The NFL is in the midst of the third week of pre-season action, so final cut downs to 53-man rosters are right around the corner. In a new twist this season, teams can maintain 90 players on their pre-season rosters. Instead of the usual incremental reduction fans are used to, there will be one final whack from 90 to 53 immediately after teams finish their final pre-season game. Here is the Seattle Seahawks Roster Prediction for the offense.
Final Seattle Seahawks Roster Prediction: Offense
Quarterbacks (2): Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin
The Seahawks always keep just two quarterbacks on the active roster. Behind Wilson, the back-up job will go to Boykin – the second-year player out of Texas Christian. Austin Davis was signed in the off-season, but Boykin’s experience within the system and similar skill set as Wilson will keep him around. Boykin struggled in the third pre-season game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he isn’t going anywhere.
Running Backs (6): Eddie Lacy, Chris Carson, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Marcel Reece
Before training camp and the pre-season games, the discussion about Seahawks running backs centered on Lacy and Rawls. At this point, the discussion has transitioned to, “Has rookie seventh round pick Carson done enough to usurp the two veterans ahead of him on the depth chart?”
Carson has shown playbook awareness, ability in the receiving game, and stout running. The training camp hype about him seems legitimate.
I’m not ruling out Chris Carson, Week 1 starter at this stage.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) August 26, 2017
Lacy has been decent in his pre-season action, whereas Rawls has not played in the last two games. Rawls’ persistent struggle with health is a huge concern. Same goes for the electric C.J. Prosise, who seems to find a new way to miss practices and games with ailments every week. Neither Rawls nor Prosise can be counted on for longevity, so expect Lacy and Carson to see the bulk of the action.
The Seahawks normally only keep five running backs. However, durablity is more important than ability in the NFL. With lingering health concerns about Rawls and Prosise, it makes sense to keep one extra here. McKissic is in competition with Alex Collins and Mike Davis, but his Swiss Army Knife utility (runner, receiver, returner) gives him the nod. Head coach Pete Carroll has been effusive in his excitement about McKissic’s potential.
The fullback will be the veteran Reece, who re-signed when training camp opened.
Wide Receivers (6): Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Jermaine Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, Kasen Williams
Wide receiver is one of the more interesting roster battles for the Seahawks. At least, towards the bottom of the depth chart.
Baldwin, Lockett, Richardson, and Kearse are entrenched. That leaves 2017 third round pick Amara Darboh, McEvoy (second season), Williams (third season), and Kenny Lawler (second season) scrapping for the last two spots.
Although it would be highly unusual to give-up on a third round pick so soon, Darboh has not shown anything in game action. An injury in camp likely set him back, but it has been McEvoy and Williams making plays. Williams has shown keen instinct and toughness and special teams, which is exactly what needs to be accomplished to make the fringe spots of an NFL roster.
The Seahawks will likely waive Darboh and hope they can get him onto the practice squad, as they obviously like his talent. However, that is a risk since other teams can claim him off waivers. Perhaps they stash him on injured reserve with a “mysterious ailment”.
Lockett is still on the path of return from a terrible knee injury late last season, so keeping six receivers on the active roster makes sense as he gets back to full speed.
Tight Ends (3): Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett
Not much drama and intrigue here. Graham, Willson, and Vannett have no real competition when it comes to the final roster.
Offensive Lineman (8): Justin Britt, Luke Joeckel, Oday Aboushi, Rees Odhiambo, Germain Ifedi, Matt Tobin, Ethan Pocic, Mark Glowinski
Last but not least, the always … interesting … offensive line. This position group has been a major problem for the Seahawks the last few seasons. However, there has been some glimmer of hope in pre-season action. By a glimmer, I mean that Wilson is not in traction.
All cracking wise aside, the line looks better. The season-ending injury to left tackle George Fant in the second pre-season game against the Minnesota Vikings threw a monkey in the wrench. Fant was developing nicely and started to look the part. For now, Odhiambo is the first man up. Britt, who recently signed an extension to stay in Seattle, anchors the unit and will be flanked at the guard positions by veterans Joeckel and Aboushi. Aboushi, who signed from the Houston Texans in free agency, is fighting for the starting job with Glowinski.
Former first round pick Ifedi looks to be the starter at right tackle. Talented if not enigmatic, Ifedi seems to hold favor and grace from offensive line coach Tom Cable. 2017 second round pick Pocic has held up well, showing versatility and strength. Although rough around the edges, his ability to play center in case of an injury to Britt will likely mean the departure of back-up Joey Hunt. There is an outside chance the team keeps nine linemen on the final roster. If that happens, rookie undrafted signee Jordan Roos might have the inside edge.
The Seahawks recently traded for Tobin, but he is likely mostly a depth guy for now. He also has the ability to play both on the edge and the interior.