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53-man roster projection 2.0

Pete Carroll and John Schneider (2018) Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The first 53-man roster projection for the 2020 season landed just before training camp began. It’s only fitting, then, that the second version lands before training camp really begins. Starting Wednesday, the Seahawks can take to the field for three-and-a-half hours per day in helmets and shells, before padded practices begin on Monday. Once on-field work begins, we should get a better idea of developing storylines across the roster. For now, we’ll continue to fly blind. Without further ado:

QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith

Wilson and Smith remain locked in, with the UDFA Anthony Gordon headed to the 16-man practice squad.

As the regular season gets closer and closer, coaches continue to indicate they will handle the QB room in an especially unique manner. Seattle’s own Pete Carroll is included in that group, telling Peter King that Wilson and Smith would not be in the same meeting room this season. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Seahawks, along with most teams, keep three quarterbacks this season. For now, however, it remains just Wilson and Smith on the 53.

Cut: Anthony Gordon

RB: Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas

Little has changed here since camp began, with the exception of Anthony Jones’ release. Rashaad Penny will head to the PUP list and likely remain there to begin the regular season, emerging late in the year.

Cut: Anthony Jones, Nick Bellore

WR: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, Penny Hart, John Ursua

The obvious question mark at wide receiver is Ursua, who confirmed Monday he tested positive for COVID-19, which led to his placement on the reserve/COVID list. The lasting effects of that positive test are anyone’s best guess at the moment, but he remains on the 53 here as a placeholder of sorts. Should Josh Gordon return to Seattle upon reinstatement, he will claim one of Hart or Ursua’s roster spot. If Ursua is 100 percent healthy in that scenario, Hart will be the odd man out.

Cut: Freddie Swain, Cody Thompson, Aaron Fuller

TE: Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister

In the first roster projection, this position group was made up of Dissly, Olsen, Colby Parkinson, and Stephen Sullivan. Why the changes?

It seems more likely than not that Parkinson, a fourth-round selection this year, begins the season on the PUP list. Stephen, meanwhile, is raw and still between positions, having made the switch to tight end late in his career at LSU. Without any preseason and only limited practice time, it’s too much of an ask for him to crack the 53 (though he’s another practice squad lock, in this scenario).

I’m cheating a bit by including Hollister here because I anticipate he will be cut during the trim from 80 to 53. At a cap hit over $3.2 million, there’s no way the Seahawks can justify paying him that—but neither can the other 31 teams who will get a chance when he’s placed on waivers. After he clears, he’ll return to Seattle as a useful third tight end on a much more palatable deal.

Cut: Stephen Sullivan, Luke Willson, Tyler Mabry

OT: Duane Brown, Jamarco Jones, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi

Nothing has changed here, though Jones’ place may have become even more secure following Warmack’s opt out, due to his positional versatility.

Cut: Chad Wheeler, Tommy Champion

iOL: Mike Iupati, Phil Haynes, B.J. Finney, Ethan Pocic, Damien Lewis, Jordan Simmons

The Seahawks’ interior offensive line is fairly easy to sort through, but it’s fair to wonder if they’ll try to add another option with Simmons’ health remaining entirely unconvincing. In the middle, there’s always the potential a trade arises to send Pocic into a more suitable system but for now, he remains the obvious backup center.

Cut: Kyle Fuller

EDGE: Bruce Irvin, Rasheem Green, Darrell Taylor, Benson Mayowa, L.J. Collier, Alton Robinson, Shaquem Griffin

Though Seattle re-signed Branden Jackson after initially releasing him, it’s still difficult to see how he cracks the roster. Their group of EDGEs remains crowded and Jackson does little to push anyone out.

Cut: Eli Mencer, Marcus Webb, Branden Jackson

DT: Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Cedrick Lattimore, Bryan Mone

The Seahawks continue to sniff around veteran defensive tackles, certain to add one eventually but are yet to do so. Though one of Lattimore or Mone should make the 53, both serve as placeholders as of now and could be on the outs, depending on where the eventual signing fits.

Cut: Demarcus Christmas

LB: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven

Seattle seems to be in little rush to add to a shallow linebacker corps, and understandably so with such flexibility. Everyone, with the exception of Wagner, can play multiple spots, while Irvin and Griffin—listed at EDGE—can see snaps at SAM, as well.

Cut: N/A

CB: Shaquill Griffin, Quinton Dunbar, Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi, Neiko Thorpe

Dunbar is off the commissioner's exempt list and thus, listed here. A suspension may yet be handed down to the Seahawks’ new cornerback but for now, he is penciled in for Week 1. With three players capable of starting on the outside in Griffin, Dunbar, and Flowers, Seattle could consider releasing the special teams standout Thorpe in favor of a younger player with upside, such as Gavin Heslop. For now, he retains his place.

Cut: Gavin Heslop, Ryan Neal, Debione Renfro, Kemah Siverand, Linden Stephens, Jayson Stanley

S: Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Lano Hill, Marquise Blair

Since he signed with the club as a UDFA, I’ve had former Baylor Bear Chris Miller projected to backup Diggs. My conviction has lessened. Hill was given a vote of confidence by John Schneider in a conversation with Peter King following the acquisition of Adams, with blame for his poor 2019 seeming to fall on his season-ending hip injury the year prior. Hill and Blair both have versatility on their side as backups, in addition to the special teams contributions Hill has made since he was a rookie. Miller should stick around on the practice squad.

Cut: Chris Miller

Specialists: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott