Preliminary Seahawks Depth Chart and Projecting the Final 53 Man Roster: Secondary

Tape analysis is the core of this site. I play around with some other stuff, but there is nothing I derive as much meaning or content from as actual game tape. The preseason starts this Saturday. Starting this coming Sunday, you are going to be disgusted by the amount of Seahawks analysis I will be dropping. Disgusted.

Until then, we will wrap up the depth chart and 53 man preview. I am camping in Rainier Thursday and Friday. Then home for the debut. Then, the tapesplosion. I will schedule some preseason previews "what to watch for" kind of posts over the next couple days. Nothing terribly new, but I will attempt to frame stuff like scouting Charlie Whitehurst, determining where the pass rush will come from and figuring out the committee backfield.

First, let's wrap this series up.

Right Cornerback

Starter: Marcus Trufant

Backup: Kelly Jennings

In the mix: Walter Thurmond, Kennard Cox, Marcus Brown

Thurmond could surpass Jennings. Jennings gets the nod because corners tend to endure a baptismal by fire and Jennings gets burned in less unsightly ways than a rookie is wont. He teases cover and then poof. If Thurmond is good to go and shows solid ability in preseason, Jennings might stick at left corner and Thurmond could step up as the primary depth behind Trufant.

I don't have a strong feel for the depth. Cox didn't impress me and I do not remember seeing Brown. Josh Pinkard is the best talent, but I do not sense he is that close to returning. The Seahawks secondary has quality top-level depth but it disintegrates quickly.

Left Cornerback

Starter: Kelly Jennings

Backup: Josh Wilson

In the mix: Thurmond, Roy Lewis, Cord Parks

I haven't written Jennings off, but at his current level, he won't hold the job through the season. He seems close and close is close, and close buys him another chance, but he's a couple regular season torchings from being shown the door.

Wilson is the better corner. His ability as a nickel corner curses him to situational duty. He could overtake Jennings and then Carroll would likely shift Jennings back to situational left corner, in snaps Wilson moves to nickel. It's a solid strategy and one Seattle might explore further if Thurmond steps up. A Thurmond-Wilson-Trufant nickel package would be all kinds of fun.

Strong Safety

Starter: Lawyer Milloy

Backup: Jamar Adams

In the mix: Jordan Babineaux, Kevin Ellison, Kam Chancellor

Barring a strong surge from Adams, Milloy is the week one starter. Milloy = Mike Sweeney. For non-Mariners fans, that means Milloy is an older player that hasn't entirely lost his ability but is valued as much for his presence and leadership as play. Adams could push to start but it's more likely he slowly breaks in as a backup and eventually overtakes Milloy as the team begins to focus on the future.

Adams' spot atop the backups is tenuous. Babineaux is, I believe, the listed second-string strong safety, but I think that is as much a nod to experience as an indication of his place on the depth chart. I have seen Ellison play some free safety, but constructing a scheme that works for Ellison (slow, bruising in-the-box safety) and Thomas (centerfielder with cornerback level ball skills) would be about impossible.

Chance just hasn't had a shot.

Free Safety

Starter: Earl Thomas

Backup: Jordan Babineaux

In the mix: Ellison, Chancellor

Thomas is so unlike the rest of Seattle's collection of safeties, Josh Wilson might be the most logical backup. Seattle needs him to stay healthy to execute their desired coverage scheme. Thomas is irreplaceable.

I think Seattle will start the season with Trufant, Jennings, Wilson, Thurmond, Milloy, Thomas, Adams and Babineaux. Babineaux is the utility defensive back, as he's always been. Ellison could be suspended. Chancellor needs to step up in a hurry to avoid the practice squad.

Only one more post to go, and that is the final projection of the Seahawks 53 man roster.

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