I don't know, if it were up to me, I would say the Seahawks are easily Top 5 perhaps the Best In Show, top to bottom, if they play up to their utmost potential. They didn’t even add Miller and McCoy to our WR group, they aren’t sexy but both of them combined to make plenty of plays, and both should be better as all of our WRs should:
1) WRs are only as good as their QB: A lot of us seem to forget, that Russell Wilson was merely a rookie, last season, he wasn't an established veteran. That Wilson competed on 1/3rd reps with the incumbent starter, Tarvaris Jackson and the well-paid free-agent Matt Flynn. And unlike rookies like Luck and Griffin, Wilson didn't benefit having his offense tailored to him well before even being drafted. Wilson also didn't benefit from having admirable veterans WRs like Reggie Wayne or Santana Moss smoothing along his transition to the league. Unfortunately, Wilson had to EARN everything. He had to earn the starting role, and then had to earn his teammates’ TRUST and RESPECT. Once Wilson got the team to rally behind him as its leader, he could establish and develop the needed CHEMISTRY that is the symbiotic relationship between QB and WR…
It took almost half a season for everyone to get on the same page partly because the O-line couldn’t stop interior pressure from the Right Side. Seahawks were a run first team and ran the ball more than any team in the NFL. Wilson had only 393 pass attempts, by far, the lowest of any starting QB, that completed all 16 games. However, Wilson was still one of the most efficient QBs in the NFL last season and one of the best at spreading the ball all around the field.
What can we expect in 2013? If Wilson came in and played with the poise of an established veteran, as a rookie, one could assume that the chemistry between him and his receivers is going to be accelerated to the equivalent of a decade-long bond of a Hall of Fame career. ;-) Realistically, it should be much, much better with little to no growing pains.
2) The Harvin Effect:
Last season, Rice and Tate were two of the most efficient wide outs in the NFL in terms of production per target.
Rice: 80 Targets: 50 catches, 15.0 ypc, 37 1st downs, 11 catches of 20+ yards, 7 TDs.
72 players in the NFL had more targets in the NFL, easily the least out of all starting flankers.
Tate: 68 Targets: 45 catches, 15.3 ypc, 29 1st downs, 12 catches of 20+ yards, 7 TDs.
93 players in the NFL had more targets, easily the least out of all starting split-ends.
Even Miller, Baldwin, and McCoy were all productive with limited targets:
Baldwin: 49 Targets: 29 catches, 12.6 ypc. 18 1st downs, 5 catches of 20+ yards, 3 TDs.
136 players had more targets.
Miller: 53 Targets: 38 catches, 10.4 ypc. 18 1st downs, 7 catches of 20+ yards, 3 TDs.
McCoy: 27 Targets: 18 catches, 16.2 ypc, 13 1st downs, 5 catches of 20+ yards, 3 TDs.
If you wanted to know:
Lynch, Turbin, and Robinson combined for 68 targets: 55 catches, around 8 ypc, 27 1st downs, and 3 TDs.
Even with the Seahawks WRs being some of the most efficient players in the NFL on a per target basis, there were definitely two things the Seahawks WRs struggled with and that was creating separation on a consistent basis in the short to intermediate passing game as well as strong down-field ability to the middle of the field (until late in the season)… to fix that problem Seahawks traded for uber-dynamic Percy Harvin, drafted big, athletic receivers w/ plenty of speed in WR Chris Harper (6’1, 234, 4.45 40) and TE Luke Willson (6’5, 250, 4.5 40). Not to mention retaining WR Stephen Williams (6’4, 210, 4.5 40).
While it would be premature to talk about what impact Harper, Willson, and Williams could bring to the Seahawks offense, everyone in the NFL knows the impact Harvin should create for the Seahawks: Harvin’s slippery quickness and elite athleticism is a catastrophically ankle-breaking recipe for separation in the short to intermediate passing game, and Harvin’s sub-elite downfield ability should mesh well with Wilson’s ability to buy time for a barrage of deep, critical airstrikes.
IN JUST 9 GAMES:
Harvin: 85 targets: 62 catches, 10.9 ypc, 3 TDs, 8 catches 20+ yards, 36 1st downs, and an amazing 509 of his 677 rec yards were after the catch.
Also, remember that in comparison Rice had 80 targets in 16 Games.
Harvin’s presence is the Domino effect where his influence on the field, and the mismatches he creates will provide more opportunities to the other WRs specifically Rice and Tate. Defenses no longer can double coverage or shade defenders taking Rice and Tate out of games at times. And the middle of the field will be more open, with defenders in a constant state of panic with our even stronger Power Running game, Wilson’s read option ability, and Harvin’s elite YAC ability in the short to intermediate passing game.
In 2012, Seahawks already had a quality group of WRs with just Rice, Tate, Baldwin (2nd half of season) and Miller alone. In 2013, add an off-season of Russell Wilson now in FULL control and one year wiser, a dynamic play-maker in Harvin who makes everyone better, another dynamic play-maker coming into his own in Tate, a much healthier Baldwin, and a still improving McCoy all in contract years, all competing for playing time plus the Seahawks bevvy of inexperienced but big, athletic, and fast receivers to round out the group… you’re looking at a lot of great talent already on the field, and a lot of potentially dangerous talent in development that few teams can match top to bottom.
Speculative: All the air missing from Tom Brady's deflated balls now inflates Russell Wilson's growing ego.