Bumpus: Why Seahawks receptions record will be broken again in 2021

May 22, 2021, 8:58 AM

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett...

The Seahawks have two star receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. (Getty)


The Seahawks’ offense may have cooled off over the second half of the 2020 season, but that doesn’t mean that unit wasn’t historic.

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That offense had the most points in a single season in franchise history, and the team’s best offensive stars had great statistical campaigns as well.

Quarterback Russell Wilson set single-season records for completions, completion percentage and, most importantly, passing touchdowns with 40. That was aided by the receiver duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett setting franchise records in yards and receptions in a single season, respectively. Metcalf had 1,303 yards and Lockett caught 100 passes.

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus believes one of those three single-season records will be broken once again in 2021. He explained why to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Friday.

“Naturally I want to say the touchdown passes (record),” he said. “But I think on offense, Russell isn’t going to be throwing the ball 40 yards down the field like he used to. That leads me to believe that the receptions and the yards might go first.”

The Seahawks have a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron, who comes to Seattle from the Los Angeles Rams where he served three years as passing game coordinator and one year as tight ends coach.

Bumpus said he recently watched film of the Rams’ offense and saw clear differences between what the Seahawks have run in the past and what they’ll likely be running more of in 2021.

“They’re going to go spread more than the Seahawks have gone spread,”  he said. “First down, Shane will like to go spread and put some pressure on this defense.”

Bumpus said that the Ras have used a lot of three receiver sets and that a common route combination is two receivers running quick out routes while one goes deep. He also saw a lot of short to intermediate routes. Seeing those elements of the Rams’ offense validated Bumpus’ thought that Lockett’s record of 100 catches in a single season will be broken in 2021.

“I’m looking at these concepts and they’re designed to get the ball out of Russell’s hands faster,” he said. ” … I look at these concepts and the receptions record is going to get broken again. It’s going to get broken again.”

Not only does Bumpus think a Seahawks receiver could exceed 100 catches in 2021, but he thinks both Lockett and Metcalf could have triple-digit receptions next season.

“You look at the Rams’ offense last year and the tight ends, they had 90-something catches on their own and then (Robert) Woods and Cooper Kupp (each had over 80 receptions),” Bumpus said. “You’re not going to have two tight ends in this offense (combine for 90 catches, but closer to 70). That makes me believe that he’s going to look for his guys in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf and the concepts are going to get the ball out of his hands quickly.

“You could have two guys out there floating around 100 (catches). I’d say one of these guys is going to get over 100 and the other guy is going to be right behind him.”

The Seahawks did add two players this offseason who figure to get a good amount of looks and targets in the passing game. That would be free-agent tight end Gerald Everett, who played for the Rams the last four seasons, and rookie receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, who the Seahawks selected in the second round.

Bumpus sees both of them having big roles in the offense, but not big enough to seriously take targets or receptions away from Lockett and/or Metcalf.

“Gerald Everett is going to get his 45-50 (receptions), and then I look at Eskridge and he’s going to get his 35,” he said. “… (Eskridge) is going to be that third or sometimes fourth option because of Gerald Everett. I don’t see him getting over 35 or 40 receptions. He’s going to have a David Moore year in his first year at least.”

Moore was the Seahawks’ No. 3 receiver the last three years and he’s now with the Carolina Panthers. He had 35 catches for 417 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.

Listen to the full second hour of Friday’s Danny and Gallant at this link or in the player below.

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