2013 Seahawks Draft Picks: TE Zach Ertz

Let’s continue with our 2013 Seahawks Draft Picks and look at possible picks the Seahawks could make in the April NFL draft. Yesterday we evaluated WR DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson. We’re going to stay on the offensive side of the ball for this installment. With Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin on the roster and providing solid play, along with depth in Turbin’s case, we’ll turn to tight end as a possible early selection.

The Seahawks currently have Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy on the roster. Miller remains as one of the best TE’s in the league, even after his subpar offensive numbers the past two seasons. The lack of eye-popping stats isn’t a representation of declining skill. In his first season with the Seahawks, Miller was asked to pass/run block to help make up for what the offensive line lacked in talent and depth. In 2012, Miller became more of a threat downfield as Wilson targeted him more as the season progressed. The former Pro Bowl TE showed his worth in the post-season in games against the Redskins and Falcons. He led the Seahawks in receptions and yards receiving in both games while making 8 receptions for over 140 yards and a TD in the Falcons loss. Miller is a keeper and will continue to increase his production with the Seahawks.

Anthony McCoy had flashes that made him look like a future starter for the Hawks. A solid blocker, McCoy made some impressive plays catching the football as well. Ultimately however, McCoy’s hands weren’t as reliable as the Seahawks would like and will be looking to upgrade the second TE spot with someone who could spread the field and be more of a scoring option. Because of this we’re going to take a look at the #1 rated TE in the 2013 NFL Draft as a possible selection of the Seattle Seahawks.

Name: Zach Ertz, Junior, Tight End, Stanford

Ht/Wt: 6’6” 252 pounds

zach ertz seahawks draftZach Ertz only started five games for the Stanford Cardinal yet he led the team in receptions (69), rec yards (898), and rec TD’s (6). Ertz shared playing time with Levin Loilolo, another TE expected to go in the first three rounds. Ertz has thrived in two TE sets and pairing him with Zach Miller would make the Seahawks passing attack more intimidating. Think of the Patriots and their combo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski when you envision what these two Zach’s could become.

Strengths: Ertz’s ability to move his huge frame and adjust his positioning to the ball is a major plus and would allow him to not only win battles when matched up with cornerbacks, but also when being covered by a bigger linebacker. At 6’6” and 250 pounds, there aren’t too many defenders that can out-battle Ertz for the football. His ability to make quick moves to separate from defenders and his reliable hands would make him an appealing pick for any team looking to add a threat in the passing game. Russell Wilson would likely love this pick.

Weaknesses: Ertz could be a liability when it comes to blocking. With Miller being an every down TE and McCoy’s strength being blocking, the Seahawks wouldn’t need to rely on him in situations where he’d be asked to do something he isn’t great in.

Ertz also lacks an ability to create yards after the catch. He’s not afraid to get physical with a defender and attack after securing the ball – but juking defenders for added yards isn’t his style.

If Ertz is still on the board when the Seahawks draft 25th in the first round, look for his name being called as a serious possibility.

 

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