Some of the most intriguing rookies of the past few years populate the latest segment of our Seahawks roster countdown.

As a reminder, we are ranking all 90 players on Seattle’s roster as camp begins Wednesday. Here are players 30-21.

30. Dee Eskridge

Position: Receiver.

Potential role in 2021: After taking him with the 56th overall pick, the Seahawks expect no less than for Eskridge to take the third-receiver role behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

Why he’s ranked here: Any rookie is something of an unknown, and Eskridge may be even more of one since he played at a smaller school (Western Michigan) and then suffered a toe injury that limited him during the offseason program. But hopes are high he can contribute significantly in the passing and return games.

29. Darrell Taylor

Position: Linebacker

Potential role in 2021: Taylor, a second-round pick in 2020 out of Tennessee, is being handed the strongside linebacker job which last year was held by K.J. Wright after Bruce Irvin suffered a knee injury in Week Two. Heady shoes to fill, indeed.

Why he’s ranked here: This might seem a high ranking for a player who has yet to play a down. But Taylor looms as one of the real X factors for the 2021 season. Can he truly take over the SLB job and add another consistent force to the pass rush? Seattle has a lot riding on hoping that he can.


28. Alton Robinson

Position: Defensive end.

Potential role in 2021: Robinson likely won’t start but should again be a regular in the rotation up front, particularly at the LEO/rush end position.

Why he’s ranked here: Robinson saw wildly varying playing time in 2020 as a rookie — a high of 49 snaps in a game against the 49ers at midseason and just eight in the playoff loss to the Rams. He had four sacks along the way. With a little more consistent playing time, the production would figure to increase some, too.

27. L.J. Collier

Position: Defensive end.

Potential role in 2021: Collier will battle to again start at the strongside defensive end or five-technique end. He also figures to see ample time playing tackle, as he did a year ago, particularly on passing downs.

Why he’s ranked here: Collier’s status as a first-round pick in 2019 may mean expectations will always be somewhat out of whack. He isn’t going to be a Carlos Dunlap-style pass rusher. But he can be an effective player at a key position, able to play both inside and out — and inside may be where his most vital contributions will be going forward. Seattle found out again last year the value of depth up front when injuries hit early on. Collier, though, has new competition for the starting job in newly signed free agent Kerry Hyder. Rasheem Green will also compete for time at this spot.

26. Rasheem Green

Position: Defensive end.

Potential role in 2021: Speaking of Green, basically repeat what was said about Collier as he will compete with Collier and Hyder for the strongside end spot. The reality is Seattle can find ways to use all three regularly, and that’s what the Seahawks want to do, hoping to have a deep defensive front in which everyone can stay fresh.

Why he’s ranked here: Green missed games two through seven last year due to injury. But once he returned he usually played a bit more than Collier did (Green played 63% of snaps in the playoff loss to the Rams, Collier 37%), appearing to illustrate who the Seahawks valued more at that position in 2020.


25. Marquise Blair

Position: Nickel corner/safety.

Potential role in 2021: Enters camp again vying for the nickel corner spot but also potentially being used at other positions in the back end.

Why he’s ranked here: Seattle moved Blair to the nickel in 2020 after trading for Jamal Adams, which meant there was no room for Blair at safety with Quandre Diggs at the other safety spot. But Blair seemed to be adapting to it well enough before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week Two. That Adams and Diggs return means nickel is the only place where Blair can get on the field consistently. But he’ll have to hold off Ugo Amadi to claim that spot again.

24. Al Woods

Position: Defensive tackle.

Potential role in 2021: Starting nose tackle alongside Poona Ford.

Why he’s ranked here: Woods suddenly became a really important player for the Seahawks when he was brought back to the team in March following the cap-driven decision to release Jarran Reed. Woods didn’t play last year but was a regular in Seattle’s tackle rotation in 2019 when he turned in the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade of his career. He’s now 34, but Seattle is hoping he can play like that one more time.

23. Benson Mayowa

Position: Defensive end.

Potential role in 2021: Will back up/complement Carlos Dunlap at the LEO/rush end position.

Why he’s ranked here: Mayowa was the starter at LEO when the year began. His midseason injury helped lead to the trade for Dunlap. When Mayowa returned, his playing time decreased some, but his production seemed to increase — coach Pete Carroll said he felt Mayowa was better with fewer snaps — as he had four of his six sacks in the final six games of the season. Expect the same role for Mayowa this year.

22. D.J. Reed

Position: Cornerback.

Potential role in 2021: Reed enters camp as the front-runner for the starting right cornerback job.


Why he’s ranked here: Reed was the biggest surprise on the team a year ago, an under-the-radar waiver wire pickup in August who became a starter at corner in November, somewhat defying Seattle’s usual standards for that position since he stands just 5-foot-9. But he made it work, finishing with the 14th highest grade among all cornerbacks via PFF. Seattle has a bevy of other corners so Reed will have to earn the job anew. But if he plays as he did last year, the job appears to be his.

21. Ethan Pocic

Position: Center.

Potential role in 2021: Starting center for the second straight year.

Why he’s ranked here: Pocic started 14 games a year ago, and afterward the Seahawks seemed to agree with the general consensus that his season was serviceable enough if not maybe worthy of great excitement by re-signing him to a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $3 million. The guaranteed money is enough that Seattle would like it if Pocic wins the job again over Kyle Fuller but not so much that it’s a really big deal if he doesn’t.