The Seahawks were a very young team in 2012, and after the 2013 Draft, that should remain true into 2013 and beyond. I have attached a chart that shows the Seahawks by age, using data from Seahawks.com as of May 1st, 2013. Obviously, as time progresses, players will have birthdays and this chart will be outdated - for instance, Earl Thomas turns 24 years old on May 7th, 2013.
That being said, it shows how the roster is constructed. It also foreshadows the future.
I put the offensive players at the top in Green and the defense at the bottom in Blue. Specialists are at the very bottom in Grey. The players that I suspect may not make the 53 man roster are in white. Don't get hung up too much on who makes the roster and who doesn't on this chart; after all, it's only May, and we really have no idea which players are going to stand out, and which players are going to fade. We also don't know how injuries may progress.
I had to pick 25 offensive players and 26 defensive players (including Clemons, who I believe will start on the PUP list, and this chart reflects that) and 3 specialists. I did my best. (Click to embiggen)
As you can see, the older players on the roster will have to battle for spots.
Additionally, the players in YELLOW are players with only one more year left of club control. For cap reasons, and for club control reasons, it may be advantageous to the Seahawks to replace some of them a year early - it takes the pressure off a bit in the 2014 offseason. Getting out in front of your roster holes is just good business.
I have said this before, but only three teams in 2013 had less than 10 Unrestricted Free Agents going into the 2013 Offseason: the Packers, Eagles, and Seahawks. I suspect the Seahawks will build the roster in a manner in which, by September 2013, they have less than 10 Unrestricted Free Agents on the 50-Man Roster (I don't get too hung up on Gresham and Hauschka being Unrestricted, but there could be more than 10 if you count the Specialists on the 53-Man Roster).
2013 Unrestricted Free Agents for the Seahawks included: Jason Jones, Alan Branch, Leroy Hill, Marcus Trufant, Frank Omiyale, Steven Hauschka, Deon Butler, Cameron Morrah... I don't count Braylon Edwards, Chukwurah, Longwell etc...)
Tough decisions on roster cutdown day:
Pete Carroll and John Schneider are going to have some really tough calls to make by the time the end of the preseason rolls around - and here are some of the decisions I faced while constructing my mock final 53-man roster:
Again, I have said it before, the two players that make over $2M that may be cap casualties are one of Michael Robinson or Paul McQuistan. I actually think, because Seattle was unable to draft an OT early in the Draft, McQuistan may be safer at this point. Robinson may have an uphill battle versus Spencer Ware.
I also think Heath Farwell gets a Farewell, and he may be replaced by a Ty Powell or a Korey Toomer, or perhaps a John Lotulelei.
It was hard to pick between Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald, as both have only one year of club control - I went with McDaniel making it, but who knows, some believe the Seahawks really like McDonald. Jaye Howard could be the odd man out, for all I know.
Safety was hard to pick too, I ended up moving Chris Maragos off and keeping Jeron Johnson and Winston Guy (I know they are both strong safeties). I am sure Carroll has a plan for backup safety.
I could see the Seahawks re-signing Michael Bennett and possibly Golden Tate, depending on how they perform in 2013. That being said, the YELLOW, especially the YELLOW players that make the 53-man roster, are a signal toward the needs in the 2014 offseason and 2014 Draft.
In 2014 you will likely need to draft a nickel corner, a higher end offensive tackle, possibly a backup QB, and a TE to replace Anthony McCoy. A WR may be an important option high in the draft. It would probably be wise to spend another pick in 2014 on a depth safety and perhaps another traditional 4-3 linebacker depending on how all these young bucks perform.