Jake Heaps’ 2 undrafted Seahawks rookies to keep an eye on

May 13, 2020, 2:17 PM | Updated: 2:24 pm
Seahawks Chris Miller...
Jake Heaps is a fan of Seahawks UDFA safety Chris Miller, who played at Baylor. (Getty)

A lot of attention has been given to the Seahawks’ 2020 draft class, which featured eight selections, but the team has also added 18 undrafted rookie free agents as well, including WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon and UW Huskies receiver Aaron Fuller.

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While those two – especially Gordon – will receive a lot of attention due to their local ties, Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy said that two of the Seahawks’ other undrafted free agents are players he will be keeping tabs on throughout the offseason. One is a defensive back while the other, like Fuller, is a receiver.

Hard-hitting safety

Safety play has always been critical for Pete Carroll’s defenses here in Seattle, and something he really values is the ability to lay a big hit on an opposing ball carrier. The two best safeties that Carroll has coached in Seattle – Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas – were tremendous at that while with the Seahawks and current safety Quandre Diggs showed that ability in the few games he suited up last year.

According to Heaps, one of the Seahawks’ 2020 undrafted free agents is all about laying the smack down on the opposition.

“The guy who intrigues me the most, without question … is the safety out of Baylor, Chris Miller,” he said. “This guy is a heat-seeking missile. When you talk about trying to bring edge and physicality back to the defense, this is the guy.”

Miller was also a favorite of former NFL quarterback and 710 host Brock Huard due to his hard-hitting ways.

Though Miller can lay out his opponents, he is a bit undersized for an NFL safety as he’s 5-11 and about 190 pounds. Additionally, he ran a 4.61 40-yard dash, so he’s not the fastest player either. Heaps says Miller was undrafted due to that as well as a downside to his aggressive play.

“He’s a guy that didn’t really stand out in terms of his coverage ability and also, because he’s flying with such reckless abandon to knock you out and knock your block off, he misses tackles,” Heaps said. “And I think that’s something that when you talk about Chris Miller getting implemented with the Seattle Seahawks, he’s a guy they’ll work on discipline and all those types of things with and hopefully get him right like they tried to do with (2019 second-round safety) Marquise Blair.”

Blair, Diggs and Bradley McDougald all figure to make the team’s roster as the top three safeties, and typically, the Seahawks carry four safeties during the season. Heaps says Miller has the ability to push for that fourth spot and beat out a veteran player.

“If you’re talking about a guy who’s coming in who’s not going to back down from anybody, Chris Miller certainly won’t back down from anybody and I would look for Chris Miller to replace Lano Hill potentially in training camp in a training camp battle,” he said.

Big ole target

Something that seems to happen every offseason is Seahawks fans becoming enamored with a large undrafted rookie wide receiver. Two examples of this are last season with Jazz Ferguson, as well as a few years back with UW receiver Kasen Williams.

Well, Heaps thinks that could very well happen again this year.

“If you want another big-bodied receiver to get behind and get excited about, look at Seth Dawkins, a receiver out of Louisville” he said. “This is a guy that greatly intrigues me with size, speed, hands, ability to make plays after the catch.”

Dawkins is 6-3 and weighs around 220 pounds and had over 1,500 yards in college to go along with nine touchdowns. The issue with him could be that the Seahawks have receivers ahead of him that appear to be locks to make the roster.

“I was actually very intrigued from what I saw from him, and ultimately, you don’t know how he fits into picture in the receiver group, but he’s one who definitely passes the eye test and a guy who I will definitely be watching very closely if we have a training camp that starts on time,” Heaps said.

Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf will for sure be on the team, and David Moore, free-agent signing Phillip Dorsett, 2018 seventh-round pick John Ursua and 2019 sixth-round pick Freddie Swain are expected to make the final roster as well. Would the Seahawks consider taking a seventh receiver on the 53-man roster? Or maybe he, like Ferguson and Williams, ends up on Seattle’s practice squad.

Listen to Tom, Jake and Stacy podcasts at this link.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps on Twitter.

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