The Seattle Seahawks have a very good roster, but what's especially nice and hopeful about their team is that the vast majority of current Seahawks are young and signed through 2017, at least. This series leading up to the regular season opener on September 11 will take a closer look at 30 such players, all of whom won't be turning 30 this year.
Player: Garry Gilliam, OT
How acquired: UDFA in 2014 out of Penn State
Free agent: 2018
I wrote an article back in April arguing that a comparison to Jason Peters for Gilliam was premature, but definitely not out of the question. Gilliam is more athletic than the vast majority of offensive tackles and he seemed adequate at right tackle last season despite not having much experience at the position after converting from being a college tight end, but the only way to know for sure if he could protect Russell Wilson’s blindside was to put him out there for a while.
After a couple weeks of training camp, the Seahawks may still not be comfortable with answering that question with a definitive “Yes.”
Gilliam was not active for the first day or two of camp because of a minor injury or perhaps just some knee soreness, but returned when pads were put on and few remarks were made about his play in either the positive or negative regard. Then suddenly players like George Fant, Bradley Sowell, and Rees Odhiambo were getting snaps at first-team left tackle as well. I realize that the team wants to try out different combinations of players and you can’t read too much of anything into the first couple weeks of camp, but let’s not forget that Gilliam is a first-year left tackle. You telling me that Fant and Odhiambo need those snaps? Gilliam needs those snaps. If he’s got that job locked down, he really needs those snaps.
I am still fully in support of Gilliam and his potential, but whether or not he can handle one of the most important jobs in football — protecting the left side of a true franchise QB — might end up being a trial-by-fire. If he’s not the future at left tackle for Seattle though, maybe it just means one of these other players (or a certain rookie guard/tackle) is.
Here’s a drill in which Gilliam must catch cards being thrown at him: