The Seahawks will have a much different look on offense in 2022 in the absence of Russell Wilson. While the team does still have two accomplished pass-catchers on the perimeter, the tight end group could be in line for a more featured role in 2022.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson cites that unit – rather than any one member of it – as Seattle’s offensive breakout candidate. The team’s TE usage generally ranked mid-pack at best during Wilson’s tenure at the helm, with the exception of Jimmy Graham‘s three-year stint in the Emerald City. With either Drew Lock or Geno Smith under center for at least the immediate future, though, more targets could be funnelled toward the middle of the field.
The primary beneficiary of such an offensive shift would be Noah Fant. Part of the package Seattle received from Denver in the Wilson trade, the 24-year-old has flashed potential during his first three seasons in the NFL, but fallen short of expectations given his draft stock. The No. 20 pick in his class (which, as Henderson notes, took him off the board right before Seattle would have selected him), Fant acknowledged the possibility for greater production after the trade.
“I’m kind of stuck at that high-600 [yards] ceiling, and I’ve got to break through that” he said. “I think I have every opportunity to do that in Seattle, and I’m excited to get to work to do that.”
More attention on the TE position could also see Will Dissly playing a more prominent role. The former fourth-rounder has put up consistent number during his four years with the Seahawks, earning him a three-year, $24MM deal in free agency to remain with the team. His blocking ability will always give him a path to playing time in the team’s run-heavy offense, but even a slight uptick in targets could lead to positive results for the offense. The same could be true of 2020 draftee Colby Parkinson, whom head coach Pete Carroll spoke highly of as part of his general optimism surrounding the group.
“We’ve got a lot of flexibility with these guys, and they’re going to be a big part of what we’re doing,” he said. It remains to be seen how the unit will mesh with a new QB and wideouts Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, but a large workload could be in store.