K.J. Wright: Seahawks WR Jake Bobo ‘the guy I believe Geno can trust’

Aug 24, 2023, 1:11 PM

Seattle Seahawks Jake Bobo...

Jake Bobo scores a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 10, 2023. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

Former UCLA wide receiver Jake Bobo is hoping to become the latest undrafted success story for Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll as he battles for one of the remaining 53 roster spots.

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K.J. Wright, who played linebacker with the Seahawks for 10 of his 11 seasons in the NFL, can see why Bobo has been grabbing attention with his play in the preseason.

“Did you guys see the routes that Bobo ran in Week 1 and Week 2? He’s out there, big 6-foot, 4-inch frame and he just comes smooth,” Wright said Wednesday on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “He runs a slant, no he’s not. He’s going to run a slant-and-go. Wide open both times.”

That combination of size and route-running ability is something Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith could make great use of.

“The way he can maneuver his body and just how smooth he is when he goes up there and high points the ball, he’s the guy that I believe Geno (Smith) can trust,” Wright said. “You’ve got to be able to trust your receiver.”

Bobo paces the team with 98 receiving yards in the preseason on five catches, and he’s one of three Seahawks to bring in a touchdown pass. Only one other wide receiver has logged more than 50 receiving yards this preseason for Seattle: first-round draft pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba (six catches for 83 yards).

Smith-Njigba is expected to miss three to four weeks after fracturing his wrist against the Dallas Cowboys last weekend, though, while former second-round draft pick Dee Eskridge will be forced to miss the first six games of the season due to a suspension, opening up a pathway for Bobo to make the final roster.

“Jake is flying pretty high right now, he’s done great,” Carroll said Wednesday. “He hasn’t just done well in the few plays in the game. He’s done well in practice throughout. He’s been really steady. It’s not a surprise to see him play like that in the games. We were thrilled to see what would happen cause he’s been making plays out here. He looks like he’s part of the flow to me.”

As Bobo attempts to surpass 100 total yards, just five receivers have hit the century mark for yards for Carroll and company in the last five preseasons: Damore’ea Stringfellow, Jazz Ferguson, John Ursua, David Moore and Jaron Brown, three of which (Ferguson, Moore and Brown) were undrafted.

Schneider and Carroll’s long lineage of discovering talent after the draft has been a defining feature for the Seahawks over the past 13 years. While the defensive backfield has been littered with undrafted players filling out reserve roles, the scouting department also produced a plethora of undrafted receiving options for both Russell Wilson and Smith, including Doug Baldwin, Ricardo Lockette, Jermaine Kearse and Chris Matthews.

“You know who this guy is? He’s Jeff Samardzija from Notre Dame,” Wright said. “He was a receiver. Big. Long haired. He was a pitcher for the Cubs. This is exactly who Bobo is. The guy that just has a knack for getting wide open, and when he does get his hands on the ball when the offensive coordinator draws a play for him, ‘Hey, this is your route tree. This is what you do. We’re going to utilize your skill set and bring out the best thing in you.'”

Samardzija was recognized as a two-time All-American wide receiver for Notre Dame before pivoting his career toward the MLB, where he had a 13-year career across four teams.

“Is Jake Bobo your third wide receiver when the season starts?” Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk asked Wright.

“Absolutely,” Wright responded.

NFL teams have until Aug. 29 to finalize their 53-man rosters.

Listen to the full K.J. Wright Show from Wednesday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Salk: What about the Seahawks’ hype is and isn’t fragile
Bump: A Seahawks UDFA to watch as preseason wraps up
Huard: What to make of Seahawks’ Smith-Njigba’s surgery news
Seattle Seahawks Preseason: What’s real, and what are overreactions?

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