Locks: Garry Gilliam, Mark Glowinski, Germain Ifedi, J'Marcus Webb
Basic Locks: Rees Odhiambo, Justin Britt
On the bubble: Joey Hunt, Patrick Lewis, Kristjan Sokoli, Terry Poole, Bradley Sowell, George Fant, Kona Schwenke, Lene Maiava, Will Pericak
I think it's fair to say that it would be a surprise if Gilliam, Glowinski, and Ifedi weren't starters along the offensive line in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. For Glow, I just don't see where there's even any competition behind him ready to make a surprising jump up the depth chart by not one, but two guards. The same goes for Ifedi, but he's even more locked in since the Seahawks just used their first round pick on him and playing right guard might have the least amount of pressure for any of the offensive line positions.
Gilliam is someone who I think has the potential to be a very good, if not great, left tackle. He's also the only offensive lineman on this entire team who was a full-time starter last year and is set to even play the same position; and even then he's moving from the right side to the left. So unless Lewis wins the job at center, Seattle will actually be starting someone new at all five positions along the offensive line in 2016.
I almost put Webb as a "basic lock" because even though his salary is guaranteed, I could potentially see him not doing that well. But could I see him getting beat out by any of the guys behind him? It seems so far-gone unlikely that I'm calling Webb a lock.
I put Odhiambo as a "basic lock" only because I try to reserve my "lock" rating for someone who is virtually 100-percent guaranteed to be here. Could I see Pete Carroll cutting a late third round pick if he's just really struggling to adjust to the NFL level and it looks like he may never get there? Yes. He's done it with fourth round rookies before. So it's possible, but it would be shocking indeed.
Britt is someone who I thought might be as good as gone a few months ago, but now he's going to be the guy getting all the first team reps at center for a while it seems like, so every day that passes is another day that it looks set in stone that Britt will be the starting center. If Drew Nowak couldn't lose that position headed into 2015 despite all the signs pointing towards it being a bad idea, then why should it be any different for Britt, a former second round pick who has at least started 32 of 32 games now.
The Seahawks still have Lewis, Pericak, and Sokoli battling for the backup role at center plus the rookie Hunt, it's just a matter of choosing a guy with experience, a guy with insane athletic ability, the rookie they "had to have" in the draft, and Will Pericak. It's odd that they seem to dislike Lewis so much at this point even though he seemed to be so helpful last year, but he really must have zero upside. Sokoli is listed as a guard/center still on the team website, but Britt is still listed as a tackle only so who knows. It does seem like Sokoli has some versatility, but only because he was still a defensive lineman only a year ago. I could definitely see Sokoli and Hunt beating out Lewis.
Poole has the benefit of being drafted by the team a year ago while Sowell has the "veteran experience" that so few on this unit do. Maiava is an undrafted free agent rookie who has just one year of starting experience at the college level, playing right tackle for the Arizona Wildcats last season. Fant had been playing basketball up until last year at Western Kentucky, so he is also a longshot to make the roster or to be anything other than the 53rd man this season.
The guess: The Seahawks usually carried four backup offensive lineman last year. I'd call this season's unit as Gilliam, Glowinski, Britt, Ifedi, and Webb as the starters, plus Odhiambo, Hunt, Sokoli, and Sowell as the backups. Lewis is cut loose again, as they might expect him to be available anyway on waivers should they need him, while Fant and Maiava are put on the practice squad. The toughest cut was Poole but he didn't make the team last year either, you may remember. He would be the next guy up, I'd think. There may appear to only be "one true tackle" as a backup, but remember that Ifedi and Britt can play tackle in a pinch also.