State Of The Seahawks: Tight Ends

Kellen Winslow Jr.
Photo Credit:

The Seahawks signed Zach Miller in free agency last year with the thought that he could team up with John Carlson and form a tight-end combo that could rival the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Well, that didn’t work out as planned to say the least. Carlson suffered a season ending labrum injury in training camp and Zach Miller caught just 25 passes on 44 targets for 233 yards and no touchdowns primarily because the injury-weakend offensive line forced Miller to stay in and block.

Carlson has since left for Minnesota in free agency and for a while the state of the Seahawks’ tight ends looked pretty dire.

Enter Kellen Winslow Jr.

In a bit of a surprising move the Seahawks traded a 7th round pick to Tampa Bay for tight end Kellen Winslow. Winslow fell out of favor with the Buccaneers’ coaching staff after not working out with the team and missing a couple OTAs. The eight-year veteran felt “shocked” by this and frankly I did too considering he was the fourth most targeted tight end in the NFL last year and led the Bucs with 75 receptions for 763 yards and 2 touchdowns.

None of that matters now. What matters is that the Seahawks now have two Pro Bowl capable tight ends and two reliable targets for whoever the quarterback will be (most likely Matt Flynn).

Winslow is a 6′ 4″, 240 lbs beast of a man who has excellent downfield speed and route-running skills. He explodes off the line and has a great burst to separate from defenders. He is too big for defensive backs to consistently cover and is too fast for your average linebacker to stick with. In other words he’s one of the hardest match-ups in the NFL.

Now think back to Zach Miller. Unless defenses want to get blown up by Winslow, they’ll have to commit at least two guys to him, which opens up things for Zach Miller. Throw in Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Terrell Owens and the Seahawks passing attack has the potential to be something special this season.

The rest of the tight ends are obviously not as talented as Winslow or Miller, but are still serviceable. Cameron Morrah has shown flashes of catching brilliance but is more suited as a blocking tight end while Cooper Helfet is an undrafted rookie just trying to make the team. The Seahawks have kept four tight ends on the roster before, so don’t be surprised if Helfet finds a roster spot.

Predicted Depth Chart

1) Kellen Winslow Jr.

2) Zach Miller

3) Cameron Morrah

4) Cooper Helfet

With the amount of two tight end sets the Seahawks use, I’m anticipating that they will keep Helfet just to have another body around in case someone gets hurt.

Disagree with me? Drop a comment below.

- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)