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2024 Draft Preview: With An Elite Trio Already On The Roster, Are The Seahawks Set At Receiver?

A look at where the Seahawks stand at receiver heading into the 2024 NFL Draft, as well as draft analyst Rob Rang’s top-ranked prospects at that position.

2024 Draft Preview - WRs

The NFL Draft kicks off next week in Detroit, and while it will be the 15th in Seattle for general manager and president of football operations John Schneider, it will be his first with new head coach Mike Macdonald.

But while there are some adjustments to be made for Schneider and the player personnel department in terms of learning what Macdonald and his coaching staff look for in players, Schneider doesn't see this draft process playing out a whole lot differently than the previous 14 did with Pete Carroll as the head coach.

"There's so much preparation that goes into it, it's going to be the same," Schneider said last month at the NFL Annual Meeting. "The preparation is—really, think of it like a game; you're putting together a game-plan sheet. That's basically what your board looks like. So you're like, 'OK, well that happened, now we're going here. That happened. Now we're going here.' So that's really your preparation, and I don't see it being any different.

"Pete, he was a blast to work with throughout the preparation, and Mike and his staff are the same. It's going to be fun."

Unlike the past two drafts in which Seattle had multiple first and second-round picks thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, the Seahawks have a little less draft capital in 2024, though the 16thoverall pick is still a valuable asset, either to be used on an elite player or perhaps to be traded for a pick later in the first round along with additional picks. The Seahawks have seven total picks heading into the draft, but do not have a second-rounder having sent that to the Giants in last year's trade for Leonard Williams.

So with the draft coming up soon, is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand for the Seahawks, as well as the top draft prospects at each position. We'll also look at Seattle's draft history at each position over the past 14 drafts under Schneider.

So far we've covered quarterback, linebacker, offensive line, defensive line, outside linebacker, running back and safety, and today we turn our attention to receiver. Check back tomorrow when we focus on cornerback.

Seattle's 2024 Draft Picks: Round 1, No. 16 overall; Round 3, No. 81 overall (from New Orleans via Denver); Round 4, No. 102 overall (from Washington); Round 4, No. 118 overall; Round 6, No. 179 overall (from Washington); Round 6, No. 192 overall; Round 7, No. 235 overall.

Wide Receiver Draft History Under John Schneider: Golden Tate (No. 60 overall, 2010); Jameson Konz (No. 245, 2010); Kris Durham (No. 107, 2011); Chris Harper (No. 123, 2013); Paul Richardson (No. 45, 2014); Kevin Norwood (No. 123, 2014); Tyler Lockett (No. 69, 2015); Kenny Lawler (No. 243, 2016); Amara Darboh (No. 106, 2017); David Moore (No. 226, 2017); DK Metcalf (No. 64, 2019); Gary Jennings (No. 120, 2019); John Ursua (No. 236, 2019); Freddie Swain (No. 214, 2020); Dee Eskridge (No. 56, 2021); Bo Melton (No. 229, 2022), Dareke Young, (No. 233, 2022); Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 20, 2023).

Where the Seahawks Stand

A year ago, the Seahawks headed into the draft with an elite receiving duo in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and still used one of their two first-round picks to bolster that position group, selecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the 20th overall pick.

With all three of those players coming back for 2024, it seems unlikely that Seattle would once again use significant draft resources on that position group, especially with strong depth behind those three in the likes of Jake Bobo, Dareke Young, Dee Eskridge and recent free-agent signing Laviska Shenault Jr.. But while receiver isn't a big need for the Seahawks, there are still scenarios in which it would make sense to add to that group in the middle to later rounds, especially if that player can also contribute on special teams. The league's new kickoff rule will add value to kick returners, which Schneider noted as a factor for signing Shenault, and the Seahawks also will need to find a new punt returner with DeeJay Dallas leaving in free agency.

So while the Seahawks seem likely to address other positions in the early rounds of the draft, finding more receiver depth, and perhaps a weapon in the return game, seems like a possible scenario next week even if they already have one of the best receiving trios in the league already on the roster.

