While the Seattle Seahawks have five tight ends currently listed on their roster, there are questions surrounding the overall depth of the position. Greg Olsen, who signed this offseason as a free agent, is 35 years old and fighting off the injuries that come with it. Will Dissly has seen his past two seasons end prematurely due to serious injuries. Jacob Hollister was a nice find last season and showed an ability to make big catches, particularly on third down. Seattle also brought back Luke Willson on a one-year contract for 2020.
But in terms of future depth at the position, well, there isn’t much there beyond Hollister and Dissly.
So the Seahawks selecting lanky tight end Colby Parkinson out of Stanford with their first fourth-round pick addresses a future and possibly current need. He would be a noticeable target at 6-foot-7 and useful in the red zone. He’s the seventh tight end drafted out of Stanford since 2012.
Let’s get to know the sure-handed Stanford grad:
Name: Colby Parkinson
The Skinny: With his height, Parkinson can’t help but stand out on the field. The Cardinal liked to split him out or even use him in the slot to take advantage of his frame against shorter defensive backs, particularly in the red zone. They basically treated him more as a receiver than a tight end. He ran a 4.77 40-yard dash at the combine, which is solid for a player of his size.
Because he’s on the lighter side, Parkinson’s blocking at the line of scrimmage leaves a lot to be desired. He’s definitely more of a pass-catching tight end. But with some added weight and technique, he could become an adequate blocker when needed.
In three seasons at Stanford, Parkinson caught 87 passes for 1,171 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he averaged 16.7 yards per grab and caught seven touchdowns. As a junior, with Stanford’s receiving corps depleted, he drew constant attention and only had one touchdown, but still had 48 catches.
Per Stanford’s athletic department, he never had a “drop” in their stats, while Pro Football Focus had him with only one drop in his career.