Could LSU tight end Stephen Sullivan crack the Seattle Seahawks 53 man roster?
The Seattle Seahawks have continued to make their drafts interesting, and that trend continued with the 2020 NFL Draft. Seattle took Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks in the first round who has the tools and athleticism but lacks some consistency. They selected Darrell Taylor and Damien Lewis on day two, two players who could see snaps in their rookie campaigns.
The most intriguing move the Seahawks made in the draft was their drafting of two tight ends. General manager John Schneider took Colby Parkinson in the fourth, and then LSU backup Stephen Sullivan late in the seventh round.
Sullivan was an interesting study throughout the 2020 NFL Draft process. He only caught 12 passes for 130 yards in an offense that was unstoppable through the air in 2019, which, unfortunately, was because of a loaded group of pass-catchers.
Sullivan has talent and traits to work with as a tight end, and he showed those off at the Senior Bowl back in January. He has the build of a pass-catching tight end who can work up the seam, and shows good athleticism in and out of breaks to create some separation. Sullivan shows enough physicality to work through press and through contact later in the route.
Despite his profile, Sullivan showed some promise as a blocker in 1-on-1s. Sullivan doesn’t have the balance and overall technique to succeed right now, but he has the tenacity and raw power to eventually work inline. It will just take some time.
Can he crack a loaded TE room?
Seattle has two tight ends who thrived in their offense in 2019 already on the roster. Before he got hurt, Will Dissly was extremely productive working up the seam in the vertical passing game and became a favorite target of quarterback Russell Wilson. Jacob Hollister wasn’t at the same level as Dissly, but he was sufficient filling in.
It may be an outside shot, but Sullivan can make the Seattle Seahawks roster. He will have to continue to show promise as a blocker and bring everything he has as a receiver. Sullivan will have to outduel fellow rookie Parkinson as a red zone threat to guarantee a spot ahead of him and may need to jump both Hollister and Willson as well.
The tight end battle is going to be fun to watch when the Seahawks take the field for training camp in July.