By Jared Stanger
We’re a few hours out from the final preseason game this year for the Seahawks and I’m going to squeeze in my guess at the final 53-man roster. Of course, I already assume this won’t be correct as my guess is Seattle makes some trades and/or waiver claims before the end of the weekend.
Let me start with the positional breakdown. I literally just sketched this out on my whiteboard freestyle, then counted up what I had alotted to each position, and I actually came up with exactly 53. So that’s a good sign, and I’ll just roll with it.
QB-2, RB-4, TE-3, WR-6, OL-10
DT-4, DE-5, LB-6, CB-6, S-4
K-1, P-1, LS-1
Quarterback– Russell Wilson, Brett Hundley
I still think it’s weird they traded for Hundley and I hope the draftpick going to GB is conditional, and that the condition is never met.
I know the idea behind the backup QB is an expensive insurance policy, but I also know how rarely you need to call your insurance agent when Russell is your starter. So you only keep 2 QB on the roster (one of which never plays), and I can’t imagine Alex McGough gets the job now that they’ve dealt for Hundley.
Running Back– Chris Carson, Mike Davis, CJ Prosise, Rashaad Penny
First thing you’ll note: I did not keep a fullback. I just don’t think they have a viable candidate after losing Khalid Hill and the Alabama guy to injury, losing Tre Madden to mystery cause, and only picking up the Stanford guy this week. I think they make-do with a TE as fullback short-term, and maybe they come back to using a fullback after a week (or six).
At RB; Carson is your clear starter. In my opinion (and by game usage) Mike Davis is RB2 until Penny gets back. And then you’re left to choose between currently nicked up JD Mckissic and soon-to-be nicked up CJ Prosise as a receiving back specialist. A JD or a CJ. I am no Prosise fan, but I have no winning argument for McKissic over Prosise at the moment.
Tightend– Nick Vannett, Will Dissly, Tyrone Swoopes
This is an easy position to project. Vannett is the incumbent TE1, Dissly is the stud blocking TE, and Swoopes is a position-holder until Ed Dickson gets off of NFI.
Wide Receiver– Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, David Moore, Brandon Marshall, Jaron Brown, Marcus Johnson
This is a very hard group to finish predicting. That sixth spot came down to four names for me: Reynolds, Stringfellow, Johnson, Darboh. I don’t really think it’s Darboh; who may spend the year on IR. I don’t really think it’s String; although I like the idea of him. It’s Reynolds if you’re concerned about Doug’s health. It’s Johnson if you go for speed.
I went with Johnson for his speed and the fact I’m not sure he can be added to the practice squad. Reynolds, at this point, is a mere shadow of the player Doug is; and he needs seasoning.
Offensive Line– Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Justin Britt, DJ Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, Jordan Roos, Isaiah Battle
For better or worse, I think the five starters are pretty well set. Maybe Fant takes ahold of RT in time, but for now I think they bring him along slowly. I think you have to carry a pure-center backup on the roster, so Hunt makes it. I think Jamarco Jones starts on IR, but may be a candidate for the return designation.
I’m cutting Sweezy because we just haven’t seen him, plus Odhiambo brings better bench versatility. If Sweezy does make the team I think it comes at the expense of Roos.
Battle is an extra tackle in place of Jones and likely goes inactive on gamedays.
Defensive Tackle– Jarran Reed, Tom Johnson, Naz Jones, Poona Ford
Right from jump; I doubt myself on this group already. Pete has never kept a player like Poona; who is a very young, very short, very nose-tackle-only defensive lineman. I think he’s earned a spot, but Pete won’t pull the trigger. Hope I’m wrong.
Poona stays at the expense of Shamar Stephen; who is redundant with Naz Jones.
Defensive End– Frank Clark, Rasheem Green, Erik Walden, Jacob Martin, Quinton Jefferson
Walden takes the spot vacated by the newly-retired Marcus Smith. Martin is listed at DE, but could work at SAM LB as well. And I’ve gone with Jefferson over Branden Jackson in the battle of dead presidents. I like Jefferson’s versatility and preseason performance better.
Linebacker– Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Barkevious Mingo, Shaquem Griffin, Austin Calitro, Jacob Pugh
To me, this is an easy group to call. The starters are obvious even with KJ likely missing week 1 (maybe longer). Calitro has led the team in preseason tackles as your backup MIKE. And I’m bringing along Pugh in place of DJ Alexander; who has just never looked healthy and able to compete for that top special teams spot. Plus, I think the team likes Pugh.
Safety– Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, Mike Tyson
In perhaps my biggest surprise move; I’m keeping Tyson on the 53. I liked his game playing free safety vs Minnesota, but he can also play strong and maybe corner. I’d like to keep five safeties to start the year because a couple of them are nicked up, but I also know it’s impossible to hide cornerbacks on practice squads in the NFL. So my 10th DB spot will need to be an extra corner.
Cornerback– Shaquill Griffin, Dontae Johnson, Justin Coleman, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Neiko Thorpe
So this grouping may look strange, but here are the reasonings:
Byron Maxwell has NOT made this team. Period. To keep him, I would want him starting and not just a backup who can’t play special teams. I’d rather keep Neiko for Teams.
Dontae has looked the best at RCB of the guys on the team. He’s won a starting job in my mind.
In an interesting twist; both Flowers and King have experience at Safety. So keeping both of those guys is actually lengthening the DB bench while, as I mentioned, the Safety health is not 100%.
Kicker– Sebastian Janikowski
Longsnapper– Tyler Ott
MVP– Michael Dickson…the ‘P’ stands for ‘Punter’ (wink).