DANNY AND GALLANT

Bumpus: Why Seahawks’ WRs are best in an NFC West ‘full of receiver talent’

May 26, 2021, 1:53 PM | Updated: 3:49 pm
Seahawks WR DK Metcalf...
Seahawks WR DK Metcalf set a franchise record for receiving yards in 2020. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks won arguably the NFL’s toughest division in 2020 – the NFC West – and the division figures to be extremely competitive yet again in 2021.

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Part of the reason why is due to the offensive firepower each of the NFC West’s four teams have. And where the division really stands out is the playmakers on the offensive side of the football, namely pass catchers.

“The NFC West is full of wide receiver talent,” former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Wednesday. “It’s crazy.”

So in a division that’s loaded at receiver, which team boasts the best receiving corps? Bumpus broke down each one down to ultimately make his decision.

The Arizona Cardinals have arguably the division’s top receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, and they also have an up-and-coming receiver in Christian Kirk. Additionally, future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald could be back as he has yet to officially retire, and they signed seven-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green in free agency.

Those are a lot of big names, and Bumpus compared the 2021 Cardinals to the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers, pointing out how that team added older, big-name players who were past their prime like Gary Payton and Karl Malone to surround their young superstar at the time, Kobe Bryant.

“There’s talent there, but you just don’t know what the old guys are going to do,” he said.

Next, Bumpus looked at the Los Angeles Rams, who ended the Seahawks’ 2020 season in the opening round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles’ receivers are led by Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Kupp made over 90 catches each of the last two seasons and had over 2,000 receiving yards combined between 2019 and 2020, while Woods has had at least 86 receptions and 900 yards the last three seasons. The Rams have also added veteran DeSean Jackson, who is one of the better deep threats in NFL history but has struggled to stay healthy since 2018.

“The Rams have the best route-running receiving corps in the division for sure,” Bumpus said. “Cooper Kupp’s routes are sick, so are Woods’, and we all know what DeSean Jackson can do when he’s healthy.”

As for the San Francisco 49ers, they had a down year in 2020 due to injuries but still have two talented young receivers – 2020 first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk and 2019 second-round pick Deebo Samuel. Another weapon they have in the passing game is tight end George Kittle, who had over 1,000 yards both in 2018 and 2019 but only appeared in eight games in 2020.

“This is the most physical receiving corps in the division,” Bumpus said. “These guys will run through you, jump over you. Kittle will block you, stiff arm you. It’s ridiculous.”

And now on to the Seahawks.

Seattle’s receiving corps is led by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who set single-season franchise records last year in receiving yards and receptions, respectively.

Additionally, the Seahawks picked speedy receiver D’Wayne Eskridge in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

“We’ll see what happens with Eskridge. But between DK and Lockett (in 2020), you’ve got (183 total catches), they both had over 1,000 yards and both had 10-touchdown seasons last year,” Bumpus said. ” … Every team has their strengths when it comes to their receiving corps. And I try not to be biased … but I’m looking at it and just with DK and Lockett alone, I think these guys have the best receiving corps in the division.”

Bumpus also thinks the Seahawks can have the best receiver unit in the NFC West because Eskridge has the ability to be a key contributor as a rookie, perhaps even stepping in as the No. 3 receiver with David Moore gone to Carolina in free agency.

“I’m going to go with the Seattle Seahawks because of what DK and Lockett can do, and I think Eskridge can do his best David Moore impression this year,” Bumpus said. “You get anything more than 30 receptions and 400 yards from that guy, that’s a win.”

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