The countdown is reaching the serious stage now as we get to the top 30 players as training camp approaches July 25. Here are players Nos. 30-21.

30. Cornerback Akeem King

Potential role in 2019: Starting nickel, or slot, cornerback.

Main competition: Ugo Amadi, Kalan Reed.

Why he’s ranked here: This might seem high for a player who is not assured a starting spot, but King appears the leader at the nickel position heading into camp. If he wins it, then he will be one of the most vital players on the defense, with Seattle likely to use a nickel defense 70 percent of the time or so this season. Seattle had a reliable nickel corner the past two years in Justin Coleman but their confidence they could develop another one led to them declining to match an offer Coleman got from Detroit. Reed and Amadi will get long looks as well, but King’s size (6 foot 1, 215 pounds) and ability to match up with tight ends and bigger receivers, and the way he played down the stretch last season, might make him hard to beat out.

29. Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson

Potential role in 2019: Starter or rotational backup at the five-technique defensive end spot.

Main competition: L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson.

Why he’s ranked here: Jefferson was the starter at defensive end for 12 games last season and had a career-high three sacks and 15 quarterback hits. The progress of Collier and Green will go a long way to determining how big of a role Jefferson will have this season. If either or both of the young players need more time, Jefferson could again be the starter there.

28. Tight end Will Dissly

Potential role in 2019: Starting tight end.

Main competition: Ed Dickson, Nick Vannett.

Why he’s ranked here: Dissly flashed star potential in four games last season before suffering a patellar tendon injury. Coach Pete Carroll sounded confident Dissly will be ready for the start of training camp while also noting the team will play it cautious to make sure he’s really ready before cutting him loose. That could mean starting on the PUP list and possibly being eased in once the regular season begins. But once healthy, he’ll again be a vital part of the offense. We’d rank Dissly higher if there were no questions about his health.

27. Safety Lano Hill

Potential role in 2019: Starting strong safety.

Main competition: Marquise Blair.

Why he’s ranked here: Hill has just two career starts — the final two regular-season games of last season following an injury to Tedric Thompson and a shuffling of the safety duo. But he made seven tackles in those two games, victories over Kansas City and Arizona, which prompted Carroll to hint strongly that he would stick with Hill at strong safety and Bradley McDougald at free safety for the playoff game against Dallas until it was discovered Hill had a hip injury that required surgery. The Seahawks are understandably excited by Blair, but they are going to give the McDougald-Hill combo a long look, as well.


26. Defensive end L.J. Collier

Potential role in 2019: Starting or rotational defensive end.

Main competition: Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green.

Why he’s ranked here: Seattle’s first-round selection in 2019 is slated for a significant role as the team’s five-technique (or strongside) defensive end, and filling some other roles, as well. The Seahawks were happy with how well Collier picked things up during the offseason program, but will want to see how that translates once camp gets going and the full pads go on.

25. Defensive end Cassius Marsh

Potential role in 2019: Regular in the rotation at the rush end or LEO spot.

Main competition: Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo.

Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks brought back Marsh to add pass rushing, and he could be the starter to begin the season if Ziggy Ansah isn’t ready yet. He had 5½ sacks last season but just six in his first four seasons, so the Seahawks are hoping that wasn’t an aberration but a sign of a breakthrough.

24. Receiver Jaron Brown

Potential role in 2019: Starting or rotational receiver.

Main competition: DK Metcalf, David Moore.

Why he’s ranked here: That Seattle could save $2.75 million against the cap if Brown is released had some wondering if he still had a Seahawks future as the offseason began. But Brown then spent OTAs and minicamp working as a starter in three-receiver sets with Carroll heaping praise on him throughout and saying the only problem a year ago (when Brown had just 14 catches) is that the Seahawks just didn’t use him enough. Metcalf could play so well that he blows past Brown and/or Moore on the depth chart, but Seattle might also like the idea of easing Metcalf and fellow rookie Gary Jennings into things a little bit early on, which could make it that much more critical that Brown contribute a lot more this season.

23. Guard Mike Iupati

Potential role in 2019: Starting left guard.

Main competition: None that appears serious.

Why he’s ranked here: Iupati, a 10-year veteran who has been named to four Pro Bowls, was signed to replace J.R. Sweezy at left guard, and barring injury (and it’s worth noting Iupati hasn’t played a full season since 2012), the job is his. The guard combo of Sweezy and DJ. Fluker was maybe even more effective last season than the Seahawks anticipated, but the Seahawks like that Iupati played under line coach Mike Solari with the 49ers and won’t need any adjustment to the system.

22. Receiver DK Metcalf

Potential role in 2019: Starting or rotational receiver.

Main competition: David Moore, Jaron Brown.

Why he’s ranked here: Metcalf is going to play, we know that. The only question is how quickly he is ready to take on a full load of receiver’s snaps, or if the Seahawks will use him a bit more situationally early on. The presence of Brown and Moore will allow for Seattle to ease Metcalf into things if needed. But the Seahawks won’t rule out anything and if Metcalf shows a quick mastery of the entire offense and subtleties of NFL receiving, he quickly could become the No. 2 receiver. No matter what, he will draw as much attention from media and fans as anyone in camp.

21. Receiver David Moore

Potential role in 2019: Starting or rotational receiver.

Main competition: Jaron Brown, DK Metcalf.

Why he’s ranked here: OK, so the reality is that Moore, Brown and Metcalf aren’t really competing all that much — all seem assured of significant roles in Seattle’s offense this season, with Seattle needing each to help complement Tyler Lockett and replace Doug Baldwin’s production. Moore showed big-play ability last year with five touchdowns and 17.1 yards per reception. But he caught just four passes on 16 targets for just 32 yards in the last five games, with no touchdowns, and will need to show more diversity in his game this year as opponents concentrated on taking away the fade and go routes that were his bread-and-butter early.