We’ll continue our Seahawks pre-draft position reviews with a look at tight end.
PLAYERS CURRENTLY ON ROSTER
Starter: Jimmy Graham.
Seahawks 2015 Draft
- Seattle Times NFL mock draft
- Seahawks' 10 best draft picks of all time
- Seahawks' 10 worst draft picks of all time
- Position review: Defensive line
- Position review: Offensive line
- Position review: Quarterback
- Position review: Running back
- Position review: Wide receiver
- Position review: Tight end
- Position review: Linebacker
- Position review: Defensive Backs
- Position review: Special Teams
Backups: Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet, Anthony McCoy, RaShaun Allen.
OVERVIEW: The trade for Graham obviously changed everything about this spot as it went from a huge question mark to one of the better-stocked spots on the team. Graham is far from your traditional tight end, likely to line up two-thirds of the time, or so, as essentially a receiver. But in that role, he figures to transform the Seattle offense and open up a lot of things for everyone else.
Willson will return in a complementary role for which he may be better suited after being the starter most of last season following an injury to the since-departed Zach Miller. Helfet also showed some good flashes last season. McCoy has missed the last two years with an injury making it hard to know exactly what he will be able to contribute. But he also had some good moments when he was able to play in 2010-12. Allen was mostly a practice squad guy last year
And if you’re wondering if that group will provide enough blocking, recall that Pete Carroll said the team could use Will Tukuafu in some tight end blocking roles this year. Garry Gilliam also has experience in that kind of a role, which could be expanded.
DRAFT NEED (on scale of 1-10): 3. Before the trade for Graham, we might have said this was about an eight. Instead, there’s no huge real pressing need here now, especially if the team feels McCoy is healthy and ready to compete with Helfet for the third tight end spot. What you might like to see is someone who is more of a blocking tight end, maybe. But again, Carroll and company seem comfortable with the way they can use Tukuafu and Gilliam and Derrick Coleman in ways that can accomplish the same goals.
Still, with 11 picks, if the Seahawks see a particularly good value in a tight end, it would hardly be a surprise to see them grab one. With five tight ends on the current roster, Seattle will likely add one more, be it a draft pick or a free agent of some sort, prior to camp.
POSSIBLE DRAFT FITS: This isn’t regarded as a real great year for tight ends — recall that one of the storylines out of the NFL Combine was the relatively disappointing performances of some of the top tight end prospects.
And you wouldn’t really expect Seattle to draft a tight end with too high of a pick, if it does to that route at some point. Also, as noted in the receiver writeup, Seattle could well take a bigger receiver type.
Of leaked reports of players making pre-draft visits to Seattle, none is a tight end.
One late-round guy who fits well the in-line blocker mold — and as such, would add something different than a lot of what Seattle already has in terms of style — is Delaware’s Nick Boyle (NFL.com profile here). Wrote Hub Arkush’s Pro Football Now of Boyle: “A throwback-type tight end in that he is predominanlty an inline “Y” tight end. Has the traits to be a very effective blocker and short-area receiver.”