Nearly half of the preseason has almost gone by us and like every year, players everywhere are going Battle Royale on each other over depth chart movements and/or a spot on the 53 man roster by month's end. And, like every year, there are players who stood out in the field and made the team, those who soften and don't, and those who stood out and still didn't make the team. Just last year, over 850 players were cut during this process, and no doubt, teams like the Seahawks are going to be looking for potential diamonds in the rough.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider have consistently brought in players like these over that past two years and some of them have become capable starters or decent backups on the team. This has been a good way of maintaining depth and consistently keeping up with the mantra of "Always Compete." I scouted two players that I think will intrigue the FO a lot, and just might be their targets come cut day later on...
Richardson, a 6'2, 213 pound UDFA out of Vanderbilt, has been nothing but impressive over at the Packers' camp. His play-style is built around being a battering ram - great tackling skills, impressive speed and aggressive, but lacks coverage skills - similar to how Kam Chancellor was perceived a few years ago when he fell to the fifth round. Personally, I think Richardson is a developmental prospect that could be used in subpackage blitzing situations for a defense right now, and can also contribute on special teams as well (he was noted to have practiced with the #1's on ST).
After accepting a $5,000 signing bonus to play for Green Bay, Richardson has won over enough supporters at camp that the original plan (under Ted Thompson) to convert him to a 3-4 ILB has been temporarily scrapped. Totaling 8 tackles over the first two preseason games probably didn't hurt either. However, the decision, for now, to keep him at safety also leads him to a crowded fight for the last backup spot on the 53, and between him and incumbent Anthony Levine, it looks like Richardson may have to pass waivers and land on the PS - a advantage, perhaps, for a team like Seattle to swoop in and sign him. You know the Seahawks love their defensive backs, and they brought in several guys in Richardson's height/weight range prior to the Draft - George Iloka, Desmond Marrow, and of course, DeSean Shead.
Here are Richardson's college highlights:
Jonathan Grimes, RB, Houston Texans
Another UDFA, the 5'10, 209 Grimes was a legend at William and Mary, breaking countless records before signing with the Texans last April. Grimes possess impressive vision, quick lateral movement and runs low to the ground, some must-needed traits for any running in the ZBS. Grimes was reportedly was very impressive at Training Camp recently, drawing rave reviews from coaches and players alike. The small-school Grimes could also catch a few balls and return kicks/punts, which again, makes him very interesting as a potential player in the Seahawks system.
You might be wondering why a player who averaged 229 yards per game as a senior might be fighting for a spot at camp. Well, you can argue that with the Texans keeping both Arian Foster and Ben Tate on the roster, the third RB spot might be a bit crowded. Former Seahawk Justin Forsett and fellow UDFA Davin Meggett both have also impressed during camp, and many analysts believe that Grimes will most likely be a PS lock at best - despite a good performance against the Panthers last week.
Again, some highlights:
It may be true that both the Seahawks' situations at RB and S are far too crowded themselves for them to make any splash if the teams above do release them, but then again PC/JS has the mantra of always sniffing out every player, leaving no stone unturned and pretty much having every potential solution analyzed.
It might be optimistic, but remember that players like Breno Giacomini, Steven Hauschka and Brandon Browner were once in a position like that. Who knows how Richardson and Grimes might turn out when given the chance? They're on my watch list.