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Rob Rang's Top 5 Receivers

Overview: You aren't wrong if it seems like every year the NFL Draft offers yet another bumper crop of wide receivers. As football has gained in popularity among today's youth, an increasing number of elite athletes have chosen to catch passes on the gridiron over opportunities in baseball and basketball. Further, as high school and college offenses have become more sophisticated, receivers are entering the NFL more polished than ever before with the league's 32 teams eagerly gobbling them up. The Seahawks, of course, wisely invested in the position a year ago, making Jaxon Smith-Njigba the first wide receiver off the board at No. 20 overall. John Schneider and his scouts also unearthed their latest golden nugget from undrafted free agency in Jake Bobo, giving the club two sure-handed possession receivers to complement stars DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. This year's receiver crop is once again loaded with Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. arguably the best overall prospect at any position. Harrison is one of four receivers I expect to earn top 20 selections this month, with all of them boasting Pro Bowl potential. Given their current stacked positional group, the Seahawks are unlikely to invest an early pick in wide receiver again this spring but adding speed and return skills in the middle or later rounds would make sense. Some of the prospects not named below who would seemingly fit include Washington's Jalen McMillan, Alabama's Jalen Burton, Southern Cal's Tahj Washington, Oregon State's Anthony Gould and Tulane's Jha'Quan Jackson.

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State, 6-3, 209, Top 5

It is easy to venture into hyperbole with Harrison, the son of an NFL Hall of Famer and an even better prospect than his dad was as a skinny and speedy first round pick out of Syracuse back in 1996. The reigning Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver, Harrison offers a pro-ready understanding of defenses with rare physical tools, including height, strong hands, rare coordination and flexibility and suddenness before and after the catch. Seahawk fans should get used to the name Harrison, as it would be a surprise to see him not be picked by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 overall.

2. Malik Nabers, LSU, 6-0, 200, Top 10

With all due respect to the aforementioned Harrison, Nabers might be the most dangerous player in this class with the ball in his hands. Consider this – after just three years at LSU, Nabers leaves as the school's all-time leader in receptions (189) and receiving yards (3,003), vaulting past recent superstars Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase, among many others. He led the mighty SEC in receptions each of the past two seasons and finished second in the nation only to his teammate, Brian Thomas, Jr. with 14 touchdown receptions this past season. Look up the word "dynamic" in the dictionary and one might find Nabers' picture.

3. Rome Odunze, Washington, 6-3, 212, Top 10

Most years Odunze would rank as the top receiver in his draft class and it isn't out of the question that he'll earn the top spot for some clubs this year. From both a physical skills and grit combination he ranks as one of the safer prospects at any position in this class and a future headlining starter. He was consistency personified for UW during their run to the national championship game, recording at least 100 receiving yards in 10 games last season. He led the PAC-12 in receiving yards each of the past two seasons, including the entire country with 1,640 yards in 2023.

4. Brian Thomas Jr., LSU, 6-3, 209, Top 20

It isn't often that a receiver leads the nation in touchdown receptions and is still nationally underrated but that might be the case with Thomas, who was often overshadowed by his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels and fellow future first round wideout, Nabers (listed earlier). Thomas spent much of his childhood playing basketball so he's less polished than the previous three receivers on this list from a route-running and blocking perspective, but he's big and remarkably athletic. In a few years Thomas may be considered the best receiver from this class.

5. Keon Coleman, Florida State, 6-3, 213, First Round

While perhaps a tick less explosive from a straight-line speed perspective than the others on this list, the imposing and physical Coleman ranks as arguably the best possession receiver in this class, using his pro-ready frame, tracking skills and strong hands to bully cornerbacks above the rim. He began his college career at Michigan State but took his game to another level at Florida State this past season, becoming the first player in FSU history to earn First Team All-ACC honors at three different positions (receiver, punt returner and all-around player).

NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang ranked his top wide receivers for the 2024 NFL Draft.

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