Seahawks TE Nick Vannett Could Vacuum up Russell Wilson’s Red Zone Targets

Jimmy Graham left a gaping hole of targets in Seattle's red zone offense -- can this third-year TE gobble them up?

With Jimmy Graham catching passes from Aaron Rodgers and Luke Willson no longer in the picture, second-year tight end Nick Vannett could begin the season as the Seahawks’ starting tight end. The former Buckeye started off on the right foot when he caught a touchdown pass from Russell Wilson and added another catch for 15-yards during his preseason debut vs the Colts, all while drawing 3 of Russel Wilson’s 5 targets. Vannett may not be as explosive or as athletic as Graham (who is?), but he has ‘Penny Stock’ potential as Russell Wilson’s TE1. 

Some may shake their head when they see Vannett’s name as a Penny Stock, but if you look at Graham’s 2017 red zone stats, you’ll see why there’s some potential here. Graham led the NFL in both red zone targets (26), red zone touchdowns (10) and targets inside the 10-yd line (16). He was also second in the NFL behind Jarvis Landry with eight touchdowns inside the 10.

After battling a back injury, the 6-foot-6, 261 lb TE is finally at 100 percent and as healthy as he’s been since he entered the league. “Nicky’s had a really good camp,” Pete Carroll said. “He’s a really good catcher, he knows the system the best of any of our guys, he’s real versatile, and he’s a good competitive kid for us.”

With blocking tight end Ed Dickson on the shelf, Vannett is only separating himself from the pack as the team’s every-down tight end — which should place him firmly on your ‘Penny Stock’ watch-list.

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