Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson breaks down the wide receivers of each NFC West team. Today: Seattle Seahawks.
You have to give Pete Carroll a lot of credit for taking a chance on Mike Williams, and you have to give Williams a lot of credit for taking full advantage of that opportunity. Williams is the Seahawks' best weapon. He isn’t super-fast or explosive, but he builds up speed. He uses his huge frame to compete well for the football with his excellent body control, long arms and huge hands.
But Williams did have too many drops last season. He caught only two touchdowns last year, and Seattle wasn’t bashful about throwing his way near the stripe. He does have the makeup of an excellent red zone artist. Still, I have my doubts about this guy -- especially as a top receiving option. He just doesn’t run that well for such a featured role.
Ben Obomanu is most likely to get the starting nod opposite Williams as it stands pre-free agency. He doesn’t get a lot of attention, but I contend that Obomanu is Seattle’s second-best receiver and can be a solid-yet-unspectacular starting wide receiver in this league. He takes a while to get going, but Obomanu can go up and snatch the football at its highest point.
Golden Tate was Seattle’s second-round draft pick one year ago, but his rookie season was less than spectacular. He appeared in only 11 games. He really needs a lot of work refining the nuances of the position, including his route consistency and recognition of defenses on the fly. Still, he is excellent after the catch and plays physical for his size. He could step up in 2011.
Deon Butler began the season as a starter, but broke his leg late in the season and really wasn’t all that impressive when he was healthy. It is unclear how the injury will affect him for the 2011 season, but Butler is a diminutive receiver who isn’t ideally built to handle the pounding at this level.
Brandon Stokley will hit the open market in free agency after contributing-- as he always does, no matter where he goes -- as a consistent, reliable option in the short and intermediate zones. He could be back and could tutor Tate and Butler.
Surprisingly, the Seahawks used a fourth-round selection on Kris Durham. Durham isn’t a quick-twitch guy, but he does have build-up speed. Very tall, Durham should continue to fill out and bring some of the same things Williams does to the table, although to a lesser degree.
Isaiah Stanback and Ruvell Martin also are guys to consider. Stanback could become a free agent, and Martin will be an unrestricted free agent. Martin is the more intriguing of the two, and did a few good things on limited views in a Seahawks uniform. He also stood out from time to time while in Green Bay.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.