The Seahawks released their preliminary depth chart on Monday in anticipation of Thursday's game against the Chargers, and while I honestly don't think this 'depth chart' means much of anything at all, I guess it's worth at least looking at it and making all kinds of frivolous assumptions about it. Blogging.
One note: This depth chart will undoubtedly change before the season starts. Also, 'positions' are kind of a funny thing, in that they're vague or misleading at times and/or slightly different depending on the scheme you're playing. I added some of the designations in in parentheses below - the Z receiver is also known as the flanker, the X is also known as the split-end; the LDE is the general term for the strong-side defensive end (or 5-technique) and the RDE the weakside end or LEO. Depending on the scheme and front the Hawks are playing, LOLB and ROLB can be right/left designations or strongside/weakside designations, and the two defensive tackles LDT/RDT or NT/3-technique can flip flop to opposing sides of the line. Oh, and also, apparently the LEO and the SAM linebackers are pretty much the same athlete and SAMs and LEOs can play either position, for the most part.
Maybe now you're seeing why talking about the depth charts is silly. Ok, now I think I'm ready to start.
Sidney Rice is the obvious starter at the Z position. Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin are technically Zs on this chart but are more likely slot receiver one and slot receiver two. That leaves Jermaine Kearse ostensibly backing up Sidney Rice. I guess.
At left tackle, you have Russell Okung, backed up by surprise tackle and surprise camp standout Alvin Bailey. Bailey has gotten great reviews from multiple sources this summer, and while he played 'strongside guard' (yes, I guess that's a thing in Arkansas) in college, his long arms and fluid athleticism seem to be serving him well on the blindside tackle spot. Technically, though, if Russell Okung were to go down for a series or two, or more, I might think that Paul McQuistan would kick over (assuming he is actually starting over James Carpenter) and play tackle and one of the backup guards would come in to play left guard, but again, that's why depth charts are kind of pointless.
At left guard, the Hawks have McQuistan ahead of Carpenter. Assuming Carp gets healthy and in shape by the season (big assumption, I realize), I'm fully expecting the Hawks to start their 2011 first-round pick to start at that spot. This means, really, that McQuistan will be the main backup at, likely, left tackle, left guard, and right tackle. That's a pretty damn valuable chip, something I'm very aware of even when I wonder if McQuistan will be a cap casualty.
3rd on the depth chart at LG is Rishaw Johnson, a guy that has also seen a lot of time in camp at right guard.
The depth chart at center - All Pro Max Unger, backed up by Lemuel Jeanpierre and rookie Jared Smith. I do know that John Moffitt has been getting reps at center as has tackle Mike Person. Jeanpierre can also play guard. Seems as though the depth at that spot is pretty fluid for the time being.
J.R. Sweezy (a completely different player than he was last year, per Tom Cable) gets the 'starter' designation this week, with John Moffitt nipping at his heels. Rookie Ryan Seymour sits third on the chart.
At right tackle, we have Breno, who Cable recently mentioned as a guy who has really improved over the offseason. Behind him is Mike Person and then rookie Michael Bowie. Bowie has been getting nice reviews in camp, but it looks like he'll have to leapfrog Person before the preseason is over in order to win a roster spot.
Tight end is pretty steady - Miller, Willson, McGrath. Helfet the question mark.
At the X-receiver spot - the split-end - we see Golden Tate as the starter, backed up by Stephen Williams (booyah), Phil Bates (interesting) and holding up the rear, rookie Chris Harper. Who knows what this means. With Percy out, it could come down to Williams, Bates and Harper for two spots. Shall be interesting.
QB: T-jack is ahead of Quinn. No surprise.
At fullback, Derrick Coleman still sits behind Michael Robinson on the depth chart, and Spencer Ware behind him. Ware has been playing some running back too though, so again, kind of a fluid situation. At running back, Robert Turbin still sits above Christine Michael on the depth chart.
On to the defense:
Noteable: Jesse Williams is listed as a 3-technique. Jordan Hill as a nose tackle. Jaye Howard as a 5-technique. Realistically, pretty much every player on the defensive line can play two spots, including the LEO/SAMs.
Tony McDaniel projects as the starter at 3T, and that battle with Williams should be interesting to watch in the preseason. A platoon of sorts is likely, as well.
At LEO, Chris Clemons is the obvious 'one', followed by Cliff Avril, Mike Morgan, and Benson Mayowa. Both Morgan and Mayowa are said to be having great camps, so while we did (we do) think the depth at that spot is a little light with the injury to Clemons and the suspension of Irvin, some of these lesser-known guys could come to the forefront and produce, much like Clemons did in his first season here.
At SAM, Malcolm Smith is still listed as the starter, followed by Bruce, O'Brien Schofield, and Korey Toomer. That is a damn athletic group of players right there.
At WILL, surprisingly, Kyle Knox is listed above John Lotulelei. This is a battle that I will be watching closely in preseason games, because both players are very athletic and aggressive. Knox looks quick out there, just based on the two training camp practices I attended, and may factor into the equation this year.
Allen Bradford is going to make this roster. There I said it. He's currently ahead of Farwell and I don't see any reason he doesn't hold that spot. Bradford can be a key contributor on special teams, as Farwell was last year. Craig Wilkens doesn't appear to have much of a shot at the roster at this point, though things can change of course.
The defensive secondary. The LOB.
Winfield and Thurmond are vying for the 'starting' nickelback role (oxymoron). Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, and Will Blackmon are all apparently having great training camps. How the CB position shakes out by week one will be intriguing.
DeShawn Shead is the darkhorse of the safety position - Seattle needs someone to back up Earl Thomas, and I'm not sure it's Chris Maragos. I'm not sure it's Shead either. I'm not sure Winston Guy makes the roster. I'm not sure of much when it comes to safety depth.
Will Blackmon listed at KR. Jeremy Lane and Bryan Walters behind Blackmon. As I said the other day, I think Lane eventually wins this job.
Golden Tate at PR. Bryan Walters backs him up. I would guess that if Walters doesn't make the team (nor Blackmon), that Christine Michael may return punts. Michael looks physically a little bit like Neon Leon out there returning kicks.