Over the past several months, the Seahawks have made several significant moves to fill holes on their roster, including signing defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and drafting receiver D.K. Metcalf.
But according to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Seattle’s decision to ship a seventh-round pick to New England for tight end Jacob Hollister might wind up being one of the best moves the team made this offseason.
“Terrific acquisition. He’s had a great camp.” Schottenheimer told reporters following Tuesday’s OTA session. “The speed element is awesome. Really good route runner. A lot like Tyler [Lockett] in terms of the instincts, just the ability to get open. Has great feel for coverages – man and zone – things like that.”
With Will Dissly working his way back from knee surgery and veterans Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett also returning, Seattle opted not to make any additions at tight end through free agency and the draft.
Instead, once the draft reached its conclusion, Seahawks general manager John Schneider re-connected with the Patriots, who have been a frequent trade partner over the years. The two sides worked out a deal and Hollister officially became a Seahawk on April 29.
To this point, Hollister’s arrival has largely gone unnoticed. But as Schottenheimer pointed out, the former Wyoming standout offers a different set of skills that could add another dimension to Seattle’s offense, specifically in regard to the passing game.
While Dissly, Dickson, and Vannett are all regarded as quality blockers, Hollister’s athleticism and receiving skills put him on the radar for NFL teams. Catching passes from current Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen, he hauled in 75 receptions for 1,114 yards and 12 touchdowns in three seasons with the Cowboys.
Though Hollister didn’t receive an NFL scouting combine invite, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds and posted a 36.5-inch vertical jump at Wyoming’s pro day, displaying quality explosiveness for a tight end.
After going undrafted, Hollister signed with the Patriots and made the 53-man roster as a reserve behind future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. He appeared in 23 regular season games in two seasons with the team, catching eight passes for 94 yards and playing nearly 300 special teams snaps.
No longer in Gronkowski’s shadow, the 245-pound Hollister will now have a chance to etch out a unique role in Seattle’s offense. With his ability to line up out wide while also playing traditional in-line tight end, he could create another potential matchup problem for opposing defenses to have to account for.
“You match him up in there with George [Fant] and you’ve got some pretty explosive play makers.” Schottenheimer joked. “But he’s been a great acquisition, he really has.”
With mandatory minicamp coming up next week and training camp drawing closer, Hollister will be a name to keep close tabs on, especially if Dissly isn’t quite ready to return to action for the start of the season.