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: Kelcie McCray, S
Age: 28 in September
How acquired: Traded a fifth round pick to the Chiefs for him in 2015
Free Agent: 2017
Player: Tyvis Powell, S
How acquired: Undrafted out of THE Ohio State University in 2016
Free Agent: 2020
Doing something a little different in the Seahawks 30 Under 30 today as we take a look at two players battling for one spot on the 30 Under 30 preview. (Spoiler Alert: Looks like they both already made it, doesn't it? I guess I'm a cheater.)
The reason for this is that it can be difficult to assess which under-30 player could be seen as being more valuable or better or more-revered by the team. At first glance you may favor Powell because he's six years younger than McCray (bet you didn't realize how old McCray was) and is under team control for a longer period of time for considerably less money, but there's more to it than just that.
Seattle spent a fifth round pick on McCray last year and he came in to make three starts, registering 24 tackles in the final four games. It's my understanding that the coaches love him as well and that he could be seen as the heir apparent to Kam Chancellor, whose body has taken a serious beating over the last five years and is famously unhappy with his contract. They couldn't let go of McCray for any other reason other than they didn't feel they had enough room for both him and Powell and if Powell outplays him over the next six weeks.
Which could be an issue for McCray, since the team viewed Powell as being good enough to go in the fourth round this year and he may possess the versatility to backup both safety spots. (Though this is also seen as a weakness, because he could be more of a jack of all trades, master at none. Certainly not the type you might expect to replace one of your All-Pro safeties as a starter one day.) But it can be hard to assess pre-draft hype for both good reasons and bad; how many people projected Chancellor and Richard Sherman to be starters after the draft, let alone stars?
Coaches and NFL talent evaluators know a lot more about McCray right now and it's seems like the popular opinion is that he's good enough to start on this defense, if not star and be really good. But while Powell may not have the same kind of ceiling (or maybe he does), he's young, cheap, versatile, and his problems on the field may yet be fixable by Kris Richard and this coaching staff.
There could very well be room for both, but that probably spells bad news for Steven Terrell, another player who was seen as having a whole lot of potential but as of yet, has very little production.
An interview with Powell after the Senior Bowl:
Kelcie McCray 2013 highlights: