Seattle's Receiver Rotation Has Changed

The situation at receiver could be an interesting one for the Seahawks as they move closer to training camp. Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, D.J. Hackett and Peter Warrick are expected to form the heart of the group. The team generally keeps six receivers, leaving one spot up for grabs.

Jackson is the incumbent leader of the clan, and one of the league’s elite receivers if he can stay healthy – despite missing ten games with a knee injury in 2005, Jackson caught 38 balls for 482 yards and three touchdowns. He also came back with a vengeance in the postseason, catching nine passes for 143 yards and a touchdown in Seattle’s playoff win over the Washington Redskins. Jackson was denied a touchdown catch in the first quarter of Super Bowl XL when he was flagged for a controversial offensive pass interference penalty in the end zone.

Burleson is the new #2 receiver, and the former O’Dea High School standout and Minnesota Viking is very happy to be back in his hometown. Like Jackson, he displays great ability to pick up yards after the catch. Burleson should be a great fit in Seattle’s West Coast Offense. Also like Jackson, Burleson is looking for a return to form after an injury-plauged 2005 season.

Engram, last year’s #2 man, will return to the slot, where he is most comfortable. “Mr. First Down” is as reliable a receiver as there is, especially on tough, drive-extending plays over the middle.

Warrick could be a factor in the return game if he has completely recovered from injuries. The Bengals' first-round pick in 2000, Warrick was released by Cincinnati in August of 2005 after his attempts to return from knee and shin injuries proved unsuccessful in 2004. Catching 11 passes for 180 yards in 13 games for the Seahawks in 2005, Warrick is this unit's wild-card. He has elite playmaking ability buried underneath those last few frustrating seasons.

Alex Bannister would have been a lock for the sixth spot in past seasons, but chronic injury concerns put him in the firing line - Bannister was released by the team on June 2nd. After a 2003 selection to the Pro Bowl for his special teams work, Bannister’s 2004 was a disappointment. He was on his way to another excellent season when he broke his right clavicle for the first time against the Carolina Panthers on October 31, 2004. The injury ended his season. During a voluntary passing camp in June of 2005, Bannister broke the same collarbone again, putting him out of action until after the team's training camp. He then cracked the collarbone during Seattle's 21-18 victory over Atlanta in September of 2005. He was put in the team's injured reserve list for the second straight season.

Jerheme Urban would usually be another strong candidate for the No. 6 spot, but a series of stress fractures in his foot have him sharing Bannister's fate - cut by the team on June 2nd. Like Bannister, Urban had been using the offseason to rehabilitate from his latest injury.

The open receiver spots could go to rookie seventh-round choice Ben Obomanu or NFL Europe star Skyler Fulton, unless the team decides to go with only five receivers.

Obomanu flashed potential during his first minicamp, but it's common for young receivers to fade once the exhibition schedule begins. Fulton caught 53 passes for 992 yards and seven touchdowns during the recently completed NFL Europe season. He is also a product of the Northwest, having played high school ball in Olympia. Top Stories