Time for the third installment of our Seahawks’ player rankings. In this segment we review players rated 60-46 heading into training camp on July 25.
60. Defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas
Potential role in 2019: In the rotation on the defensive line.
Main competition: Jamie Meder, Al Woods.
Why he’s ranked here: A sixth-round pick out of Florida State, Christmas was placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list Wednesday leaving it unclear what to expect out of him as he enters his first NFL training camp. A year on the practice squad may be in order.
59. Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven
Potential role in 2019: Backup weakside linebacker and special teamer.
Main competition: Shaquem Griffin, Austin Calitro.
Why he’s ranked here: A fourth-round pick out of UW, Burr-Kirven is slated to start out at weakside linebacker, where the Seahawks appear relatively loaded with the return of K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, the two primary starters there last year. But first, Burr-Kirven has to get healthy after having sports hernia surgery in the spring — he was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Wednesday. Given the depth at WLB, the Seahawks figure to be patient bringing Burr-Kirven back.
58. Receiver John Ursua
Potential role in 2019: Backup and rotational slot receiver.
Main competition: Gary Jennings, Keenan Reynolds.
Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks made an aggressive move to get Ursua, trading a sixth-round pick next year to grab him in the seventh round. Ursua played 92 percent of his snaps in the slot last year at Hawaii and that’s where he’ll get his chance with Seattle.
57. Receiver Amara Darboh
Potential role in 2019: Backup, rotational receiver.
Main competition: Gary Jennings, Jaron Brown, David Moore.
Why he’s ranked here: It’s hard to know what to expect out of a player the Seahawks once had really high hopes for when he was selected in the third round in 2017. A quiet rookie year was followed by being waived and claimed by New England and then returned after failing his physical and then spending the year on Injured Reserve. He was healthy for most of the offseason program and had a few impressive moments, doing just enough to think he could be a factor in the receiving competition. But he’s going to have to stay healthy and show consistency to really make a run at a roster spot.
56. Defensive tackle Jamie Meder
Potential role in 2019: In the rotation as an early-down tackle.
Main competition: Al Woods, Demarcus Christmas.
Why he’s ranked here: Signed as a free agent in January, Meder was sidelined for much of the offseason program. But the team hopes he can help shore up what was a spotty run defense last season.
55. Defensive end Nazair Jones
Potential role in 2019: Rotational defensive end.
Main competition: Quinton Jefferson, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson.
Why he’s ranked here: Jones showed some real flashes as a rookie in 2017 before a disappointing second season in 2018. The team now wants to refine his position and use him primarily as a five-technique (or strongside) defensive end, the same spot where Green and Collier also figure to see the bulk of their snaps. Whoever shows the most pass rush may win the job.
54. Running back/returner J.D. McKissic
Potential role in 2019: Return specialist, backup running back/receiver.
Main competition: C.J Prosise, Travis Homer.
Why he’s ranked here: The team continues to lists McKissic solely as an RS — return specialist. But that might not be enough to win him a roster spot if the likes of Rashaad Penny and Ugo Amadi show they can handle return duties well enough to spell Tyler Lockett. McKissic has lots of versatility as a running back and receiver but the addition of Homer and a healthy Prosise will make the third-down/two-minute back competition one of the team’s most interesting.
53. Linebacker Shaquem Griffin
Potential role in 2019: Backup weakside and strongside linebacker.
Main competition: Ben Burr-Kirven, Austin Calitro, Barkevious Mingo.
Why he’s ranked here: Griffin is being tried in a hybrid linebacking role — weakside in nickel situations and strongside in passing situations. But if Wright and Kendricks stay healthy it won’t be easy to nudge them off the field in any situations. The Seahawks are also trying Griffin some as a pass rusher and they could maybe view him as a cheaper option than Mingo. More consistency on special teams could be the real key.
52. Tight end Jacob Hollister
Potential role in 2019: In the tight end rotation.
Main competition: Nick Vannett, Ed Dickson, Tyrone Swoopes.
Why he’s ranked here: Hollister, acquired for a seventh-round pick from the Patriots following the draft, was one of the standouts of the offseason program with his speed and receiving ability. But Seattle may keep just three tight ends, meaning just two of Vannett, Dickson and Hollister may make it.
51. Quarterback Geno Smith
Potential role in 2019: Backup to Russell Wilson.
Main competition: Paxton Lynch.
Why he’s ranked here: Smith heads into camp with the upper hand on Lynch for the backup job in large part because of his experience. But he’ll have to show it again in preseason games.
50. Snapper Tyler Ott
Potential role in 2019: Starting snapper.
Main competition: None.
Why he’s ranked here: Ott has no competition so the job is his. He’s been a steady snapper since taking the job over late in the 2016 season.
49. Fullback Nick Bellore
Potential role in 2019: Starting fullback, core special teams player.
Main competition: None.
Why he’s ranked here: Bellore is the only fullback on the roster so the job is his, as is a significant role on special teams.
48. Offensive lineman Jordan Simmons
Potential role in 2019: Backup guard.
Main competition: Phil Haynes, Ethan Pocic, Marcus Martin.
Why he’s ranked here: Simmons played well in three starts last year in place of either D.J. Fluker or J.R. Sweezy before suffering a knee injury that ended his season. But there may not be room for each of Simmons, Haynes and Pocic on the 53-man roster.
47. Cornerback Neiko Thorpe
Potential role in 2019: Backup cornerback, core special teamer.
Main competition: Simeon Thomas, Derrek Thomas, Davante Davis.
Why he’s ranked here: Thorpe has been one of Seattle’s top special teams players since his arrival in 2016 and that could again land him a roster spot, though a few intriguing newcomers could make for a tough decision.
46. Linebacker Austin Calitro
Potential role in 2019: Backup at middle and weakside linebacker, core special teams player.
Main competition: Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven, Shaquem Griffin.
Why he’s ranked here: Calitro started five games last season at middle and weakside linebacker and also was a regular on special teams. The drafting of two linebackers and new role for Griffin won’t make winning a roster spot easy. But Calitro seemed particularly effective against the run last season and if his pass defense shores up, he could again win a roster spot.