We’re now past the halfway point of our Seahawks roster ratings countdown as training camp looms ever nearer — players will report Tuesday and hit the field at the VMAC for the first time Wednesday.
Here we go with players 50-41.
50. Colby Parkinson
Position: Tight end.
Potential role in 2021: The team’s moves in the offseason made clear the Seahawks expect Parkinson to take on a significant role this year as the third tight end behind Gerald Everett and Will Dissly.
Why he’s ranked here: Parkinson is one of the team’s real X factors this year. Parkinson seems to have everything to be a major player in an offense that might make more use of the tight ends. Conversely, injuries meant he played sparingly last season — he had two catches for 16 yards in the blowout of the Jets. So, there’s some proving to do.
49. DeeJay Dallas
Position: Running back
Potential role in 2021: A fourth-round draft choice a year ago, Dallas earned a role as a backup tailback working mostly in the third-down/two-minute role as well as playing significant roles on special teams.
Why he’s ranked here: With Seattle’s running back corps pretty much back intact, Dallas’ role is likely to be similar in 2021, assuming he makes the team. The addition of Alex Collins makes the battle for the last few tailback spots especially intriguing.
48. Penny Hart
Position: Wide receiver
Potential role in 2021: Hart was the team’s fifth receiver last season, playing in 13 games (though just 62 snaps). He had a standout offseason program, though, after which coach Pete Carroll said he’s legitimately in the running for a significant role in the receiving corps.
Why he’s ranked here: Seattle’s obvious hope is that rookie Dee Eskridge quickly proves he’s worth the second-round choice the team spent on him — recall he was drafted higher than either Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf — which means Hart, Freddie Swain and others would be competing mostly for the fourth and fifth and maybe sixth receiver spots.
47. Tyler Ott
Position: Long snapper.
Potential role in 2021: This one hardly needs much explaining.
Why he’s ranked here: Since joining the Seahawks in 2016, Ott has quietly become one of the best and most consistent long snappers in the NFL, earning his first Pro Bowl honor a year ago.
46. Nick Bellore
Potential role in 2021: Bellore remains the only fullback on the roster, and it will be interesting to see if new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron uses that position more. The Rams under Sean McVay, though, have almost never used a fullback. That means Bellore’s primary role will again be as a core special team player after he also made the Pro Bowl a year ago for the first time.
Why he’s ranked here: Via longtime NFL writer Rick Gosselin’s special teams ratings, the Seahawks had the second-best overall special teams units in the league a year ago and Bellore was a big reason why.
45. Tre Brown
Potential role in 2021: The fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma played the left cornerback spot in the offseason program — where Shaquill Griffin was the starter last year — but will likely have to beat out free agent signee Ahkello Witherspoon to earn a starting nod.
Why he’s ranked here: Brown was Oklahoma’s primary kickoff returner in 2018 and 2019 (55 returns for 1,207 yards) and figures to get a long look at that job in camp as well as serving as cornerback depth if he doesn’t earn a starting job.
44. Travis Homer
Position: Running back
Potential role in 2021: Homer is pretty much battling for the same role as his former Miami teammate, Dallas — backup tailback concentrating on the third-down/two-minute role, and key special teams player. Homer has worked often as the personal protector on the punt team, a spot that the now-departed Shaquem Griffin held at times.
Why he’s ranked here: Injuries limited Homer to just the first nine games last season. Homer has a pretty versatile skill set (recall he returned kickoffs for a while last season as well as his other special teams roles) that makes him a good fit for a backup running back.
43. Robert Nkemdiche
Position: Defensive tackle
Potential role in 2021: A first-round choice of the Cardinals in 2016, Nkemdiche is hoping to revive his career in Seattle after sitting out last season and playing just two games with Miami in 2019. He’s in the running for a rotational role on the defensive line.
Why he’s ranked here: Can Seattle get something out of Nkemdiche that Arizona and Miami couldn’t? It’s a low-risk gambit — Nkemdiche signed for the league minimum of $990,000. And early returns were positive. Nkemdiche was an enthusiastic presence throughout minicamp, but the true test comes when the pads go on.
42. Geno Smith
Potential role in 2021: For the third consecutive year, Smith is ticketed to be Russell Wilson’s backup. It’s a lonely role as Smith has played in just one game in two years — mop-up duty against the Jets a year ago. But Smith doesn’t really appear to have competition for the role, meaning you can pretty much plug him onto the roster.
Why he’s ranked here: Some might wonder if Seattle should find a younger quarterback to groom for this role. But for a team in full win-now mode as Seattle, that Smith has 31 career starts and wouldn’t be awed by suddenly having to play has a lot of value.
41. Ryan Neal
Position: Defensive back
Potential role in 2021: The Seahawks officially list Neal has a strong safety but he has shown the ability to play pretty much anywhere in the secondary, and serving as a jack-of-all-trades backup might be his clearest path to a roster spot again this season.
Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks have added a lot of intriguing potential backups to the secondary in the offseason and earning a roster spot again won’t be easy for Neal. But Neal also was a trusted member of special teams last year and earned time as an extra defensive back in specialty packages at the end of the season.