RENTON -- With two preseason games in the books, it's time to take a look at the state of the Seahawks roster.
There is no initial cut to 75 players coming after Friday's third preseason game against the Minneosta Vikings. That cut has been done away with and there will only be one cut from 90 to 53 players coming on Sept. 1.
Seattle's roster looks much different than it has in past years. Many vital players from previous teams are no longer on the roster. It's left the Seahawks in a state of flux as they look to flip the page to the next chapter. With training camp and two preseason games in the rear-view mirror it's time to make our first roster projection as to who will make the 53-man roster in just over two weeks from now.
Quarterbacks (2): Russell Wilson, Austin Davis.
Wilson will be the starter. Someone will be the backup. Due to experience, that probably falls to Davis right now as Alex McGough has growing pains adjusting to the pro game. However, Davis has done little to standout in camp and the idea of the backup not currently being on the roster exists as well. For now, Davis is the guy but it appears very much up in the air.
Running Backs (5): Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis, FB Tre Madden
Carson and Penny are locks as the 1-2 punch. Prosise missed a few days due to a hip flexor, but has been mostly healthy throughout camp. The injury to J.D. McKissic seems to solidify Prosise's spot even more. Davis has been a consistent option throughout camp as well and also gets closer to a roster spot due to McKissic's injury. It's unclear if Seattle can save a roster spot for McKissic until he can get healthy or if the issue forces them to go without him. Madden makes it as a fullback, for now, but despite being the only one left on the roster, it seems far from settled.
Tight Ends (3): Ed Dickson, Nick Vannett, Will Dissly
Vannett and Dissly have been the top tight ends throughout camp with Dickson still on the PUP list. Head coach Pete Carroll said this week they hope to have Dickson for the regular season opener in Denver. If he's healthy enough for the start of the season, that would be a good boost for the group. If Dickson's not ready, it could allow an avenue for Tyrone Swoopes to make the roster.
Wide Receivers (6): Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall, David Moore, Marcus Johnson.
This group seems to be getting reasonably close to being settled. The top three are firm locks. Marshall seems to get better every day and fully looks capable of filling the role the team envisioned when signing him this offseason. Moore has been quite consistent and continues to flash his athleticism. The sixth receiver spot likely comes down to Johnson and Amara Darboh. It will be a matter of who can be more consistent on special teams. Since Johnson is healthy and Darboh currently isn't, he's probably got the advantage for now.
Offensive Line (9): Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, J.R. Sweezy, *Jamarco Jones.
Why do I have 10 players listed when I say only nine will make the roster? I think the team will do some roster gymnastics when it comes to Jones, who was injured in the preseason opener against Indianapolis. A player must be on the initial 53-man roster to be eligible to return off the injured reserve list during the season. Seattle could keep Jones on their initial roster, release a veteran such as Sweezy with the understanding that they will re-sign him in a few days once they can get Jones to the IR list. I have a hunch that will be how it plays out.
As far as the rest of the decisions, the starting five appear set. Fant will begin to challenge Ifedi at right tackle moving forward and serve as the swing tackle. Odhiambo provides depth at tackle and guard. Hunt is the clear No. 2 center and Sweezy seems a much more capable option at guard if he can be healthy, which he isn't right now. If not Sweezy, it would be between Isaiah Battle and Jordan Roos for the final spot with Battle being ahead at this point.
Defensive End (4): Frank Clark, Dion Jordan, Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green
Given Carroll's statements they are hoping Jordan can be ready for Week One, it seems unlikely he'd begin the year on the PUP list. With that in mind, we're keeping him on the 53-man roster for now. Jefferson has seemed much improved entering year three and Green has been, perhaps, the most impressive rookie of the class in preseason.
Defensive Tackle (5): Jarran Reed, Tom Johnson, Nazair Jones, Shamar Stephen, Poona Ford
Carroll has been complimentary of new additions Johnson and Stephen throughout camp. A fifth tackle may not be necessary, but Ford has been an interesting piece mostly due to his freakishly long arms. Of any other bubble guys on the roster, he might be the most worthwhile to keep through cutdown weekend as linemen are usually highly sought after.
Linebackers (6): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Barkevious Mingo, Shaquem Griffin, Jacob Martin, Austin Calitro.
Mingo has been maybe more productive than anticipated this preseason and appears a good fit as the starting SAM linebacker. Both Mingo and Martin can aid the pass rush as well, hence the somewhat lighter numbers at defensive end. Griffin will be a backup and special teams piece and Calitro has shown well as backup middle linebacker and special teamer as well. D.J. Alexander is also in the mix as a former Pro Bowl special teamer, but he's been banged up at times as well and has a bigger contract as a veteran.
Cornerbacks (6): Shaquill Griffin, Byron Maxwell, Justin Coleman, Dontae Johnson, Tre Flowers, Akeem King.
If Maxwell is healthy, he appears to be the sure bet to start at right cornerback opposite Griffin. Coleman is a very capable slot corner. Johnson is getting up to speed still but looks the part. Flowers will need time to develop but his size is intriguing. King has had a nice preseason too and gets the nod for now as the sixth cornerback. Trovon Reed and Jeremy Boykins have had moments as well. Reed has missed time here recently due to injury, however.
Safeties (4): Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Maurice Alexander, Delano Hill.
The Earl Thomas absence will continue to hang over the safety position. The team is very happy with the play of Thompson throughout camp and he'll likely start in Thomas' continued absence. McDougald will be the strong safety and can swing to free safety if needed. Alexander provides another veteran with plenty of starting experience to compliment a young group. Hill hasn't shown much this camp but is a former third-round pick. Lorenzo Jerome has made plays throughout camp since signing after camp got underway and could be a consideration as well.
Specialists (3): Sebastian Janikowski, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott.
Once the team released Jon Ryan and Jason Myers, this trio became pretty cemented barring any waiver claims following cuts that shake things up. However, that appears unlikely.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09: Running back Mike Davis #27 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the Indianapolis Colts at CenturyLink Field on August 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)