Here is our latest projection of the Seahawks' final 53-man roster, updated after the preseason opener against Denver.

Share story

We are now one game into the preseason, which makes it another good time to update our projection for the Seahawks’ final 53-man roster.

As before, I will defer generally to how the Seahawks list the player on their roster in categorizing them. Obviously, many players can fill dual roles.

And to make clear, this is just a projection of the final 53 as I see it today. The team won’t make its first cuts, from 90 players to 75, until after the third preseason game, and then to the regular season final of 53 until after the fourth preseason game.

Also, as I write this we do not have any additional information on injuries suffered in the game other than what was provided following the game.

QUARTERBACK

KEEP: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson.

CUT: R.J. Archer.

COMMENT: If Jackson’s ankle injury is serious, then that could change things. But assuming he is back in a few weeks, then he’s safe as the backup (keep in mind he has a $1.5 million guaranteed contract for this season). Archer looks like a really good practice squad candidate.

RUNNING BACKS

KEEP: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman, Will Tukuafu.

CUT: Thomas Rawls, Brandon Cottom, Rod Smith.

COMMENT: No changes here yet, either, though the gap between Michael and Rawls definitely seemed to shrink in the Denver game. But Pete Carroll has said they won’t make any decisions on Michael based on one game, and we won’t either. As of today, it’s still too early to give up on Michael. Cottom has done some good things, getting a lot of playing time against the Broncos with Coleman and Tukuafu out with injuries. But it’s also still too early to make a decision other than siding with the vets. While some will wonder about keeping five running backs, Tukuafu could fill several roles for this season — he could help with tight end blocking as an H-back, for instance — which could be especially valuable. And recall how much the coaches praise Coleman’s special teams play.

RECEIVERS

KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Matthews, Tyler Lockett, Ricardo Lockette.

CUT: Kevin Norwood, Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams, B.J. Daniels.

PUP LIST: Paul Richardson.

COMMENT: I’m making a change here by moving Norwood — who appears firmly on the bubble — to the cut line, which will buy the team a spot at some other positions where the decisions may be even more difficult (and assuming also that Richardson will be back eventually). The fact that Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson can often be used in what are essentially receiving roles may make it easier to get by with fewer “true” receivers. Also, Smith and Williams would be great and logical practice squad players. Daniels is a really tough call but he could also still be re-signed to the practice squad. The five on the keep line here were also the top five in Seattle’s receiving rotation Friday night. As with Jackson, if Matthews is out a while with his shoulder injury then that obviously changes things.

TIGHT ENDS

KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet.

CUT: Anthony McCoy, RaShaun Allen.

COMMENT: No changes here so far. McCoy has been a nice story rebounding from two seasons on the sidelines due to Achilles injuries. But he has yet to show he is past a troublesome habit of untimely dropped passes.

OFFENSIVE LINE

KEEP: Russell Okung, Justin Britt, Alvin Bailey, J.R. Sweezy, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Garry Gilliam, Drew Nowak, Mark Glowinski, Keavon Milton.

CUT: Terry Poole, Kona Schwenke, Patrick Lewis, Will Pericak, Kristjan Sokoli, Jesse Davis.

COMMENT: After the Denver game I don’t think anyone can say with any certainty how this position will unfold the next few weeks. The coaches will have their own evaluation. But from afar, it was hard to tell that any of the young players really did much to distinguish themselves. Our only change here is replacing Sokoli with Milton, who spent last week in practice running with the No. 1 unit at left guard but then was with the second unit in the game. Seven spots would seem to remain relatively secure — the four pretty set starters of Okung, Britt, Sweezy and Bailey (the latter getting some increased competition of late but still seeming the front-runner for that job); Jeanpierre and Nowak, at the moment in an apparent dead heat at center, and Gilliam, who has been steady as a backup tackle. But one could make a case that only Okung, Britt and Sweezy are totally secure. As Pete Carroll said, lots of work remains to be done.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

KEEP: Brandon Mebane, Ahtyba Rubin, Jordan Hill, D’Anthony Smith.

CUT: Jesse Williams, T.Y. McGill, Jimmy Staten.

COMMENT: I had Smith off of my original 53 but have him back on now after the release of Tony McDaniel. McGill played well against Denver while the defense wasn’t as good when Smith and the second unit were in there. But I’ll stick with Smith for now. McGill appears to be one to watch, though. And that Williams is back to full go makes him a harder player to cut. But at the moment, he appears to be behind the others listed as keepers.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Cassius Marsh, David King, Demarcus Dobbs.

CUT: Obum Gwacham, Greg Scruggs, Julius Warmsley.

COMMENT: No changes at this spot. King, Dobbs, Gwacham and Warmsley all sat out against Denver due to injury. King and Dobbs each have a versatility that makes them potentially valuable. Clark and Marsh played well against Denver, especially Clark. And that might possibly allow them to get by with one fewer player at this spot, especially with Bruce Irvin also playing a lot of rush end. But for now, we’ll stick with the numbers we had before.

LINEBACKERS

KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle.

CUT: Tyrell Adams, Eric Pinkins, Quayshawn Nealy, Dakorey Johnson, Alex Singleton.

COMMENT: No changes here, either. Pinkins had some good moments against the Broncos and could give Morgan a real run for a roster spot. But Morgan is also one of the more experienced and valued special teamers, and for now that will keep him on the keep line. Pierre-Louis sat out against Denver with a shoulder injury, so that will be something to watch going forward and something that could impact the decisions here (Coyle also sat out but his injury appears minor).

DEFENSIVE BACKS

KEEP: Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Cary Williams, Will Blackmon, DeShawn Shead, Marcus Burley, Tharold Simon, Steven Terrell, Dion Bailey.

CUT: Mohammed Seisay, Tye Smith, Douglas McNeil, Triston Wade, Keenan Lambert, Ronald Martin, Ryan Murphy.

COMMENT: The spot we took from the receiver position we added here to include Bailey on the keep list. But boy do the decisions at this spot loom as particularly difficult.  As noted before, expect Jeremy Lane to begin the year on the PUP list. We’ll assume Chancellor is back by the time of the cutdown to 53. Still, Thomas also has yet to return, and for now that has us keeping an extra safety. At first glance, Smith seemed to do some good things against the Broncos and could create a tough decision, one that could save the Seahawks a little money. But for now we’ll side with the veterans.

SPECIALISTS

KEEP: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham.

CUT: Nate Boyer.

COMMENT: Boyer is one of the great feel-good stories of camp and handled the snaps he got against Denver flawlessly. But as noted before, Gresham will be tough to dislodge as the long snapper. Ryan and Hauschka don’t have any camp competition.