With Seahawks training camp kicking off later this month, Seahawks.com is taking a look at 10 of the most intriguing storylines, position battles and players heading into the 2022 season. Today, we take a look at wide receivers, where Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain and others will battle for the No. 3 spot. Check back Friday for a look at how the new-look defense should benefit Seattle's Pro Bowl safety duo.
OK, so for now at least, the biggest question at receiver probably has to do with DK Metcalf's contract—he's heading into the final year of his rookie deal, a time when most top players get contract extensions—but for this series we're focused on on-field competition, and besides, the hope from both sides is that Metcalf will have his extension sooner than later, so hopefully that won't be a question by the time camp starts.
As for the on-field storylines at receiver…
The Seahawks head into camp knowing they have one of the best receiver duos in the NFL thanks to the presence of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but what still needs to be sorted out is who will serve as the team's No. 3 receiver, a position that is essentially a starting role in today's NFL.
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Freddie Swain was that player last season, playing 59.7 percent of Seattle's offensive snaps while recording 25 catches for 343 yards and four touchdowns, all of which ranked third among Seahawks receivers behind Lockett and Metcalf.
And while Swain will definitely be in the running for that role again, he's by no means a lock to hold down that spot, not with several talented players pushing for bigger roles, most notably 2021 second-round pick Dee Eskridge. Eskridge's rookie campaign got off to a rough start with a toe injury limiting him in training camp and the preseason, then after he made it back for the season opener, he sustained a concussion that kept him out for almost the entire first half of the season. Eskridge made it back from the concussion and still appeared in 10 games, but with multiple injury setbacks, his rookie season never got on track, and he finished with only 10 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Despite that limited production, the Seahawks are expecting big things out of their first pick in the 2021 draft, which could perhaps mean him taking over that No. 3 role if he's able to beat out Swain.
"He's going to be a really impactful player, I don't have any hesitation in saying that," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the end of the 2021 season. "He has so much going for him, he's such a talented kid, a good worker, and all of that, when we come back around, it's going to look so much different to him. The jump that guys make from year one to year two is the most significant jump for the most part… The day that they walk back in and get back with us, they jump so much. Dee Eskridge is going to make a huge jump and be a very impactful player. We will get him involved in the kicking game more so, we worked with him all year on that, but we weren't quite ready to feature his opportunity there. He can run it, he can catch it, he can block, and he has a great work ethic, so there is nothing holding him back."
Another intriguing name to watch is that of Marquise Goodwin, an eight-year veteran who saw only limited playing time last season after choosing to opt out in 2020 the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic following the birth of their daughter earlier that year. Prior to taking that year off, Goodwin was a significant part of the 49ers offense, as a deep threat in particular—he's a former Olympian in the long jump and an elite sprinter who specialized in the 60-meter dash—including a 2017 season that saw him catch 56 passes for 962 yards. There's no guarantee that the 31-year old returns to his 2017 or 2018 form, but if he can, Goodwin could definitely be a contender to earn a significant role.
Just as the No. 3 spot will be competitive, so too will the battle for spots on the 53-man roster. The Seahawks typically keep five or six receivers on the roster, and heading into camp there are a lot of receivers who will be battling for spots behind Metcalf, Lockett, Eskridge and Swain. In addition to Goodwin, the Seahawks have Penny Hart, who made the roster last year in no small part due to his special teams abilities, as well as returning practice squad players Aaron Fuller, Cade Johnson and Cody Thompson. Seattle also drafted two receivers in the seventh round in Dareke Young and Bo Melton.
Seahawks fans attending training camp in 2022 know they'll see two elite receivers in Lockett and Metcalf, but the real intrigue will be in what's happening with all the other players at that position.
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DK Metcalf and other local celebrities participated in the Seattle All-Star Softball Classic at Cheney Stadium on June 25, 2022. The event benefitted Push For Dreams.