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A 53 man roster projection for Seahawks offense as training camp ends

NFL: Seattle Seahawks Training Camp Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is over and just fifteen days remain until the Seattle Seahawks host the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football to open the 2022 season. With that in mind, teams across the NFL must trim their rosters down to 53 players prior to 4 PM New York Time on Tuesday, and then may sign players who clear waivers to the practice squad on Wednesday. That means there won’t be a whole lot of time for fans to digest the wave of roster moves that are coming, and that this will be one of the busiest weeks for news across the league since the draft.

In any case, here are the projections for the Seahawks offense.

Quarterback (2)
Keep: Geno Smith and Drew Lock
Cut: Jacob Eason

There is certainly no shortage of observers and fans across the league who expect the Hawks to make a move on adding at the quarterback position, whether that is for Jimmy Garoppolo when the San Francisco 49ers finally get around to moving on from him or someone else. If that proves to be the case, there’s no real reason to worry about losing Eason to the waiver wire, since based on what we saw during training camp and the preseason, he doesn’t seem to be a real factor in the discussion at quarterback in any case.

Running Back (4)
Keep: Rashaad Penny, Ken Walker, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer
Cut: Josh Johnson, Darwin Thompson and Ronnie Rivers

With the uncertainty surrounding Walker’s recovery from hernia surgery, it’s certainly possible the Hawks could look to keep an extra running back to start the year. However, it seems more likely that the team would turn to one of its other, versatile players in order to get through any period of time when Walker is unavailable. Specifically, Penny Hart lined up in the backfield for a snap against the Dallas Cowboys Friday and it would not be a surprise to see the team save a roster spot by turning to someone like Hart in an emergency.

Tight End (3)
Keep: Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson
Cut: Cade Brewer and Tyler Mabry

Dissly and Fant are no brainers, given their contracts, and it’s the third spot behind them that is up for grabs. Parkinson received a lot of praise during the preseason for his development as a player since the end of last year, and that showed through in his preseason performance. Four receptions for 43 yards during the three preseason games may not seem like a huge amount of production, but that is almost as much as he did on the field during his first two years in the league combined, as he has seven catches for 49 yards since being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Wide Receiver (4)
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dee Eskridge and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Cut: Freddie Swain, Aaron Fuller, Marquise Goodwin, Penny Hart, Cade Johnson, Kevin Kassis, Bo Melton and Dareke Young

There are, obviously, a ton of highly debatable decisions when it comes to this position group, but it likely comes down to the fact that the team can probably squeeze most of these players through waivers. Goodwin, in particular, is not subject to waivers, meaning there’s a very real chance he sees his contract terminated Tuesday, only to either come back to the team after 4:00 Wednesday or joins the practice squad. In either case, it would be somewhat of a surprise if he is not with the team in some capacity this season given his ability to stretch the field and provide injury protection for Eskridge.

As for the outcry that is about to come regarding Melton and Young, the simple fact of the matter is that of the hundreds of receivers waived at final roster cuts in 2020 and 2021 just six were claimed by other teams. Further, of those six receivers who were claimed by other teams, exactly zero [0] of them were rookies. So, is it a risk to expose them to the waiver wire? Sure, but it’s likely a risk the team can take given their performances during the preseason. Of all receivers across the entire NFL who had at least ten targets during the preseason, here’s a preview of the bottom five in drop rate on catchable targets.

  1. Aaron Fuller, Seahawks, 37.5%
  2. Jason Moore, Chargers, 33.3%
  3. Bo Melton, Seahawks, 30.0%
  4. Romeo Doubs, Packers, 27.3%
  5. Dareke Young, Seahawks 22.2%

This is not to say that any of these won’t ever amount to anything in the NFL, but there are reasons why Melton and Young were available as late in the draft as they were in spite of their speed and athleticism.

Interior Offensive Line (6)
Keep: Damien Lewis, Austin Blythe, Gabe Jackson, Dakoda Shepley, Kyle Fuller and Phil Haynes
Cut: Greg Eiland

The injury to Lewis is reportedly not as severe as originally feared, but that’s according to head coach Pete Carroll. That could mean that Lewis is a couple of weeks away and will be available in late September or October, or it could mean we’ll see him next year. Given that they have yet to move him to injured reserve, it would not be unexpected to see him stay on the 53-man roster through final cuts and then be moved to IR after 4:00 on Wednesday.

Tackle (4)
Keep: Charles Cross, Abe Lucas, Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan
Cut: Liam Ryan

There is not a lot up for debate at the tackle position. Cross is the unquestioned starter at left tackle, while Lucas appears likely to have won the battle to start at right tackle over Forsythe and Curhan. How well the rookie tackles perform during the season remains to be seen, but it’s a position that requires a lot of time to learn so it won’t be a surprise if there are growing pains. It will just be important for fans to remember that having two rookie tackles and the key will be focusing on the long term trend and avoiding the temptation to become overly hyperfocused on any short-term struggles that may come along.

That said, the first thing some fans are going to scream about is that this projection for the offense only includes 23 players. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a projection for the initial 53 man roster, and not how the roster is going to look at the end of the week after the team has wheeled and dealed at the cuts deadline and scoured the waiver wire with a fine tooth comb. It would surprise almost no one if there were to be significant roster shuffling after the initial roster is set, leading to the addition of a wide receiver or quarterback, making things more balanced.