The Seattle Seahawks kicked off day three of the NFL draft with a bit of a surprise. The Seahawks selected Stanford tight end Colby Parkinson adding to a crowded group that includes Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister and Luke Willson. The Seahawks did not select an offensive weapon during the first two days of the NFL draft, instead mostly focusing on improving the team’s defense.
Parkinson gives Russell Wilson a big target at 6’7″ and 252 pounds. Parkinson had 48 receptions for 589 yards and a touchdown last season at Stanford. The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell suggests that Parkinson could be converted into a slot receiver.
“Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford, #Seahawks’ 4th-round pick, is 6-7. Lot of folks he can be a slot or more-outside receiver in the NFL. Carroll gets his big receiver he set out last year to get more of,” Bell tweeted.
Parkinson Could End Up Playing Both Tight End & Wide Receiver
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared Parkinson to young Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki. Zierlin noted that Parkinson’s strength is highlighted in the red zone.
He’ll be listed as a tight end, but he’s a big receiver who can be released into routes as a wingback, slot or wideout. He was much more productive in the red zone in 2018, but he didn’t always have functional throws to work with. …Parkinson may be a little polarizing, but appears to be a field-stretching flex tight end with above-average playmaking ability down the field and near the goal line.
Stanford head coach David Shaw expects Parkinson to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
“Colby Parkinson is just a 6-7 250 pound mismatch,” Shaw told ABC7 News. “He’s athletic, makes great catches and he’s a red zone threat. He, in the right position, has a chance to make an impact right away as a rookie.”
Pro Football Focus Named Parkinson as the “Best in Red Zone” Among Tight End Prospects
One consistent description of Parkinson is his success in the red zone, an area where the Seahawks struggled in 2019. Pro Football Focus gave Parkinson their Best in Red Zone award among tight ends citing his 27 contested catches over his career, the most of any other at his position. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith believes Parkinson could have an advantage in contributing right away given the unique offseason for rookies.
“Parkinson declared early, but he’s another player who should have no issue hitting the ground running in Seattle. Learning every position at Stanford, he won’t have a problem picking up play book, which is huge given offseason uncertainty,” Smith noted on Twitter.
While Parkinson can play multiple positions, the Stanford product noted that the Seahawks plan to start him at tight end. Parkinson finds himself in a crowded tight end room where all the players on the current roster are unlikely to make the final team.
“Colby Parkinson, 6-7 receiver from Stanford, said as a freshman at Stanford he sought to learn every receiver position. But says #Seahawks told him he will start out working as a traditional ‘Y,’ in line tight end,” Condotta tweeted.