The Seattle Seahawks arguably have the top wide receiver duo in the NFL but have not gotten anything close to strong production from the tight end position for a long time. The 2021 season is the year that could change.
Seattle signed Gerald Everett to a one-year deal in the offseason, putting a player who never lived up to his potential during his time with the Los Angeles Rams in a position to enjoy a breakout year for a team that has continually lacked dynamism at the position.
The Seahawks have not seen a tight end finish a season with even 350 receiving yards since Jimmy Graham in 2017 and Everett’s career high was a mediocre 417 yards in his final season with Rams last year.
Despite the underwhelming production from Seahawks tight ends in recent times and Everett’s below-par numbers during his career with Los Angeles, there is plenty to suggest this could be the ideal marriage between talented player and environment.
Though Seahawks fans have not had the opportunity to witness his upside during the preseason, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been extremely impressed by Everett during their preparations for the new season.
Per The Seattle Times, Everett and Wilson have quickly built a significant rapport, the latter saying of his new tight end:
“Gerald’s super elusive — he keeps getting open. He just finds a way to make plays. He’s been exceptional for us, and I’ve got great confidence in him.”
Having Wilson’s trust will go a long way towards Everett having a successful season in Seattle and earning a long-term contract from the Seahawks, and it should be no surprise he has hit the ground running given his familiarity with the offense run by new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
Waldron was the Rams’ tight ends coach in 2017 when Everett was drafted and served as the passing game coordinator for the last three seasons before being hired by the Seahawks.
That relationship gives Everett an excellent shot at establishing himself as the clear third pass-catching option for the Seahawks.
Tyler Lockett was targeted 132 times in 2020 by Wilson, who threw D.K. Metcalf’s way on 129 of his passes. No other offensive player had 50 targets. That pair will continue to dominate the receiving workload this season, but the exits of David Moore and Jacob Hollister have left 87 targets on the table.
His experience of the scheme and the proficiency he has displayed in getting open in camp make Everett a leading candidate to assume a significant amount of those targets.
With explosiveness that saw him test as an 84th percentile athlete at his position in 40-yard dash —per MockDraftable— and a 95th percentile athlete in the broad jump back in 2017, Wilson can afford to be confident in having success looking to Everett on routes up the seam as well as using him as an underneath option who can benefit from Metcalf’s ability to stretch the defense.
Though Everett was twice targeted over 60 times in his spell with Los Angeles, he has never played with a quarterback of Wilson’s standard.
The signs from camp support all the signs that indicate their connection should be an extremely productive one and, after Wilson and Seattle’s passing game stalled down the stretch last season, the infusion of a tight end with the ability to comfortably surpass the 350-yard mark could be what the Seahawks need to sustain offensive dominance throughout 2021.