The preseason is over for the Seattle Seahawks with final calls on roster spots coming in the days ahead.
Seattle ended its three-game preseason slate with a 27-0 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night. Now they will have to trim the roster from 80 to just 53 players by the league's deadline of Tuesday at 1 p.m.
As we do every year, we'll try to pencil out our best guess of what the roster will look like when that deadline ultimately arrives.
Some things to note off the top:
-- There is no way to reasonably forecast any trades that could occur. So for this projection, we aren't including any guesses on that front.
-- The roster will be far from final. Teams can make waiver claims in the day after players are released, which would mean one player in and another player out. Players initially kept on the active roster could be moved to injured reserve, which would allow the team to add back another fill-in to the roster. Then once those moves are made, more players will be suddenly available on the wire that could be picked up by teams.
So with that being said, here's out projection for what the roster will be for the Seahawks after the 1 p.m. roster deadline.
Seahawks projected roster:
QB (2): Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
Russell Wilson is the starter. Geno Smith will be the backup.
RB (5): Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Alex Collins, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer.
Barring a trade, it seems like the Seahawks might just find a way to keep all five running backs on the roster. Nick Bellore's ability to play two-ways as a fullback and linebacker may ultimately buy them a roster spot to keep all five backs on the 53-man roster.
Chris Carson will start and Rashaad Penny looks like he's back to full strength after missing most of last season recovering from a torn ACL. Alex Collins looked like a totally different player from this first stint in Seattle and absolutely appears deserving or a roster spot. DeeJay Dallas seems much improved in his second season and could be the team's kick returner. Meanwhile, Pete Carroll continues to talk glowingly about Travis Homer as well after his activation from the PUP list.
Perhaps Collins (or Penny) is traded for a draft pick or something in the days ahead, but all six running backs (including undrafted rookie Josh Johnson) have helped create a position with considerable depth ahead of roster cuts.
TE (3): Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson.
Gerald Everett and Will Dissly will be the top two options at tight end for Seattle. Colby Parkison is on the road to recovery after sustaining a small non-displaced fracture in his foot in practice two weeks ago. Carroll said that Parkinson will be back running on ground next week and has a chance to make it back fairly soon.
The idea of keeping Parkinson on the initial 53-man roster and moving him to injured reserve afterward seems like less of an option now. Parkinson might be back early enough in the year to skip putting him on the injured list for at least three weeks. Even if Parkinson is unable to play to begin the season, the team could call-up an option such as Tyler Mabry or Cam Sutton from the practice squad (assume they make it there) for a one or two game fill-in.
WR (5): Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain, Cody Thompson
Four receiver spots have been locks throughout camp assuming Dee Eskridge was going to eventually get healthy. The fifth spot could conceivably go any of three different ways. Penny Hart, Cody Thompson and Aaron Fuller have all made a case for the job for the time being. There's not much separating the three. Hart is probably the most accomplished special teams player. Thompson is the most natural receiver or the trio. Fuller is kind of a blend of the other two with return ability. It wouldn't be a surprise if this roster spot ultimately ends up being a bit of a turnstile of options throughout the season. For now, I'm going to put Thompson on the roster with very little confidence in that selection. Hart was my initial choice before changing my mind. The fact Hart missed a large chunk of training camp to injury may be my deciding factor for the moment.
OL (10): Duane Brown, Damien Lewis, Kyle Fuller, Gabe Jackson, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes, Ethan Pocic, Stone Forsythe
This projection assumes that Duane Brown won't let his contract desires keep him from being with the team Week 1. Brown, Damien Lewis, Gabe Jackson and Brandon Shell have all been cemented as starters. And with Ethan Pocic missing a large chunk of the preseason with a hamstring strain, it seems as though Kyle Fuller has won the center job for the time being.
Pocic, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes seem destined to be reserves on the roster. Rookie Stone Forsythe would seem too difficult to try and slip through to the practice squad.
Rookie undrafted free agent Jake Curhan has had a solid camp and would seem to be a practice squad candidate. Jordan Simmons has played in many games for Seattle over the past few seasons but there just doesn't seem to be a spot for him to begin the season.
DE (5): Carlos Dunlap II, Benson Mayowa, Rasheem Green, Alton Robinson, Kerry Hyder Jr.
DT (4): Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Al Woods, L.J. Collier
Because there's so many players that can play end and inside, it feels like these two positions should be grouped together. I think the top nine players are really obvious. Aldon Smith would have been a factor had he not squandered his chance with the team in camp. The most interesting decision will be with Robert Nkemdiche.
Nkemdiche is a former first-round pick that has made a good impression since he's been with the team. He's also been just nicked up enough with injuries over the last few weeks to not be able to appear in any of the team's three preseason games. At this point, it's tough to make a claim he's definitively on the roster. And is any other team truly going to claim a guy who didn't play in the NFL last season and didn't put anything on film in the preseason to gauge his current ability off of? It feels like Nkemdiche to the practice squad until he gets healthy and ready to contribute would be a plausible route to take.
The team also had Geno Atkins in for a visit last week and his addition would factor in greatly and require a roster spot as well.
LB (6): Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Darrell Taylor, Cody Barton, Nick Bellore, Jon Rhattigan
Bobby Wager, Jordyn Brooks and Darrell Taylor will be the team's three starting linebackers in base defense. However, Taylor will also contribute to the team's pass rush as well, as seen by his sack in the final preseason game on Saturday night. The loss of Ben Burr-Kirven to a torn ACL has affected the team's depth. Seattle has covered that loss by repurposing fullback Nick Bellore as a linebacker, a position he's started 10 games in the NFL during his career and is his natural position. Jon Rhattigan missed the first two preseason games but made an impression in the final one against the Chargers. Given Bellore's efforts on special teams and at fullback, if he were to get nicked up on a kickoff the team would be very thin at linebacker depth. So for now, I'm putting Rhattigan on the roster. He would be the only undrafted free agent from this year to make the roster. An outside addition could easily occur here as well. Just don't expect it to be K.J. Wright unless he's coming back to start.
CB (6): D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers, Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Brown, Ryan Neal, John Reid
The top four cornerback spots appear solidified for the Seahawks, though exactly who will start the opener against the Indianapolis Colts isn't entirely certain. Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi also factor in is nickel cornerbacks as well as the team's group of defensive backs has a lot of positional versatility. Ryan Neal has proven to be a solid contributed but he's dealing with an oblique injury currently. The Seahawks acquired John Reid from the Houston Texans for a conditional draft pick this week. While that doesn't make him a lock at all for the roster, the injury to Neal might get him on the squad. The cut of note here is veteran Damarious Randall. Randall couldn't play in the first two preseason games due to injury. But because he's a veteran he wouldn't have to go through waivers, which would make a re-signing a possibility if he didn't get interest elsewhere.
S (4): Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi
This projection assumes that Quandre Diggs won't miss the start of the season despite his sitting out practices this week to "make a statement" about wanting a new deal with the team. This position group is pretty straightforward, especially with Neal being able to play safety as well. Seattle's safety depth seems quite solid.
ST (3): Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
No competition for any of these spots.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 28: Alex Collins #41 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by Alohi Gilman #32 and Nick Niemann #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter during the NFL preseason game at Lumen Field on August 28, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)