It’s never easy to project the Seattle Seahawks 53-man roster because of the unorthodox head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll gives everyone an equal shot of making the team, whether they are an incumbent starter with a hefty contract or an undrafted free agent. This projection is a best guess of what Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider will deem as their 53 best football players heading into the 2017 season.
Seattle Seahawks Roster Projection – Offense
Russell Wilson is the obvious starter for the Seahawks. He’s started every game since his rookie year in 2012. He’ll be looking to bounce back from a subpar season marred by injuries and inconsistency.
Austin Davis is the leader in the clubhouse for the backup role to Wilson. With last year’s backup Trevone Boykin dealing with multiple offseason arrests, Davis is the safer pick to make the team. Although Boykin is a better athlete and resembles Wilson’s playing style, Davis has more experience, is more accurate, and makes fewer mistakes.
Eddie Lacy will get the first crack at the starting running back job in Seattle. He has a similar bruising running style to Marshawn Lynch. If he can stay healthy and keep his weight down, he should return to his 2013 and 2014 form in which he rushed for over 1000 yards.
Thomas Rawls will look to bounce back from a disappointing 2016 season. After a breakout 2015 campaign, Rawls was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play last season. The Seahawks like his talent, but he’ll probably be the backup to Lacy. Since he has a similar running style to Lacy, he might get fewer opportunities than him and third down specialist C.J. Prosise.
- C.J. Prosise
The Seahawks were intrigued by what they saw out of Prosise during his rookie campaign. Although he missed most of the season due to injuries, he flashed elite potential when healthy. Prosise will likely be the Seahawks third down running back. He excelled as a receiver out of the backfield and showed potential as a between-the-tackles runner.
Alex Collins is also heading into his second season. He didn’t have many opportunities to shine as a rookie, but has a skill set that the Seahawks desire. He’s a bruising running back just like Lacy and Rawls. Although he won’t see many carriers if the other running backs are healthy, they’ll likely keep him on the roster due to the injury concerns of Lacy, Rawls, and Prosise.
- Kyle Coleman
The Seahawks have two fullbacks on their roster, rookies Algernon Brown and Kyle Coleman. I’ll give Coleman the edge because of youth. Right now it’s anyone’s guess who wins this job, but I’ll give the 23 year old an edge over his 25 year old counterpart.
Wide Receivers: (5)
Doug Baldwin will be the Seahawks top receiver in 2017 once again. Coming off of back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, Baldwin will be Wilson’s top target. He’ll primarily work out of the slot, but will play on the outside on occasion.
Tyler Lockett will try to bounce back after a gruesome injury ended his 2016 campaign. He’s likely in line for the number two receiver position behind Baldwin. Both Lockett and Baldwin do their best work out of the slot, but both can move outside and win against bigger cornerbacks too.
Paul Richardson will look to build on an impressive playoff run that was full of spectacular catches. The talent has always been there, but he’s never been able to stay healthy. Maybe this is the year for Richardson to finally have a breakout season.
The Seahawks’ 2017 third round pick will be the reason fan favorite Jermaine Kearse doesn’t make the roster. Kearse struggled last year, and hasn’t ever been a good receiver for Seattle except during a few playoff runs. Darboh is much more talented, younger, cheaper, and has more upside. He should get every chance to be a starting receiver.
Tanner McEvoy is one of the Seahawks’ best special teamers. He played quarterback, safety, running back, and receiver in college. As an undrafted free agent in 2016, the Seahawks tried him at safety first before switching to receiver. His versatility is extremely important to Seattle’s coaching staff, and will help him make the team.
Tight Ends: (3)
Jimmy Graham will be the Seahawks’ starting tight end in 2017. After an up-and-down season that culminated in a Pro Bowl berth, Graham will be looking to produce like he did in his first four years in New Orleans. Graham will be a free agent next year. It will be beneficial for both Graham and the Seahawks if he has another stellar year.
The Seahawks re-signed Luke Willson in the off-season to a one year deal. He’ll return to Seattle as the number two tight end behind Graham. He’ll be competing with second year tight end Nick Vannett for the backup job.
2016 third round pick Nick Vannett will attempt to crack the roster in 2017. He’s all but a lock to make the team, but might not get much playing time. He struggled to see the field in 2016, and will need to make improvements and stay healthy if he wants take the backup job from Willson.
Offensive Linemen: (8)
After an abysmal rookie season, George Fant will be the favorite to win the Seahawks left tackle job. It’s hard to fathom that the Seahawks gave an undrafted rookie basketball player the left tackle position as a rookie. The left tackle is arguably the second most important position behind the quarterback. Fant played better than most would in his situation, and has athletic traits that the Seahawks like. He’ll need to make drastic improvements to help keep Wilson upright and healthy.
Last year’s first round pick had his rookie struggles. Ifedi showed flashes of brilliance, but underwhelmed more often than not. He played as a right guard last season, and is the favorite to become the Seahawks’ starting right tackle. Ifedi is a great athlete, but will need to improve his technique and consistency this season.
After stints at offensive tackle and guard, Justin Britt finally found a home at center. He struggled before last season, but became Seattle’s most consistent offensive lineman. That isn’t saying much, but he’s the only starter that wasn’t a major disappointment on the offensive line last season. The Seahawks will need another solid season out of Britt.
The Seahawks signed Luke Joeckel to a one-year deal this offseason. Coming off of a knee injury, the former second overall pick has a lot to prove. Offensive line coach Tom Cable claimed that Joeckel was one of the best guards in the NFL last season before getting injured, but that’s a bunch of hogwash. Joeckel was terrible last season, just like he’s been every year as a left tackle or left guard. Joeckel will get a chance to play either position on the left side of the offensive line.
The 2015 fourth round pick will get every chance to take over for Germain Ifedi and start at right guard. Glowinski is a mauler and has elite strength, but he’s inconsistent with his technique, especially in pass protection. The Seahawks offensive line cannot afford to let Russell Wilson take a beating, so Glowinski will have to improve if he wants to remain a starter.
The Seahawks’ 2017 second round pick will get every chance to start on the offensive line. It’s extremely likely that he’ll become a starter at some point, but it might not be right away. As a 6’7″ offensive lineman, he probably won’t be a center like he was during his final year at LSU. Wilson is a short quarterback, so having a giant center in front of him might not be beneficial. Pocic has experience playing tackle and guard in college, so he’ll get a look there with the Seahawks. He might be second in line for all five offensive line positions.
Joey Hunt will likely be the backup to starting center Justin Britt. Although Ethan Pocic played center in college, he’s more likely to be a tackle or guard with the Seahawks. But if the Seahawks want to save a roster spot, they might keep Pocic as their backup and cut Hunt if he underperforms during camp. Hunt cannot afford to struggle if he wants to keep his job.
- Jordan Roos
The rookie undrafted free agent has impressed during his time with the Seahawks. Seattle has been known for keeping multiple undrafted free agents every year, including sometimes cutting draft picks to keep them. This would be the case if the Seahawks keep Roos over sixth round pick Justin Senior. Offensive line coach Tom Cable has been impressed with Roos, who was a right guard in college. He’ll get a chance to start at guard as a rookie, but won’t likely win the job out of camp.