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7 Seahawks who could surprisingly make the final 53-man roster

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NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks take on the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night at 7 PM PST, their final game of the 2016 preseason. It’s also the last opportunity for most of these guys to show the coaches they aren’t worth the risk of waiving. The Seahawks will have to say goodbye to at least 22 of the players currently on the roster and while most 53-man Seahawks projections are basically the same with the exception of three or four names, many of them don’t include the seven names below.

However, I think there’s still a chance for these players to stick around for at least Week 1 on September 11 against the Miami Dolphins.

You won’t see:

Jake Heaps, QB

Heaps has had an abysmal preseason (2.8 Y/A, passer rating of 40.2) and no matter what happens on Thursday, the backup job will go to Trevone Boykin or a veteran not currently on the team.

But you might see:

Troymaine Pope, RB

I know a lot of people are already counting Pope as in, but I don’t buy that. The team is basically set at running back on their roster already (Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael, Alex Collins, CJ Prosise, Will Tukuafu) and the only other guy around is Pope. He was free for anyone to sign after training camp had started when Seattle picked him up, so I don’t think it will be a huge deal for them to put him on the practice squad. That is unless he has a monster game against the Raiders and forces coaches to make a decision to keep him rather than risk him.

Pope has rushed for 6.9 yards per carry in the preseason on 16 carries.

Antwan Goodley, WR

Right now Goodley, Doug Baldwin, and Tyler Lockett are tied for the preseason team lead with six catches each. But Goodley has a fair shot to lead the team by preseason’s end since Lockett and Baldwin will sit most of this one out and Tanner McEvoy (five catches, 25.6 YPC) is doubtful with a groin injury. The 5’10, 210 lb former track star who was an All-American at Baylor has done everything right (from what we can see) this year and his NFL.com draft profile comparison was Jermaine Kearse. I think the WR5 spot is down to McEvoy and Goodley; Kenny Lawler just doesn’t seem to fit the WR5 mold and Kasen Williams has missed too much time. There’s a chance they keep both still.

Clayton Echard or Joe Sommers, TE

There’s a chance that the Seahawks could be rolling into Week 1 with only two tight ends on the roster (Luke Willson, Brandon Williams) if Jimmy Graham isn’t good to go, so don’t be surprised if the team keeps one of these tight ends around for an extra week or two until Graham and Nick Vannett are ready.

Kache Palacio, LB

The first time that Palacio told Carroll that he wanted to play for him was when the former Washington State linebacker was in the eighth grade. That dream came true when the Seahawks signed Palacio to help give depth the linebacker position during training camp, but he might be more than just a camp body. Palacio’s recorded three solo and six assisted tackles in the preseason while Kevin Pierre-Louis and the trio of SAM linebackers has mostly disappointed the fans (presumably also the coaches) this August in their attempt to replace Bruce Irvin. He’s a great bet to be placed on the practice squad and would probably pass through waivers, but given the fact that a lot of people are assuming the Seahawks could still target a linebacker on the wire due to a lack of depth at the position, maybe they just hold onto Palacio. A strong showing against Oakland could do wonders for Palacio — or any linebacker on the roster who isn’t Bobby Wagner or KJ Wright.

DeAndre Elliott, CB

Like any corner on the Seattle roster, Elliott has the length that Pete Carroll wants in a cornerback at 6’1 with 32” arms. In the last seven years, Carroll has almost exclusively built his secondary out of day three picks and undrafted free agents. We haven’t heard a ton from Elliott but maybe the coaches are quiet on him because they don’t want to alert the rest of the NFL to the newest gem they’ve found.

Steven Terrell, S

In all the talk about Kelcie McCray and Tyvis Powell being shoo-ins to make the final 53 (which I pretty much agree with), little gab is left over for Terrell. But he’s produced 14 tackles and a sack in three preseason games and is a vet prepping for his third season under Carroll with the Seahawks. McCray can backup Kam Chancellor, Powell can begin to mold himself into being the next S/CB like DeShawn Shead, and Terrell slides in perfectly behind Earl Thomas. I won’t be shocked to see Terrell making the final 53.