And now we wait…
There are just more than 24 hours until the Seattle Seahawks must have their roster down to 53 players. That gives us ample time to speculate who is in, who is out and where Seattle might tinker with the roster depending on who gets cut around the NFL.
Below are my final roster projections. There’s only one change following the Seahawks win over the Oakland Raiders in the preseason finale, but I’ve added commentary as to where things could potentially be shaken up over the weekend. I’ve also included who, in my opinion, will be the last four in, the first four out and 10 candidates for the practice squad.
Russell Wilson and Geno Smith
Analysis: Smith’s 39-yard touchdown strike to Terry Wright on the game’s opening possession Thursday night locked up the backup QB job (if it wasn’t already). The wrinkle here is whether or not Smith’s knee injury is anything serious. Smith didn’t sound overly concerned, but Pete Carroll said the team would know more in the coming days.
Paxton Lynch had a dreadful end to his preseason. He completed just 1-of-7 pass attempts for four yards against the Raiders. The backup offensive line didn’t give Lynch much protection, but the QB still didn’t offer much. I’d guess that the Seahawks look outside the current roster should Smith’s knee injury be more serious than initially believed.
Running back (5)
Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, J.D. McKissic, C.J. Prosise and Nick Bellore
Analysis: I didn’t make any changes here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Seattle cut Bellore initially in order to keep someone else at a different spot. It’s a pretty safe bet that Bellore would be available should the Seahawks want to bring him back.
Wide receiver (6)
Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Gary Jennings, Jaron Brown and John Ursua
Analysis: Man… I tried my best to keep Jennings off the roster, but there simply isn’t anyone else who stood out enough to warrant cutting a fourth-round pick. Carroll made it sound like Jennings has improved in practice and that he’s coming along with his knowledge of the scheme. If it were up to me, I'd keep Jazz Ferguson over Jennings. However, Carroll has never seemed to be a believer in the undrafted rookie.
Keep an eye on which wide receivers get cut around the NFL. I think the Seahawks will be in the market for one.
Tight end (3)
Nick Vannett, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister
Analysis: These three were easy picks, but it is still unclear what the Seahawks plan to do with Ed Dickson (knee).
Offensive line (9)
Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic and Joey Hunt
Analysis: Phil Haynes (sports hernia) seems destined for PUP. I feel confident with the rest of this list, but there are major injury question marks with Iupati (foot/calf), Fant (ankle) and Hunt (ankle).
Defensive Line (8)
Cassius Marsh, Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Ezekiel Ansah, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Poona Ford and Jacob Martin
Analysis: Brian Mone and Jamie Meder are going to be two difficult cuts. Letting go of Barkevious Mingo became easier and easier as the preseason went on. He simply wasn’t productive enough as an edge rusher.
Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Cody Barton, Austin Calitro and Ben Burr-Kirven
Analysis: The combination of Burr-Kirven’s monster 12-tackle performance against the Raiders and Shaquem Griffin’s nagging knee injury helped the rookie fifth-round pick land on my final roster projections. I think Griffin is an IR candidate, which would help Seattle stash him for a year without having to cut him or BBK. Carroll didn’t sound very optimistic when discussing Griffin’s knee injury on Thursday night.
Defensive Backs (11)
Shaquill Griffin, Tedric Thompson, Bradley McDougald, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, Ugo Amadi, Akeem King, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, DeShawn Shead and Jamar Taylor
Analysis: Like wide receiver, Seattle could look for outside help at cornerback. King didn’t have a stellar preseason, but the Seahawks are thin on outside corners. DeShawn Shead started at RCB and played well against the Raiders. His leadership, versatility and mastery of the defense make me believe he’s safe.
Jason Myers, Michael Dickson and Tyler Ott
Analysis: Same as before.
Last four in:
Gary Jennings, Nick Bellore, Akeem King and Ben Burr-Kirven
First four out:
Malik Turner, Jamie Meder, Brian Mone and Travis Homer
10 potential practice squad candidates:
Malik Turner, Jamie Meder, Brian Mone, Travis Homer, Jazz Ferguson, Simeon Thomas, J.T. Barrett, Shalom Luani, Bo Scarbrough and Terry Wright