UCLA WR Jake Bobo may be Seahawks’ biggest undrafted steal

May 1, 2023, 2:59 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm

Seattle Seahawks Jake Bobo...

UCLA's Jake Bobo catches a touchdown over Cal's Craig Woodson on Nov. 25, 2022. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks added 10 new players in the 2023 NFL Draft, but the work never ends there. Seattle of course targeted undrafted players following the end of the final round Saturday, and one stands above the rest as a potential steal.

Pete Carroll Breakdown: Coach details Seattle Seahawks’ 2023 draft class

“I happen to work for the Pac-12 Network and covered a few UCLA games,” Seattle Sports’ Michael Bumpus said Monday, “and this kid Jake Bobo I think is going to help this team.”

The 24-year-old Bobo is a big-bodied wide receiver (6 foot 4, 206 pounds) who the Seahawks agreed to terms with Saturday, according to Bobo’s representation, giving them two of the biggest weapons from UCLA’s offense – Bobo follows Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet, a Seahawks second-round selection, in coming to Seattle. Bobo spent four years at Duke and then transferred to UCLA for 2022, making 57 receptions for 817 yards and seven touchdowns for the Bruins.

Bumpus, a former WSU and NFL receiver, detailed on Monday’s edition of Bump and Stacy why he likes the addition of Bobo for the Seahawks.

“What I like about this dude is that he finds space, and a lot of receivers when the game is happening too fast or they don’t know what they’re seeing, they run through space and by space,” he said. “… And he’s a big target in the red zone. … I like him because of his size, I like him because of his patience, and I like him because he seems like he knows exactly what he’s trying to accomplish when he runs these routes.”

The Seahawks picked up Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, considered by many to be the best wide receiver in the 2023 draft class, at No. 20 overall Thursday in the first round. He’s the obvious candidate to be the No. 3 receiver behind the star duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle, but the Hawks clearly weren’t done filling out their WR room with Smith-Njigba’s selection.

“I look at Jake Bobo and I go, ‘There’s a No. 4 right there,'” Bumpus said. “… With Njigba, you throw Bobo in there, I’m liking it.”

Listen to Bump’s full thoughts on Bobo in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast below.

What UCLA coach Chip Kelly thinks of Jake Bobo

Bumpus wasn’t the only person on the Seattle Sports airwaves raving about Bobo. Earlier Monday morning on Brock and Salk, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly was on to talk about Charbonnet (which we’ll cover Tuesday on SeattleSports.com), but he also made sure to heap some praise on Bobo.

“Jake’s awesome,” Kelly said. “Jake was the leading receiver at Duke and then they had a coaching change so he put his name in the (transfer) portal. I have a great relationship with (former Duke head coach) David Cutcliffe and Cut told me that he’s probably second to Peyton Manning in terms of being a practice player. That really got us excited.”

When Bobo showed up, the impact was immediate for the Bruins.

“He automatically became the leader in our wide receiver room and was our leading receiver last year,” Kelly said. “I think he’s position-versatile. He can play both inside receiver and outside receiver. … He’s got tremendous range in terms of being able to catch the ball away from his body. He’s a tremendous route runner. I think he’s kind of a steal.”

The big question about Bobo is whether he can do enough on special teams to help the Seahawks, as that was something he didn’t do much at UCLA. Kelly has no doubts Bobo can help in that area.

“He’s another guy that would be an impact player when it comes to special teams,” Kelly said. “We did not use him on special teams because he was our leading receiver. He did a little punt return for us and I know that’s probably not the height/weight/speed you’re looking for as a punt returner, but he was just such a sure-handed guy (that he) did a little bit of that for us.”

Bumpus also explained that it will be important for Bobo to show capability on special teams.

“If he can find his way on special teams and go down and do something he probably hasn’t done since high school, which is tackle another human being, he might be able to make this roster.”

More Seattle Seahawks draft coverage

‘Speed and violence’: Why Huard gives Seahawks’ draft high marks
Seattle Seahawks Draft Breakdown: A look at all 10 NFL Draft picks
Seahawks Draft Takeaways: Breaking down 3 moves on Day 2
‘Pretty dangerous’: Smith-Njigba talks joining Seahawks’ WR room
Rost: Seahawks elite at two spots after first-round picks
Salk: Seattle Seahawks did smartest thing possible with two 1st-rounders

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