Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin had a breakout season his rookie year when he led the team in receiving yards in 2011, but his production declined a bit last season. Will he be able to bounce back this year and become a key contributor among a crowded group of young and talented wide receivers? I believe that Baldwin will not only bounce back but will have an incredibly productive year.
Baldwin was certainly no slouch last season, but he didn’t put up numbers indicative of what he is capable of providing. In the 2012 season, Baldwin had less than half of the receiving yards (788) than he accrued in his prior season (366). He did play in two fewer games in 2012, but that doesn’t explain the size of the decline in each receiving category. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson‘s development was definitely one reason Baldwin saw a decrease in receptions and yards, but towards the end of the year, the two had developed a nice chemistry that should carry over into the coming season.
While it doesn’t seem logical to think that Baldwin will regain his 2011 production in 2013 with the addition of another talented wide receiver in Percy Harvin, that’s precisely why I think he will. With opposing defenses looking to contain Harvin and number one wide receiver Sidney Rice, the pressure will be taken off of the other wide receivers and Baldwin will be free to find more space and get open with ease. This should also benefit Golden Tate who is basically a poor man’s Percy Harvin.
Even if Baldwin doesn’t wow people with his statistical output this season, I’m confident that he will be a big part of this offense. Last year he didn’t put up great numbers, but he made some big plays in big situations. If he can do that again this season, the Seahawks will be one tough team to stop.
Follow Connor Hutyler on Twitter @ConnorHutyler.