BROCK AND SALK

Huard: Seahawks are great fit for UW Huskies UDFA Westover

Apr 30, 2024, 9:12 AM

Seattle Seahawks UW Huskies Jack Westover WSU Cougars Apple Cup 2023...

Jack Westover of the UW Huskies catches a pass against the WSU Cougars in the 2023 Apple Cup. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

UW Huskies tight end and Bellevue native Jack Westover wasn’t among the parade of Huskies selected in this past weekend’s NFL Draft, but it apparently didn’t take him long to find a landing spot with his hometown Seattle Seahawks.

Seahawks 2024 UDFA tracker: UW Huskies TE among signings

Shortly after the draft concluded on Saturday, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reported on social media that Westover was signing with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.

Seattle’s coaching staff already has plenty of familiarly with the 24-year-old Westover. New Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb coached Westover the past two seasons while serving as UW’s OC, and new Seattle offensive line coach Scott Huff was UW’s O-line coach for the entirety of Westover’s six seasons with the Huskies.

During Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday, former NFL quarterback and FOX college football analyst Brock Huard said the coaching staff’s familiarity with Westover is a big reason why the Seahawks are such a natural fit for the UW tight end.

“Because of the familiarity with Grubb – because Grubb thinks so highly of him and believes in him – I am sure that they were sitting there in that seventh round going, ‘Please,'” Huard said. “They probably even reached out to him like, ‘Hey man, have you heard from people? Because we’d sure love to have you here.'”

Westover was the fourth-leading receiver in UW’s high-powered passing attack this past season, complementing a trio of top-100 draft picks in wide receivers Rome Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan.

Westover finished the season with 46 catches for 433 yards and four touchdowns, including seven catches for a career-high 64 yards against Utah. He also had six catches for 59 yards in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Texas and a career-high three TD receptions in a rout of Michigan State. He was UW’s second-leading receiver in the CFP national championship game loss to Michigan, hauling in five catches for 42 yards.

Westover developed a reputation as a sure-headed target who consistently snagged tough catches in key situations. He had 27 catches for first downs last season, which was tied for sixth-most among all tight ends in the nation, according to Pro Football Focus. He only dropped one on-target pass all year, per PFF.

Huard said Westover’s pass-catching ability would fit nicely in Seattle’s tight end room alongside Noah Fant, free agent acquisition Pharaoh Brown and fourth-round draft pick AJ Barner out of Michigan.

“(Westover) is an unbelievably natural pass catcher,” Huard said. “He’s gonna be a better pass catcher than Pharaoh Brown. AJ is good at it, but I think (Westover’s) skill set and his hands are even better than that. So you’re giving him an opportunity with Noah Fant to maybe be that real pass-catching (threat). And they’ve kept four-plus tight ends around here (on the roster in previous years).

“So I would think Westover went to the exact right fit with background, people that believe in him. And what cool opportunity just to go down the road.”

Listen to the full conversation from Monday’s Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Seahawks ’24 NFL Draft Breakdown: A look at all 8 Seattle picks
• What experts are saying about Seahawks’ draft class
• Salk: With draft done, what we should expect from these Seahawks
• Rost: Seahawks’ future still relies heavily on previous draft classes
• AP NFL Draft grades: How did Seattle Seahawks, NFC West rivals fare?

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Huard: Seahawks are great fit for UW Huskies UDFA Westover