The Seahawks boast one of the best one-two punches at receiver in the entire NFL. DK Metcalf is coming off his first Pro Bowl selection after breaking the franchise single-season record with 1,303 receiving yards. Tyler Lockett nabbed a franchise record of his own as well, posting an even 100 catches. Those two aren't going anywhere for a while, with Metcalf still under his rookie deal through the end of the 2022 season and Lockett recently receiving an extension that keeps him in Seattle through 2025.
But aside from the star duo, the Seahawks' proverbial cupboard of wideouts is a bit on the bare side. Freddie Swain is the lone returning receiver behind Lockett and Metcalf who registered more than a single catch in 2020.
South Carolina's Shi Smith offers a skillset that would complement the talented receiving corps in Seattle.
Smith is one of the fastest receivers in this draft class. Among the pro day results around the country, Smith owns the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.33. He combines his elite speed with soft, 93/4-inch hands.
The South Carolina product is athletic and aware, presenting good coordination when the ball is in the air and headed his direction. He uses his 5-foot-10, 186-pound frame to make adjustments to errant throws and make contested catches. As a route runner, his speed and shiftiness pay dividends.
His skillset also plays well in the return game or on gadget plays such as reverses. His game-changing speed bodes well in a host of different situations.
Despite inconsistent play at quarterback for the majority of his Gamecocks career, Smith accumulated 2,204 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in four seasons. In the return game, he averaged 21.9 yards per kickoff return in 2019.
He missed just four games in four years at South Carolina, testifying to his durability.
Despite his awareness and use of his body, his frame is, as noted, rather small. At times, he attempts to play bigger than he is instead of using his strengths like speed and athleticism.
Due to his lack of size and overall strength, he can get out-muscled at the line of scrimmage or on a deep ball while fighting with longer, stronger defensive backs.
Smith would need to leave the red zone jump balls to Metcalf if he winds up in Seattle.
Fit in Seattle
As long as Metcalf and Lockett are in town, any other receiver will be third on the depth chart at best. For Smith, that's a perfect fit. He has the ideal traits for a specialized slot receiver. With Lockett and Metcalf lining up on the outside, Smith would pick apart the soft underbelly of any defense with his speed.
Lockett's days as the featured return man are gone. David Moore took the majority of the punt returns in 2020, but he is now in Carolina. Travis Homer led the team in kick return yardage, but he wasn't incredibly effective and may very well be on the bubble in terms of making the team out of camp this summer. Smith can step in and be a steady presence in both return situations.
Whether it's as a third or fourth receiver option or as a returner, Smith's burner speed plays well anywhere. Russell Wilson certainly would not complain about having a shifty slot player at his disposal.