With minicamp over, the Seattle Seahawks are just one month away from training camp. These next few weeks function as summer break before things really heat up (get it? Heat up? It’s summer!) and we inch closer to the 2023 NFL regular season.
Let’s do another roster projection just for the hell of it, but with a couple of tweaks from my last one, which was instantly rendered obsolete when Robert Cooper was waived. I’m even going to back up a previous bold-ish prediction on a surprise roster cut, which I’ll explain later.
Rookies are italicized, UDFAs are included in parentheses.
The full Seahawks 90-man roster is here.
Quarterback (2): Geno Smith, Drew Lock
Running back (4): Kenneth Walker III, Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh, DeeJay Dallas
Fullback/Linebacker (1): Nick Bellore
Wide Receiver (5): DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Dareke Young, Dee Eskridge
Tight End (3): Noah Fant, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson
Offensive Line (9): Charles Cross, Abe Lucas, Stone Forsythe, Damien Lewis, Evan Brown, Olusegun Oluwatimi, Phil Haynes, Anthony Bradford, Jake Curhan
Defensive Line (7): Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Morris, Jarran Reed, Mario Edwards Jr, Cameron Young, Jonah Tavai (UDFA), Myles Adams
Outside linebackers (5): Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu, Derick Hall, Boye Mafe, Joshua Onujiogu
Off-ball linebackers (4): Bobby Wagner, Devin Bush, Jon Rhattigan, Vi Jones
Safeties (5): Quandre Diggs, Julian Love, Joey Blount, Jerrick Reed II, Jonathan Sutherland (UDFA)
Cornerbacks (5): Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon, Mike Jackson Jr, Tre Brown, Coby Bryant
Special Teams (3)
Kicker (1): Jason Myers
Punter (1): Michael Dickson
Long Snapper (1): Chris Stoll (UDFA)
PUP list: Jamal Adams, Jordyn Brooks, Bryan Mone
Adams starting the season on PUP is not based on intel but more of a gut feeling that his injury was so serious that the Seahawks won’t take any chances rushing him back. The coaching staff has said nothing definitive about him even being ready for training camp. One of the benefits of an early bye week is having one fewer game missed within the six-week PUP window, so I believe we’ll see at least one of these trio back by the Week 7 home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
My prediction of Adams starting out on the PUP list is part of why I see Jonathan Sutherland, one of the OTA and minicamp standouts, cracking the initial 53-man roster. I also believe Jonah Tavai gets in as an additional interior defensive lineman. There’s a part of me thinking Mario Edwards Jr is fighting for a roster spot, in part because I believe he won’t get that many rotational snaps as a 3-4 DE, but for now he makes the cut. I may change my mind on this because he’s on a very cheap contract.
Last time I did a roster projection I said the Seahawks would cut 2021 second-round pick Dee Eskridge and keep Cade Johnson. I’m not buying into Eskridge being much of a contributor on offense, and even less so knowing Jaxon Smith-Njigba is on the team, but he has one clear edge over Cade on special teams. Seattle doesn’t have anyone who is a clear-cut favorite to be a kick returner, and that’s a duty Eskridge can provide that Cade does not. Cade’s also a little redundant with JSN and Tyler Lockett on the roster, so for now I see Eskridge getting the last WR spot. The UDFA rookies with a chance to crack the 53 (presumably at Dee’s expense) I believe are Matt Landers and Jake Bobo.
At outside linebacker, I see Joshua Onujiogu getting the nod over Alton Robinson and Tyreke Smith as pass rushing depth. Robinson didn’t play at all last year due to injury and he was already out of favor in the rotation by 2021. Smith missed his rookie season with a hip injury and he had an injury-riddled career at Ohio State, so I doubt he’ll magically become a beacon of health now.
Keep in mind that with three prominent players on PUP, making the initial roster doesn’t guarantee long-term security, so there a few (like Onujiogu and Sutherland, for example) who may find themselves on the practice squad or another team by midseason.