The Seahawks wrapped up their preseason on Thursday, defeating the Raiders in a game that was too close to overtime. Though as many as 31 players didn’t play, and almost the entire roster was solidified ahead of Week 4, there were a couple jobs to be won (and lost) on Thursday. Here’s our final roster projection ahead of the 2019 regular season.
QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
Smith played mostly great against the Raiders, shutting down any hope of the backup quarterback competition opening back up during the preseason finale. Assuming the injury that knocked him out of the first half isn’t serious, Seattle has their new backup to Wilson, and the safest option since Tarvaris Jackson.
#Seahawks' Pete Carroll says they will check out Geno Smith's knee and know more about it in the next couple of days— Chris Cluff (@CHawk_Talk) August 30, 2019
Cut: Paxton Lynch, J.T. Barrett
RB: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, C.J. Prosise
Both Homer and Prosise impressed against Oakland. Prosise has proven to still have his tantalizing ability, while Homer flashed the traits that would make him a risk on waivers. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see McKissic make the 53, but it’ll be difficult. Bellore seems fairly certain to return midweek, after corresponding moves have been made.
Cut: Bo Scarbrough, J.D. McKissic, Xavier Turner, Nick Bellore
WR: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, David Moore, Jaron Brown, John Ursua, Jazz Ferguson
The final tally for Gary Jennings this preseason isn’t great: Two personal fouls, one catch. The Seahawks seem set to cut their highest selected rookie in the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era, though he could very well land on the practice squad. Ferguson may not be long for the 53, and seems likely to end up on the practice squad eventually, but Moore and Metcalf’s injuries will necessitate his presence to start the season.
Cut: Gary Jennings, Malik Turner, Terry Wright, Keenan Reynolds, Nyqwan Murray, Kahlil Lewis
TE: Will Dissly, Ed Dickson, Jacob Hollister, Nick Vannett
Hollister again flashed the receiving upside he arrived to Seattle with against Oakland, squashing any doubts regarding his place on the 53. Dickson will be carried through cuts before the Seahawks make a decision on him, but it seems likely Seattle carries three tight ends for most of the season: Dissly, Hollister and Vannett.
Cut: Jackson Harris, Wes Saxton
T: Duane Brown, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones
With the top four tackles healthy and set for Week 1, there’s no room for another. Elijah Nkansah is a safe practice squad bet.
Cut: Elijah Nkansah, Brian Wallace, Will Holden
iOL: Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Mike Iupati, Ethan Pocic, Jordan Roos
The big disappointment is rookie Phil Haynes remaining on the PUP list to begin the regular season; instead of challenging for Iupati’s job, he missed his entire rookie camp and preseason. Perhaps the Seahawks just hang onto Roos, but for this projection, here’s more of a placeholder—iOL seems like a likely spot to upgrade over the weekend, whether it’s through trade or a waiver claim.
Cut: Jordan Simmons, Joey Hunt, Marcus Martin, Landon Turner
DT: Poona Ford, Al Woods, Earl Mitchell, Bryan Mone
Ford and Woods will start the season alongside one another, with Jarran Reed going on the suspended list. Behind them, it could go several different ways—Mone and Mitchell, Meder and Mone, Meder and Mitchell—none of which would be surprising. For this projection, the four remain from the last projection. Demarcus Christmas seems likely to remain on the PUP list, as well.
Cut: Jamie Meder
EDGE: Rasheem Green, Ezekiel Ansah, Jacob Martin, L.J. Collier, Cassius Marsh, Quinton Jefferson
Branden Jackson was Seattle’s best player on Thursday night, and very well could have played his way onto the 53. It’s just difficult to figure out where exactly. Marsh’s place seems the least secure, but the Seahawks need depth at LEO with Ansah’s Week 1 status uncertain. An option would be to carry three defensive tackles, with Jefferson, Collier, Jackson and Green all able to play inside, but that’s less than ideal.
Cut: Branden Jackson, Barkevious Mingo, Logan Tago
LB: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Cody Barton, Austin Calitro, Ben Burr-Kirven
The most notable movement from Thursday night comes at linebacker. Not only did Burr-Kirven have an outstanding, well-rounded game just when he needed it, but Shaquem Griffin seemingly re-aggravated the knee bruise that cost him games two and three. Though Griffin proved his special teams value when he was on the field, it just wasn’t enough to stick in a competitive group if he isn’t healthy. The practice squad would be ideal for Griffin, if he doesn’t end up on injured reserve.
Cut: Shaquem Griffin, Justin Currie, Jawuan Johnson, Juwon Young
CB: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, Jamar Taylor, Akeem King
Griffin, Flowers and Thorpe are secure. Taylor seemed to have won the nickel job last week, and that may be the case as long as he’s healthy. King would allow Seattle to play the matchup in the slot, with his ability to cover bigger receivers. DeShawn Shead’s action at cornerback the last two games threatens that idea, but in this projection, King wins out.
Cut: Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas
S: Bradley McDougald, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Tedric Thompson
The Seahawks can feel good about their top two at both safety spots. Shead may sneak in—really spots eight and nine (and maybe 10) in the secondary could go a number of ways. As for Hill, he’s the victim of a late start to the preseason and a crowded defensive backfield. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Seattle add to the secondary over the weekend.
Cut: Shalom Luani, Lano Hill, DeShawn Shead
Specialists: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
That makes 53.
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