Bob Condotta makes his latest prediction of the Seahawks' final roster after the first week of training camp and this weekend's scrimmage.
The Seahawks have had a week of training camp, capped by a scrimmage, which makes it a good time to update our 53-man roster projection and note what has changed since our initial guess at it before camp started. 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 after the fourth preseason games.
KEEP: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson.
CUT: R.J. Archer.
COMMENT: No changes here and it’ll be surprising if there are. The question may be if Archer shows enough to warrant a practice squad spot.
KEEP: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman, Will Tukuafu.
CUT: Thomas Rawls, Brandon Cottom, Rod Smith.
COMMENT: No changes here yet, either. The Seahawks kept four running backs out of camp this year, but could be compelled to keep five this season with Tukuafu able to also help out on the defensive line, and also in some H-back, blocking tight end roles. So far, Turbin and Michael have played well and holding on to the spots as the No. 2 and No. 3 tailbacks behind Lynch.
KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Matthews, Tyler Lockett, Ricardo Lockette, Kevin Norwood.
CUT: Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams, B.J. Daniels, Deshon Foxx.
PUP LIST: Paul Richardson.
COMMENT: Seahawks kept seven out of camp last year, and could be compelled to do so again. For now, we are going with six, due in part to keeping five running backs. Richardson is on the PUP list with no ETA in sight of when he will come off of it, and so that helps the log jam for now. Kasen Williams was a standout in the scrimmage and Kevin Smith a standout in general early on and could become practice squad candidates, at the least. But the road for any of the UDFAs to make it remains long given the vets and draft picks at the top of the depth chart.
KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet.
CUT: Anthony McCoy, RaShaun Allen.
COMMENT: Seahawks kept three out of camp last season and if they do so again, they’ll have a tough decision on who to release. McCoy and Helfet appear battling for that third spot. Helfet has a cracked rib while McCoy was able to rebound from a day off due to lightheadeness to play in the scrimmage. But for now, we’ll stick with our earlier projection of Helfet, who is younger and cheaper (a cap hit of $510,000 compared to $735,000) which could make all the difference in a year when every dollar could matter for the Seahawks.
KEEP: Russell Okung, Justin Britt, Alvin Bailey, J.R. Sweezy, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Garry Gilliam, Drew Nowak, Kristjan Sokoli, Mark Glowinski.
CUT: Terry Poole, Keavon Milton, Kona Schwenke, Patrick Lewis, Will Pericak, Jesse Davis.
COMMENT: So at the moment, seven spots would seem relatively set — 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.
Both Jeanpierre and Nowak can be swing players inside and would seem safe for the final roster in that role, even if they are not the starter at center (Jeanpierre is making the vet minimum so you wouldn’t think money would be a factor there). For now, I’ve moved Sokoli to making the final 53 as he has seemed to emerge more than the other two drafted rookies. But I also have Glowinski making it, as well, as he is now getting a real look at left guard behind Bailey and also has tackle experience. But the Seahawks figure to need until the final hours to make the decisions on the final few spots here.
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. But the return to health of Williams will also make things really intriguing.
KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Cassius Marsh, David King, Demarcus Dobbs.
CUT: Obum Gwacham, Greg Scruggs, Julius Warmsley.
COMMENT: For now, I’ve switched out Scruggs for King, who seems to be off to a decent start after having been on the 53-man through the end of the playoffs last year. Bennett, Clark, King and Dobbs can also play inside in passing downs. Marsh is now largely a LEO, or pass rushing end, along with Avril. Bruce Irvin also can fill a role as a pass-rushing end.
KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle.
CUT: Tyrell Adams, Eric Pinkins, Quayshawn Nealy, Dakorey Johnson.
COMMENT: The most intriguing player to watch here may be Pinkins, who has gotten a lot of work with the No. 2 unit at strongside linebacker in recent days. But Morgan is a core special teamer and Pinkins would be an obvious practice squad candidate. For now, Coyle seems to still have a hold on the backup MLB job (though recall that Wright in many ways is the real backup MLB if Wagner were to really get hurt, as happened last year, with Pierre-Louis as a backup WLB).
KEEP: Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Cary Williams, Will Blackmon, DeShawn Shead, Marcus Burley, Tharold Simon, Steven Terrell.
CUT: Mohammed Seisay, Dion Bailey, Tye Smith, Douglas McNeil, Triston Wade, Keenan Lambert, Ronald Martin, Ryan Murphy, Robert Smith.
COMMENT: Expect Jeremy Lane to begin the year on the PUP list. The Seahawks will have some really tough decisions for the bottom spots on the roster and some of the young players, such as Seisay or Bailey, could well earn roster spots. But for now, I’m going with the experienced guys, especially as long as there is any uncertainty about Thomas and Chancellor (though obviously if for some reason Chancellor’s holdout really lasts into the regular season that would open up a spot on the 53-man).
KEEP: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham.
CUT: Nate Boyer.
COMMENT: Boyer is one of the great feel-good stories of camp and appears to have done well when he’s gotten chances in live settings so far. But Gresham will be tough to dislodge as the long snapper. Ryan and Hauschka once again have no training camp competition.