Moore: Seahawks’ WR Gary Jennings fighting a 4th-round jinx
Danny O’Neil gives me a hard time about this, but Gary Jennings is fighting against a jinx that has led to the demise of Seahawks receivers before him.
Jennings was drafted in the fourth round, and I know it shouldn’t matter, but it somehow does. Since GM John Schneider arrived, the Seahawks have drafted three receivers in the fourth round, and all of them fell far short of expectations.
Kris Durham of Georgia was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. He’s the best of Seattle’s fourth-round receiving fizzles, never doing much of anything here with three receptions for 30 yards in his rookie season. But he did have 38 catches for 490 yards in Detroit in 2013 before washing out the following year and somehow resurfacing as a member of the Parma Panthers in the Italian League in 2017.
Chris Harper of Kansas State was drafted in the fourth round in 2013 and was waived at the end of his first preseason in Seattle. He ended his career in 2016 with 14 NFL catches — one with the Patriots and 13 with the 49ers — and zero touchdowns.
Kevin Norwood of Alabama was drafted in the fourth round in 2014. He had nine receptions in his rookie season and never made another catch after being traded to Carolina.
Jennings showed up with a nice body of work at West Virginia, featuring 151 receptions for 2,013 yards and 14 touchdowns his last two years. But he’s yet to show up in the first two preseason games. Maybe it’s because he’s been on the field with backup quarterbacks; maybe it’s because he’s fighting the fourth-round jinx.
The only time I’ve heard positive things about Jennings was last week when he had a good practice and drew praise from Russell Wilson. Perhaps he will get it going Saturday night against the Chargers and justify his fourth-round selection.
But at this point, he is more of a disappointment than a standout. And it might not be his fault. When O’Neil guffaws and asks me if I think things would be different for Jennings if he were drafted in the third or fifth round, I say yes because of Schneider’s bad luck with fourth-round receiver selections in the past.
Jennings is really up against it this year with many good receiving candidates fighting for five or six spots. Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown and D.K. Metcalf have spots locked up. David Moore would appear to have the fourth spot. Jennings is battling with undrafted free agent Jazz Ferguson, seventh-rounder John Ursua, Malik Turner, Keenan Reynolds, Amara Darboh and Keenan Reynolds for the final one or two spots.
My money’s on Ferguson and Ursua. Jennings figures to be the latest casualty of a little-known jinx that should make Schneider think twice if he’s considering the choice of a receiver in the fourth round in the future.