Who will be the Seahawks’ odd man out at wide receiver?
Jun 26, 2023, 12:27 AM
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
There is a lot of excitement about what the Seattle Seahawks have cooking at the wide receiver position.
Not only do the Seahawks have one of the best receiver duos in the NFL in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but they added a first-round talent to that mix in this year’s NFL Draft with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who Seattle picked at No. 20 overall out of Ohio State.
After that trio of top names, though, the Seahawks have three more who figure to be in a battle for two spots when training camp begins next month.
First, there’s Dee Eskridge, who was Seattle’s top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft as a second-round selection. The Western Michigan product has yet to live up to that billing as he’s dealt with injuries and has just 69 yards on 17 receptions in 20 games over his first two seasons.
Then there’s Dareke Young, a seventh-round selection in 2022 out of Division II Lenoir-Rhyne who played 13 games as a rookie last year with two receptions for 24 yards.
Finally, undrafted rookie Jake Bobo out of UCLA has received some attention during the offseason program as a potential steal by Seattle.
If the Seahawks can only pick two of those players to make their roster, who will they be? Michael Bumpus of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, himself a former Seahawks wide receiver who is now both a Pac-12 Network analyst and host on Seahawks Radio Network broadcasts, shared his take when he joined Brock and Salk for the daily Blue 88 segment last week.
“I’m going with Dee Eskridge and Dareke Young,” Bumpus replied. “I love Jake Bobo, I think he might make the team, but I’m gonna go to the guys with familiarity.”
Bumpus has notably been a champion of the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Eskridge since before the Seahawks even drafted him, and he’s aware he might hear some criticism for that choice, but he has a sound reason.
“I know people are going to be yelling, ‘Bump, Dee Eskridge is done, he’s this and he’s that.’ I think the man just hasn’t been able to stay healthy and he brings something unique to the table,” Bumpus said. “There’s no other other receiver (on the Seahawks roster) like him. (He has a similar stature to Smith-Njigba) but if you look at just the way that he runs… I don’t think we have that in the receiving corps.”
Young (6-2, 224 pounds) and Bobo (6-4, 207) are both bigger-bodied receivers, meanwhile, but Young has the advantage of experience in Seattle’s system and having shown versatility, both of which are important when you’re on the roster bubble.
“Dareke Young is just a guy who does it all. He lined up at tight end a couple of times last year, he’s good on special teams, he’s great on the outside as well,” Bumpus said. “He’s not going to be a dude that’s gonna give you 35, 40 receptions in a season, but he’s a guy who I think can make a couple of big plays and help out on special teams.”
Where does that leave Bobo?
“I think they’re gonna try to get him on the practice squad,” Bumpus said, “but this is what’s going to happen – he’s going to ball out during preseason, he’s going to turn some heads, and they’re going to have to make a tough decision. Because as soon as you try to get a guy on the practice squad, it gives other teams an opportunity to try to scoop and score.
“I’m going with guys who are familiar with the system, who have been there, who have done that. I still think Jake Bobo is a possibility, though.”
Listen to Bumpus’ full thoughts in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.
More on the Seattle Seahawks
• Wyman: The Seahawks position group facing the most questions
• The Seahawks’ most intriguing roster battle? It’s cornerback
• Bumpus: Why the Seahawks will miss LB Cody Barton
• The position group Wyman is most confident in
• NFL.com’s Eric Edholm: Where do Seattle Seahawks stand in NFL?