The Seattle Seahawks will open training camp on Thursday with a roster 90 players deep, as the road to the 2019 regular season begins. A number of transactions should be expected in the coming days and weeks, but for the most part, the core of the 2019 roster is already in place. Who will make up the fringes will be decided over the course of the next month. With camp opening, it’s time to take our first swing at the Seahawks’ 53-man roster for opening day.
QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
At the very least, the much-maligned Smith has proven to be a borderline serviceable quarterback in the NFL. Lynch has not. Smith will give Seattle their best option behind Wilson since Tarvaris Jackson, and he should win the competition with ease.
Cut: Paxton Lynch
RB: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, J.D. McKissic, Nick Bellore
Carson and Penny are obvious choices, and will give the run-heavy attack a dynamic 1-2 punch in 2019. Time could be up on C.J. Prosise, as the rookie Homer has all the tools to develop into a serviceable passing down back. McKissic, despite being almost entirely ignored upon his return to health in 2018, can provide the Seahawks with Homer insurance and contribute on special teams. Tre Madden remained on the roster last season and almost exclusively played special teams; Bellore should fit a similar role, as Seattle keeps a fullback in 2019.
Cut: Bo Scarbrough, C.J. Prosise
WR: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, David Moore, Jaron Brown, Gary Jennings, Keenan Reynolds
Though the Seahawks will begin training camp without a clear cut starter beyond Lockett, this group offers great flexibility and potential. Moore, Metcalf and Brown, who has drawn a tremendous amount of praise, are three legitimate outside threats (to varying degrees). Both Jennings and Reynolds can afford Seattle the ability to feature Lockett outside and in the slot, as they did in 2018. John Ursua, another 2019 draft pick and an option inside, is a likely practice squad candidate, as is Jazz Ferguson.
Cut: Malik Turner, Caleb Scott, Amara Darboh, Jazz Ferguson, Terry Wright, John Ursua, Daniel Williams
TE: Will Dissly, Ed Dickson, Jacob Hollister
Though the PUP list to begin the season would’ve been a fair expectation for Dissly, the early reports on his status are promising. Dissly and Dickson give the Seahawks two well rounded tight ends ahead of Hollister, who can provide the team with a more dynamic option at the position. Nick Vannett survives cuts somehow, someway, every season, but if Dissly is healthy, it’s tough to envision that happening again.
Cut: Nick Vannett, Tyrone Swoopes, Justin Johnson
T: Duane Brown, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones
With Elijah Nkansah rounding out the position coming into camp, this one shakes out quite simply.
Cut: Elijah Nkansah
iOL: Justin Britt, Phil Haynes, D.J. Fluker, Mike Iupati, Jordan Simmons
The simplicity of the tackle spot allows Seattle to go with an extra interior lineman, where they are quite deep. Britt and Fluker are nailed on starters, while Haynes should push Iupati if he comes off the PUP list early enough in camp. Simmons’ ability to stay healthy is a massive question, but the running game’s performance with him in the lineup last year was terrific. Undrafted rookie Demetrius Knox is an intriguing prospect, but the interior is crowded—practice squad is a possibility. Former second round pick Ethan Pocic will likely be crowded out, as well.
Cut: Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt, Jordan Roos, Marcus Martin, Demetrius Knox
DT: Poona Ford, Jamie Meder, Al Woods, Earl Mitchell
Even after adding Mitchell on Wednesday, one gets the sense this group isn’t complete yet. Ford is a nailed on starter, and as it stands, Mitchell or Woods should fill in next to him for the first six games while Reed serves his suspension. Seventh round pick Demarcus Christmas is another practice squad candidate.
Cut: Demarcus Christmas, Bryan Mone, Jay-Tee Tiuli
EDGE: Rasheem Green, Ezekiel Ansah, Jacob Martin, L.J. Collier, Nazair Jones, Quinton Jefferson
Thankfully for the Seahawks, Green, Collier, Jones and Jefferson will all help to make up for the utter lack of dynamism inside as 5-techs capable of reducing. Ansah’s availability for the start of camp is a huge boost, and Martin should project opposite him on passing downs.
Cut: Branden Jackson, Cassius Marsh
LB: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Shaquem Griffin, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven
Wagner, Wright and Kendricks will give Seattle three above average starters in an era where just two are needed; with Wright’s knee issue, that’s great. The decision to flip Griffin from the weakside to the strongside seems to be paying off already, and it will make Barkevious Mingo expendable. The Seahawks can save $4.1 million by moving on from Mingo, something they were likely prepared to do in the spring—they just didn’t need the cap space, so there was no harm in keeping him. Should they need the numbers elsewhere, Burr-Kirven is certainly a practice squad candidate.
Cut: Barkevious Mingo, Austin Calitro, Emmanuel Ellerbee, Justin Currie
CB: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi, Neiko Thorpe, Akeem King
Griffin and Flowers will be the team’s starting corners in 2019 barring any injury, while Amadi has all the tools to be the third man, beating out King—who proved to be quite serviceable late last season—and Jamar Taylor for the nickel spot. Neiko Thorpe will return in his role as heat-seeking missile on special teams.
Cut: Jamar Taylor, Kalan Reed, Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas, Davante Davis
S: Bradley McDougald, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, Tedric Thompson
The most pressing question at safety seems to be who will start next to McDougald. All signs point to it being Blair, should he be able to return to the field early enough. Depending on how the numbers play out, perhaps Shalom Luani sticks for another season as a special teamer.
Cut: Shalom Luani, Marwin Evans, Jalen Harvey
Specialists: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
No ill-fated kicker competition this time around, all three spots are settled.