When Sunday’s season finale is over, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin will have done something no player has done since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger: Led his team in receiving yards, as an undrafted rookie.
Baldwin has 48 catches for 748 yards this season, 264 more yards than the Seahawks’ No. 2 receiver, Sidney Rice. So there’s little doubt that he’ll be the Seahawks’ leader for the season. That’s quite an accomplishment for an undrafted player, but just as impressive as Baldwin’s achievement is his attitude: He’s not celebrating individual achievements.
“It’s kind of a disappointing year for me just because of the fact that we’re not in the playoffs when we had an opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Baldwin told the Associated Press.
Baldwin’s production as a rookie raises an obvious question: How did NFL scouts miss on this guy in the 2011 NFL draft? It’s not like he was playing at some obscure college; he was Andrew Luck’s favorite receiver at Stanford in 2010.
Whatever the reasons that Baldwin was undrafted and still available for the Seahawks to sign for training camp, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is glad.
“From the first couple days he was on the practice field to the preseason to now going into Game 16, he’s a rock solid part of this team and we’re counting on him,” Carroll said.
Baldwin has been one of this season’s best stories.