks: Doug Baldwin or any other ‘elite’ receiver in the game?
This question has come up a number of times on Bob, Groz and Tom over the years and reaction has been divided. It comes down to whether you believe in statistics or your own eyeballs.
Each year, teams look for the most skilled players available in the draft. Guys like Odell Beckham and Julio Jones were drafted high and lived up to expectations. But those guys come with a price – literally. You have to pay them huge money at some point. You might have to put up with distracting behavior. You might even end up trying to game plan too much around the player simply to justify picking him in the first place.
None of those things are an issue with Baldwin.
There’s never been a big controversy surrounding the amount of money Baldwin makes. As he’s grown up, he has evolved into one of the best ambassadors for the game that the NFL has. He’s a leader in the truest sense of the word, and – oh yeah – you can put his production up against anyone in the league.
While he hasn’t put up 1,800 yards in a single season (he’s simply not targeted enough to reach that number), he has led the league in touchdown receptions. More importantly, there might not be a better ‘possession receiver’ in the league. Some folks make the mistake of interpreting that phrase the same way we do ‘game-manager’ for a quarterback, which sounds kinda like an insult, a nice way of saying you’re not that good. That’s not the case, though, as Baldwin told Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network, “Possession is what it’s all about.”
When you have an offense that runs the ball as much as the Seahawks intend to, it’s about ball control. The wide receivers play a big part in that. Doug Baldwin does not drop the ball, and he doesn’t turn it over either.
How many times do you see a drive stall because of a drop, a turnover, or because the receiver isn’t on the same page with the QB? Take it from someone who follows the New York Giants closely – it happens all the time with Eli Manning and Odell. It’s a rare occurrence with Russell Wilson and Doug.
There’s no correct answer to this question. On the right team, in the right offense, sometimes the world-class skill guy is the right choice. But after having watched Baldwin’s career in the Seahawks’ offense, there really isn’t a choice to be made. When you need a big catch, Doug’s always there.
What do you think?