Seahawks 2021 Draft Profile: Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Seattle has two studs atop the depth chart at receiver. After that, the depth runs thin and Russell Wilson needs more weapons. This draft is chock full of good receiver options, up and down the draft. This bodes well for a team who has to wait as long as the Seahawks do to make their first selection.
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Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf make up one of the best one-two punches at receiver in the NFL. They combined for 183 catches and 2,357 receiving yards with 20 touchdowns in 2020. 

However, Seattle has seen the likes of David Moore and Greg Olsen leave town, greatly depleting its depth among pass-catchers. The most productive receiver returning after Lockett and Metcalf is second-year man Freddie Swain. 

Therefore, t's time to get Russell Wilson more weapons. 

Iowa's Ihmir Smith-Marsette offers a unique skillset that would make Wilson and the offensive staff jubilant. Let's dive deeper into what he brings to the table.

Strengths

What's not to like about Smith-Marsette? He is just over six feet tall and posted a 4.5 40-yard dash with a 1.55-second 10-yard split at his pro day. The man can jump too, boasting a 37-inch vertical leap. He displays the explosiveness of a high school hurdler - which he was - while putting up a 124-inch broad jump. 

He also projects as a great option as a returner. In four years at Iowa, he was the de facto kick returner. In 2019, he returned 53 kicks for an average of 28.7 yards, taking two back for touchdowns.

His speed isn't of the typical straight line variety you find in many draft hopefuls with wheels. His footwork and route-running has been praised by coaches and evaluators alike, making quick cuts on inside routes and getting separation using smarts and sudden quickness. Though he does not possess the true elite speed other smaller receivers may have, he is fast enough to make cornerbacks worry, and big enough to out-muscle them when needed. 

Weaknesses

Iowa does not run the most explosive, pass-happy offense in college football. Smith-Marsette's numbers are somewhat lackluster due to this fact, with his career high at 44 catches for 722 yards. 

While he is bigger than most of the quick, slot-like receivers, he is prone to getting flustered by physical corners who are not afraid to put hands and pads on him. 

He also struggled at times with dropped passes. 

The biggest red flag may be off the field, which is another reason why someone of his skillset and measurables could fall to day two in the draft. The former Hawkeye wideout was arrested for speeding and driving under the influence during his senior season and was consequently suspended for one game by the school. 

He occasionally makes head-scratching decisions on the field as well, such as flipping in the end zone after a touchdown and injuring his ankle in the process, which he did against Wisconsin this past December.

Fit in Seattle

Smith-Marsette would give teams headaches when trying to align their defense to face Metcalf's freak athleticism, Lockett's speed, and the Iowa alum's combination of the two all at once. He has experience lining up in a host of different alignments on offense and Iowa runs a pro-style offense—something not seen often in today's college football.

He would be another weapon at Wilson's disposal, who seemed unhappy with the current state of the offense after last year's early exit from the playoffs. Smith-Marsette would be a great step in the right direction and he looks to be available either late in day two or early in day three of next week's draft.