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WR-Brandon Aiyuk & kick returner options in the draft.

Discuss your thoughts about anything College Football or NFL draft. Recruiting, Projections, and Mock drafts, Etc. LANGUAGE: PG-13
  • I was a big supporter of Tyler Lockett when the Seahawks traded up to draft him and he has turned out very well. A player in the coming draft that is similar to a somewhat bigger Lockett is WR-Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona St. I think a lot of people are sleeping on Aiyuk. His draft position may be pretty similar to Lockett's and he will likely be drafted somewhere in Rd-2 or perhaps as late as the end of Rd-3 at worst. I also recall reading somewhere that Aiyuk was one of the leaders in the "YAC" category according to PFF. Below are the most likely "kick returners" available in the coming draft, there are only a few other options, all with lesser stats. All stats are current & from

    WR/KR-Jalen Reagor, TCU, 5-11/195 - Currently #25-overall at cbssports, #54 at drafttek=?
    2019: 12-games, 43 rec. for 611-yds, 14.21-ypc & 5-TD's, 14 rushes for 89-yds, 6.35-ypc, 0-TD's.
    + 15-punt returns for 312-yds, 20.80-ypr (#2 in FBS) & 2-TD's.
    + 5-KO returns for 72-yds, 14.40-ypr.
    Total all-purpose yards: 1084-yds, 14.1-yds per play, 90.3-yds per game, 7-total TD's.

    *WR/KR-BRANDON AIYUK*, Arizona St. 6-1/206, Currently Rd-2 to early Rd-3, #95-overall at drafttek.
    2019: 12 games, 65 receptions for 1192-yds, 18.34-ypc, & 8 TD's, 1-rush for 6-yds, 0-TD's.
    + 14-punt returns for 226-yds, 16.14-ypr (#3 in FBS) & 1-TD.
    + 14 KO returns for 446-yds, 31.86-ypr (#3 in FBS), 0-TD’s.
    Total all-purpose yards: 1870-yds, 19.9-yds per play, 155.8-yds per game, 9-total TD's.

    WR/KR-Antonio Gibson, Memphis, 6-2/221, Currently not ranked at cbssport or at drafttek?
    2019: 12-games, 32/636/19.88-ypc/8-TD's + rushing: 31/363/11.71-ypc/4-TD's.
    + 22 KO returns for 633-yds, 28.77-ypr (#6 in FBS) & 1-TD.
    Total all-purpose yards: 1632-yds, 15.9-yds per play, 76.8-yds per game, 12-total TD's.

    WR/KR-Joe Reed, Virginia, 6-1/215, Currently NR at cbssports, #405-overall at drafttek.
    2019: 12-games, 70/627/8.96-ypc/6-TD's + rushing 6/28/4.67-ypc & 0-TD’s.
    + 22 KO returns for 764-yds, 34.73-ypr (#1 in FBS) & 2-TD's.
    Total all-purpose yards: 1419-yds, 14.5-yds per play, 118.3-yds per game, 8-total TD's.

    RB/KR-Raymond Calais, La-Lafayette, 5-9/185, (scat back), NR @ cbssports & #484 on drafftek.
    2019: 13-games, rushing: 112/867/7.74-ypc/6-TD's, Receiving 8/69/8.63-ypc/1-TD.
    + 17 KO returns for 500-yds, 29.41-ypr (#5 in FBS) & 0-TD's.
    Total all-purpose yards: 1436, 10.5-yds per play, 110.5-yds per game, 7-total TD's.

    Of these options (IMO):
    -- Reagor, likely GONE when the Seahawks pick, late in round 1 (unless they trade up or target him).
    -- Aiyuk MAY be available with one of the Seahawks 2-nd round picks = A Seahawks target in Rd-2 = ?
    -- Gibson would be a pretty good later round pick, potentially Rd-5/6/7, a "semi-sleeper" type of pick.
    -- Reed might also be a pretty good late Rd-7-ish. pick or more likely an UDFA, a true “sleeper".
    -- Calais, UDFA, at best, most likely due to size, unless he hits a super hot 40 time, he's an UDFA.

    If I was in the Seahawks draft room, I'd be "banging the table" for AIYUK in round 2 plus I would likely also want them to take a shot at Gibson and/or Reed (among others) on day 3/UDFA. IMO, Special team stats are important but often are overlooked in the draft process. The additional benefit of targeting Aiyuk with a 2-nd round pick is they can then use their #1 & one of their 2-nds (the 2-nd one?). on the DL & Pass Rusher positions that are their really big NEEDS.
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  • The kickoff return has become almost a moot point in today's NFL. I don't see how investing significant draft capital on that position is anything a team would focus upon unless that person is also talented at their secondary position and other special teams duties.

    As it stands, Homer is a talented 3rd down, change of pace back at worst, significant backup RB, and quality kick returner. I think we're fine well as having Moore and Penny available to handle these duties, as well.
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  • I would submit that WR's Reagor & Aiyuk are very likely to be strong candidates to add to the Seahawks WR room. As many "experts" have said, special teams abilities are a big plus and helps some young players to get into game action more quickly and contribute. They would be drafted over other WR's that may have similar receiving stats but minimal, if any added value thru special teams and their return abilities, especially on the punt return team. IMO - Lockett as a #1 receiver should not be returning punts, especially with his lack of size - due to injury concerns. Yes, we have guys that return KO's as well, but not with the kind of stats most of the above have (except for Penny, who is #1 in NCAA as a KO return guy THAT WE DON'T USE as a returner for some reason), so improvement can be potentially had in that area. Return abilities are simply an additional + factor in the draft evaluation process for me.
    I wouldn't rule out WR-Antonio Gibson as a possible mid-round pick either, look at his other NICE stats,,,,,,,
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  • Kick and Punt returner's are very valuable, and IMHO, it helps them in their YAC as a receiver.

    Also, there's times when field position, or a weakness found in opposing kick and punt units can be exploited.

    Like the OP said, when there's multiple receivers with similar skill sets as a receiver, the one with more versatility is the better choice.
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