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Past Seahawks rosters and how they can guide projections for 2020

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Monday marks the final day of the second week since the Seattle Seahawks reported to training camp on Tuesday August 4, however, for many it may not feel like camp is actually taking place. With no preseason games in the NFL this year, along with no fans at training camp, it’s certainly a unique build up to the regular season. However, that does not mean that past roster breakdowns cannot be used in an attempt to discern how many players at each position the team will carry in 2020.

Thus, here is how the roster has been broken down in each of the ten seasons in which Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been together for the Hawks.

Initial Seahawks 53-man roster construction 2010-2019 by position

Position 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Initial 53 2016 Opener 2017 2018 2019
Position 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Initial 53 2016 Opener 2017 2018 2019
QB 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
RB 3 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 5 4
FB 2 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1
WR 5 6 6 5 7 6 5 5 5 5 7
TE 4 3 3 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 2
OL 10 10 9 10 9 9 9 9 10 9 9
Total Offense 26 26 25 24 25 25 24 25 26 25 25
DT 4 5 5 5 6 5 4 4 4 5 4
DE 5 4 4 5 5 4 4 5 4 5 5
LB 5 6 6 7 5 6 6 6 6 6 6
CB 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6
S 5 4 5 4 4 5 7 5 5 4 4
Total Defense 24 24 25 26 25 25 26 25 24 25 25
P 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
K 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
LS 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
250+ Special Teams Snaps N/A N/A LB(3), DB, FB LB(2), DB(2) LB(3), DB(2) DB(2), LB(2), FB ----- DE, TE, LB(2), DB(2) DB(2), LB(1), WR(1) LB(1), DE(1), CB(1), FB (1) LB(2), FB(1)

There are several things that can be learned from these past breakdowns, including the following:

  • The team carries extra player(s) at positions seeing significant turnover where starting spots are up for grabs and
  • The Hawks carry extra players at positions where core special teamers play.

The first of these is important to note for several reasons. The first is that it allows for fans and observers to predict where the team will be looking to carry extra depth, as positions could be in flux. In 2019 the team carried seven wide receivers for only the second time in the past ten years, which was exactly what they had done in 2014 as they were looking for Golden Tate’s replacement. For example, in 2020 the team has three of its top four wide receivers by 2019 snap counts returning, so it would seem a position unlikely to see more than the typical five spots allocated this year.

On the flip side, however, both the offensive and defensive lines are set to see very significant turnover from last season to this year, meaning they seem likely to allocate extra spots at those positions. This could also mean that the team might carry only three running backs - Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde and either Travis Homer or DeeJay Dallas - on the initial 53. One of either Homer or Dallas could probably slip through waivers to the practice squad, with Rashaad Penny also acting as a late season reinforcement when his knee is fully recovered.

In addition, the second bullet point means that a couple of key questions that the team will be looking to address during camp are regarding special teams. In 2019 Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven led the team with 317 and 306 special teams snaps, with Shaquem Griffin adding another 216. Thus, the addition of both Bruce Irvin and Jordyn Brooks could result in one of those three seeing their spot come into question, as the linebacking corps is largely set, but is also loaded with youngsters like Brooks, Barton, BBK and Shaquem.

Putting it all together, here’s how I would project the roster breakdown for the initial 53 man roster to look once teams make their cuts on September 5:

  • Quarterback: 2
  • Running Back: 3
  • Fullback: 1
  • Wide Receiver: 5
  • Tight End: 4
  • Offensive Line: 10
  • Defensive Line: 10
  • Linebacker: 6
  • Cornerback: 5
  • Safety: 4
  • LS/P/K: 1 each

With those projections laid out, Tuesday I’ll get into my 2020 53 man roster projection for the offensive side of the ball.