One of the stars of the Seattle Seahawks‘ rookie minicamp this weekend has been tight end Luke Willson. The former Rice Owls pass catcher has been turning heads with his speed and hands. While his in-line blocking hasn’t been dominant, it’s still early, and it is not an area the team expected greatness from with respect to his game either.
Willson is one of three fifth-round draft picks hoping to make name for himself the way recent picks in that round have turned out for the Seahawks such as Kam Chancellor (2010) and Richard Sherman (2011).
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing over 250 pounds, Willson has been clocked in the 40-yard dash with a time as fast as 4.46 seconds. That is impressive for most receivers let alone a large tight end.
Many people didn’t pay much attention to Willson prior to the draft due to his playing with nagging injuries that affected his performance this past season. He had only seven receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown which is a good game for some, but definitely a disappointing season for most. However, Willson had 33 receptions for 455 yards as a junior and 29 catches for 313 yards as a sophomore as he added three scores each of those seasons. Willson also had more catches, yards, and touchdowns as a freshman than he did as a senior this past season.
If you’re someone who uses past performance to project future stats, it’s important to know that Rice doesn’t exactly employ a prolific pass happy offense.
The Seahawks could use a vertical pass catching tight end to help open up their passing game even more, and with the way GM John Schneider and Pete Carroll have been drafting in recent history, the odds are pretty good that the team will have plucked out another diamond in the rough. Seahawks fans around the country hope that Willson is one of those diamonds in the 2013 draft class.
“Wilson to Willson” has a nice ring to it, and hopefully it’s heard on plenty of occasions in the Pacific Northwest in the coming years.