After all, Metcalf is the type of big receiver that Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have been seeking for years and could have drafted under any circumstance, especially given he was available so late. At 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, he fills a much different role than a slot guy like Baldwin.
But how the Seahawks feel about Baldwin's chances of continuing his career were evident by the end of the draft. Seattle selected two more receivers -- Gary Jennings (West Virginia) in the fourth round and John Ursua (Hawaii) in the seventh -- before agreeing to terms with undrafted free agents Terry Wright (Purdue) and Jazz Ferguson (Northwestern State).
By adding five receivers, the Seahawks protected themselves if Baldwin doesn't come back. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported during the draft that Baldwin might not be able to play again because of the cumulative effect of multiple injuries. While nothing is determined yet, all indications are that it's more likely than not that he won't be.
"We know that Doug's going to have a hard time,” Schneider said when asked about Schefter's report.
Schneider said it probably would be a matter of weeks before there's resolution to the Baldwin situation. The Seahawks will give him a chance to see how he's feeling once he's recovered from April surgery for a sports hernia. That followed an operation on his shoulder and what Carroll described as a non-surgical knee procedure earlier this offseason.
In the meantime, they'll get a look at their five new receivers beginning with this weekend's rookie minicamp.
The Seahawks believe they got a steal when they moved up 13 spots to take Metcalf 64th overall. That he lasted longer than they expected might have been due to his underwhelming agility numbers and/or his rawness as a route runner. He was not asked to run the full route tree in Ole Miss' offense, so he'll have to develop that part of his game. But there aren't many humans with his combination of size and speed (4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash).
In Metcalf and Jennings (6-1, 214, 4.42 at the combine), the Seahawks have two big receivers who can run. Jim Nagy, a former Seahawks scout who now runs the Senior Bowl, told his old team that Jennings was one of the fastest players in Mobile based on GPS trackers that clocked him at 23 mph. Like Metcalf, he wasn't asked to run all the NFL routes while playing in an offense that often got the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly. But he and Metcalf, plus Tyler Lockett and David Moore, give the Seahawks a nice collection of vertical threats. That will play well with what might be Russell Wilson's best strength: the deep ball.
"It was really important going in," Carroll said of adding speed. "That was really the No. 1 thing: We wanted to get fast and make sure that we can ... take advantage of Russell's ability to throw the ball down the field, which is awesome, and be able to complement the work that we were able to do with Tyler and make sure that he's not the only fast guy that really can take the top off. We hit it and we're really excited about that."
Jennings played outside and inside at West Virginia, whereas Ursua was mostly a slot receiver at Hawaii, where he led the nation with 16 touchdown receptions last season. The Seahawks clocked him in the mid-4.5 range, but they believe he plays faster and that he would have run a better 40 time had it not been for a bum hamstring. Schneider said Ursua (5-9, 182) compensates for his lack of size with "suddenness, instant separation" and a "really good feel for sitting in zones and setting guys up." They like his competitiveness and maturity as a 24-year-old who spent two years in France on a church mission.
The Seahawks brought Ursua in on a visit, one reason why he liked his chances of being drafted by Seattle. With no more 2019 picks, the Seahawks traded a 2020 sixth-rounder to move into the seventh round for Ursua, figuring it wouldn't have been a slam dunk to sign him as a UDFA after drafting two other receivers.
"We just kind of clicked there," Ursua said of his visit, "and I liked their system. ... With Doug having some of the news that he has, I knew it was going to be a great opportunity for me to kind of help out in that slot receiver position."
Ferguson (6-5, 227) is another big target with good speed (4.45) for his size, and Wright (5-11, 180) played in the slot and returned kicks. He has a track background and ran in the 4.3s at his pro day. The Seahawks gave him a $10,000 signing bonus, which would have tied for the fifth highest among their 15 initial UDFAs last year.
Of the receivers already on their roster, Keenan Reynolds is another option to compete for playing time in the slot if Baldwin doesn't stick.
The Seahawks will give Baldwin a chance to see where his body and mind are, allowing him to gauge his own ability and willingness to continue playing before they make any decision themselves. As one of the most important players of the most successful era in franchise history, they feel he has earned that right.
"He has been an extraordinary part of this program since we've been here and he has given us everything he has had, been a great competitor, player and all that," Carroll said. "We believe in him so much and trust in him so much that wherever this goes, we're going to support him forever. He's been a great contributor in so many ways, not just on the team but in the community and everything else. He's been awesome, so we'll see what happens. He's working through it, and we're going to follow Doug on this one."