Seahawks 53-man roster projection

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks

RENTON -- This roster projection has attempted to be published about three different times today.

Each time, the Seahawks have made a trade to push back the prognostication and change the scope of the roster.

So here we are, finally (maybe?), with a 53-man prediction heading into Saturday's roster cuts. And just remember, those who make the final 53 on Saturday could still be changed out as soon as Sunday. Waiver claims, practice squad additions, free agent signings and more possible trades all could change the roster that much more before the regular season opener with Green Bay next week.

So without further delay (because John Schneider could make another deal at any time), here is our 53-man roster as of 6 p.m. Friday night.

Quarterback (2): Russell Wilson, Austin Davis.

Russell Wilson has had another stellar preseason. Austin Davis has appeared to be better than Boykin all throughout training camp. Boykin can create more with his legs, but Davis is the better passer and game manager.

Running back (5): Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Eddie Lacy, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic.

Rawls, Prosise, Lacy and Carson compose a pretty impressive group of backs on paper. However, injury histories of Rawls, Prosise and Lacy leave some uncertainty among the group. Carson has been stellar throughout training camp and the preseason. McKissic provides a versatile piece that can be a running back, receiver (i.e. backup as third-down back for Prosise), and as a kick returner. 

No fullback on the opener roster for now, but Tre Madden could easily be on the practice squad and Marcel Reece could be back after Week 1 when veteran salaries are no longer fully guaranteed.

Tight end (3): Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Tyrone Swoopes.

Graham and Willson have easily been the top two tight ends throughout the preseason. Nick Vannett has seemed to really struggle when asked to block. He would be practice squad eligible if he was released. Ethan Pocic has appeared as a jumbo tight end during the preseason. He could fill that role to start the year if Seattle needs a three tight end set.

Meanwhile, Swoopes is more of a developmental prospect that may not clear waivers. Like Vannett, Swoopes is a one-dimensional talent right now and needs to improve as a blocker, but he appears to have a significant upside as an option in the passing game.

Wide receiver (6): Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Amara Darboh, Kasen Williams, Tanner McEvoy.

With Lockett coming back from a broken leg and Richardson still an injury concern, it's still a bit of a risk for the Seahawks to move on from Jermaine Kearse. However, the depth of talent at receiver this preseason gives Seattle the flexibility to do so. Williams has had a stellar preseason and McEvoy seems comfortable as a receiver after a year of development. Darboh has left a strong impression on the coaching staff as well despite limited game opportunities.

David Moore is a considerations as well and would certainly be an option on the practice squad should he clear waivers. His ability as a returner is a plus too.

Offensive line (9): Rees Odhiambo, Luke Joeckel, Justin Britt, Mark Glowinski, Germain Ifedi, Oday Aboushi, Ethan Pocic, Matt Tobin, Jordan Roos.

A somewhat simple picture got murky following the loss of George Fant to injury. Roos is the Fant of this year and will get a chance to develop on the active roster. Pocic's versatility and ability to play center allows Seattle to move on from Joey Hunt. 

Defensive end (5): Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Cassius Marsh, Marcus Smith.

The top four defensive ends have been consistent throughout training camp. Marcus Smith saw time with the first-team unit in Seattle's third preseason game and the team believes he can help at linebacker as well.

Defensive tackle (4): Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones, David Bass.

The addition of Sheldon Richardson immediately makes Seattle's front four among the very best in the league, particularly as a pass rushing unit. With Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reporting the Seahawks are looking to move Ahtyba Rubin following the acquisition of Richardson, we'll consider him not in Seattle's plans.

Jones has looked solid in his first training camp in Seattle. David Bass has made a strong push for a roster spot as well, but as a veteran he potentially could draw the short straw when it comes to making cuts as veteran salaries have to be guaranteed if on the Week 1 roster. Quinton Jefferson doesn't appear fully healthy just yet and may be a practice squad consideration.

Linebackers (6): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Michael Wilhoite, Terence Garvin, D.J. Alexander, Dewey McDonald.

Wilhoite and Garvin have both flashed in camp in competing for the starting strong-side linebacker job. McDonald is a versatile backup that is a key special teams player. D.J. Alexander, acquired from Kansas City in exchange for Kevin Pierre-Louis, is a Pro Bowl special teams performer.

Cornerbacks (6): Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Shaquill Griffin, Justin Coleman, Neiko Thorpe, Pierre Desir.

If Jeremy Lane is on the roster, he would appear to be the Week 1 starter. Griffin has shown himself to be impressive in coverage, though somewhat inconsistent on tracking a ball in flight so far. 

If you're asking "who is Justin Coleman?" you aren't alone. Coleman was acquired from the New England Patriots in trade on Friday. He spent two days on Seattle's practice squad in 2015 before the Patriots re-signed him to their active roster.

Thorpe is a key special teams contributor and capable defender. Desir is a better cornerback than Thorpe but not as capable on special teams. Tramaine Brock was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a conditional seventh-round pick, according to multiple reports. He'd be in the mix as well after signing with Seattle two weeks ago.

Safety (4): Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Bradley McDougald, Delano Hill.

Seattle loves McDougald as a backup at both safety spots. Hill has shown some nice things in preseason as well. Thompson hasn't made as many flash plays and Seattle would seem to need more help at cornerback instead to begin the season.

Specialists (3): Blair Walsh, Jon Ryan, Tyler Ott.

This group was set once Nolan Frese was released early in training camp. No surprises here.

IR/PUP/NFI (5): T George Fant (IR - knee), CB DeAndre Elliott (IR - ankle), CB DeShawn Shead (PUP - knee), DE Dion Jordan (NFI - knee), DT Malik McDowell (NFI - ATV accident).

Fant is done for the year. Shead and Jordan should both be available to come off the PUP/NFI lists around midseason. McDowell's status remains uncertain after he sustained significant injuries in an accident in July.


Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18: Kick returner J.D. McKissic #14 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on August 18, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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