If you aren’t under a rock (read: not a fantasy football degenerate in constant search of a fix) you probably already know that Jermaine Kearse lit up the Denver Bronco’s for a 107 yard kick return touchdown in addition to his 12 yard touchdown reception from Russ Wilson. Consider that Golden Tate is the only proven, healthy commodity on the roster, and his contract expires at the end of the season, that Chris Harper is a long shot to make the roster according to Hawkblogger, that Percy Harvin is recovering from surgery, that Sidney Rice is having stem cells injected into his knees to try and keep him young, and that no tight end on the roster has proven anything over a large sample with Russell Wilson, it’s time to ask: Does Jermaine Kearse matter?
The game watchers didn’t seem to think so before the draft, but Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, believes Kearse has improved.
Looked up my Jermaine Kearse report…gave him 6th rd grade. Good burst, polished route runner but a lot of drops. He’s improved, looks great
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) August 18, 2013
The metric perspective differs a tad. Given that Kearse has 3 total NFL receptions, it’s best to look at his college numbers. Below is his Heat Map, college reception stats from Football Study Hall, and his measurables from NFLCombineResults.
|Height (in)||Weight (lbs)||40 Yard||Bench Press||Vert Leap (in)||Broad Jump (in)||Shuttle||3Cone||Catch %||Real Yards Per Target|
Kearse isn’t anything jaw-dropping as an athlete. He has a bit below average size, but he has solid speed and he doesn’t meet any specific fail metric the way a guy like Vincent Brown or Ace Sanders does. Kearse does appear to be a bit Aaron Dobson-esque, who, as Fantasy Douche pointed out, had his best season in terms of Market Share as a junior. Kearse is in the same situation as Dobson, where his production tailed off in his senior season. The most impressive metric regarding the young Seahawk is that he had 3 seasons of a +40% redzone conversion rate, and even converted 50% of his redzone looks as a sophomore. For a small receiver, that is the exact type of overachieving number that we like to see in a prospect.
Additionallly, something I always think is at least a little helpful is watching the guy play. Here’s his University Of Washington highlights.
So does Jermaine Kearse matter? Right now, probably not. Sidney Rice is a legit WR1 in a NFL context, and Golden Tate is no slouch. Seattle’s offense will still be very run heavy and the passing game is probably overvalued, as Fantasy Douche argued over 5 separate Percy Harvin pieces. However, unlike Russell Shepard, Riley Cooper, Vincent Brown or Keenan Allen, his physical profile and college production seem to indicate that if given the opportunity in terms of playing time and targets, he would have a real shot at being a usable fantasy wide out. For very deep leagues (such as the Rotoviz Dynasty league, where I am planning on rostering him), he’s the type of guy that given a few years, could have a breakout. His UDFA-status means that likely only circumstance will force him into playing, if there is anywhere that playing his ass off is going to get him on the field, it’s Seattle. Numerous players have said that ability, not politics, will determine playing time in Seattle.