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Seahawks announce initial 53-man roster: Quick takeaways and analysis

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks made the roster cuts to get to the 53-player limit ahead of the start of the 2022 NFL regular season. There weren’t too many surprises thrown our way but keep in mind that this is just the initial roster, and as soon as Wednesday we can expect this roster to change some more.

Here are some quick thoughts on Tuesday’s decisions:

Dareke Young’s potential and athletic traits outweigh preseason drops

I admit I didn’t think Dareke Young was going to make the roster. The Lenoir-Rhyne talent did catch a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers and seemed to have good chemistry with Drew Lock in particular. Like many other Seahawks receivers, he had a couple of drops that were glaring, but he was able to survive them and make the team.

Of course, preseason games aren’t the sole indicator of player assessment, and Young drew a lot of praise in training camp. When you factor in the special teams snaps and his outstanding Relative Athletic Score (RAS), I think he was the one who made Freddie Swain expendable.

As an aside: while Swain’s preseason was disappointing, I believe he’ll be able to find work on another team very quickly.

Coby Bryant has the inside track to start at nickel

It’s very possible that Justin Coleman returns to the roster and that his release was just a salary workaround, but from the way preseason has played out I think the rookie from Cincinnati will end up being the Day 1 starting slot corner. Marquise Blair was let go, Coleman’s preseason performances were not very good, paving the way for Bryant to win the job. Consider me a fan of this move if that is the case.

The Seahawks will be looking around for inside linebackers

The depth below Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton is... I mean it basically doesn’t exist. Nick Bellore can’t be one of the top backup off-ball linebacker options. Expect some more moves because this is the weakest spot of Seattle’s entire defense.

The UDFAs get spots after all

If nothing else, the Seahawks have had a really good track record of finding quality undrafted free agent rookies over the years, but 2022 wasn’t looking like one of those banner seasons. Vi Jones appeared to be in good position to make the team but he was waived, and I bet he ends up on the practice squad. Instead, Josh Onujiogu and Joey Blount go from undrafted to on an NFL roster in their first season. Onujiogu in particular impressed against the Dallas Cowboys, whereas Blount is more safety depth alongside Ryan Neal and Josh Jones.

Darwin Thompson’s release could be good news about Kenneth Walker III

The exciting rookie running back from Michigan State only played the preseason opener before undergoing surgery on core muscle injury. In the meantime, Darwin Thompson looked spry and quick in his preseason action and the injury to Walker perhaps provided a pathway for him to make the roster. No dice.

Considering the performances of Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas, this is hardly a devastating, indefensible decision. Those two can get backup carries in Walker’s absence, which perhaps through letting Thompson go means Walker will be back sooner rather than later.

L.J. Collier made the team?!!

Well... for now. His elbow injury prevented him from seeing any preseason time, so it’s possible that he gets placed on injured reserve on Wednesday to open up a roster spot. Otherwise he’s probably the one surprise inclusion. Even with the decision to move him to the inside, it’s hard not to envision Myles Adams getting above him in the depth chart.