No time to waste. Let’s get on to Part 5 of our Seahawks roster countdown, featuring players rated 30-16.
30. Defensive end Alton Robinson
Why he’s ranked here: Maybe this seems high for a fifth-round draft pick. But the Seahawks really, really need some pass rushers to emerge this year, and Robinson will be given every chance to show he deserves playing time. And any pass rusher who emerges will be vital.
29. Receiver Phillip Dorsett II
Why he’s ranked here: Can the Seahawks be the team to finally get the full potential out of Dorsett, a first-round pick by the Colts in 2015? Dorsett seems to think so, saying Russell Wilson’s deep-passing ability will make the best use of his speed. Certainly, the Seahawks need a third receiver to emerge, and Dorsett is the most likely candidate.
28. Center B.J. Finney
Why he’s ranked here: Finney has just 13 career starts in four NFL seasons. But the Seahawks handed him a contract with the fifth-highest salary-cap hit of any offensive player on the team ($3.5 million) with the apparent expectation he’ll take over the starting center spot.
27. Defensive end L.J. Collier
Why he’s ranked here: OK, so this may seem far too high for someone who was on the field for 152 snaps last season and made three tackles. Placing him here is more about what the team hopes he can do this year, which is emerge as a player capable of giving around 500 snaps of good play at the strongside end spot to help replace the departed Quinton Jefferson. If not, the bust label will start to get thrown around.
26. Safety Marquise Blair
Why he’s ranked here: A second-round pick last year, Blair was one of the biggest enigmas of 2019. He showed flashes of spectacular play in the preseason but was relegated to a backup role. He played even less after the trade for Quandre Diggs — confounding many fans who think he can put some boom back in the Legion of Boom. Coach Pete Carroll felt Blair needed a little more experience and discipline. With Bradley McDougald and Diggs back, the Seahawks don’t need Blair to start — though expect the Seahawks to give Blair every chance to compete with McDougald. If he shows improvement, the Seahawks will find a way to get him on the field.
25. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks
Why he’s ranked here: Figuring out where Brooks fits will be one of the big stories of camp. Carroll said he’ll start out at weakside linebacker, which means competing with veteran K.J. Wright, who could move to strongside backer, especially if Brooks proves worthy of immediate playing time. He’d probably better, given the debate over whether it made sense for the Seahawks to draft him in the first round.
24. Guard Mike Iupati
Why he’s ranked here: Iupati was a surprising re-signing in April. But he’s said to be healthy after a neck injury ended his 2019 season, and with many new pieces on the line the Seahawks wanted him back to provide veteran stability at left guard. All those new pieces means the Seahawks have more options this year if Iupati is injured or shows signs of age.
23. Kicker Jason Myers
Why he’s ranked here: Never underestimate the importance of a kicker. Myers wasn’t spectacular in his first year in Seattle, but he wasn’t bad. He was 17-for-17 inside the 40-yard line and hit the key kicks to beat the 49ers on the road. All that’s needed is a little more consistency on the kicks 40 and longer (he was 6-for-11 on those) and PATs (40-for-44).
22. Punter Michael Dickson
Why he’s ranked here: There was really no way for Dickson, in Year 2, to match all he did in Year 1, and that led to the idea he was disappointing in 2019. Dickson admitted he was pressing early in the year. But he rebounded in the second half and tied the Seahawks’ record for downing punts inside the 20-yard line (34). Still no reason to think he’s not going to be the punter here for a decade or two.
21. Running back Carlos Hyde
Why he’s ranked here: Some observers were surprised when the team signed Hyde in May. They shouldn’t have been, given Carroll’s philosophy and the injury concerns of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. The Seahawks want to avoid what happened last year when injuries ravaged the position. Hyde has typically been durable, playing 13 or more games with 172 or more carries each of the past four years.
20. Tight end Will Dissly
Why he’s ranked here: Dissly is said to be on track for the start of the regular season after suffering an Achilles tendon injury in October at Cleveland. Dissly did enough in six games last season that he still finished as the team’s fifth-leading receiver with 23 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns.
19. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar
Why he’s ranked here: It’s still unclear if Dunbar will be available for the season — or how much of it, anyway, because he as been charged with four felony counts of armed robbery in connection with an incident in Miramar, Florida, in May. But assuming he is, Dunbar is expected to take over the starting right-cornerback spot and solidify a secondary that wasn’t quite LOB-esque a year ago.
18. Right tackle Brandon Shell
Why he’s ranked here: Shell might not have been at the top of Seahawks fans’ list of offensive line free-agent targets. But the Seahawks moved aggressively to get Shell to replace Germain Ifedi at right tackle, giving him $5.1 million guaranteed over two years with the hope he’ll be an upgrade.
17. Defensive end Darrell Taylor
Why he’s ranked here: Yep, I’m ranking Taylor — the Seahawks’ second-round pick — higher than Brooks because Taylor appears to have a clearer path to making an immediate impact as a pass rusher. The Seahawks have said they thought about taking Taylor in the first round before deciding to draft Brooks, gambling they could still get Taylor. Now it’s time for Taylor to prove he’s worthy of their faith.
16. Defensive end Benson Mayowa
Why he’s ranked here: Mayowa, who began his career with Seahawks in 2013, returns with the hope he can replicate the career-high seven sacks he had in 15 games last year with the Raiders. Mayowa turns 29 in August, and the Seahawks think they are getting him back as he’s hitting the prime of his career, similar to their acquisition of Chris Clemons when he turned 29 in 2010.