We are still in early August, so position battles are bound to continue in some form or another throughout the preseason. However, we managed to get some clues following the mock game on Friday as to who we can expect to see getting the starting nod in advance of the first preseason game. Clearly, the Seattle Seahawks are still dealing with injuries to some key players and expected starters, so certain positions are in a state of flux (e.g. running back, defensive back, linebacker, etc). Regardless, we got to see some encouraging signs from the number ones on Friday, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. According to Michael-Shawn Dugar of the Athletic:
The first-team defense isn’t at full strength with Taylor out and cornerback Riq Woolen (knee), safety Jamal Adams (knee/quad) and linebacker Jordyn Brooks still on the physically unable to perform list. But the mock game displayed how Seattle plans to operate until everyone heals up. Mafe will start for Taylor opposite Uchenna Nwosu. Reed will be the starting nose, with Jones and Mario Edwards Jr. serving as the other starters on the interior.
Tre Brown is the starting left cornerback while Mike Jackson is on the right. First-round pick Devon Witherspoon is the starting nickel, a role that requires occasionally playing early downs depending on matchups. If the offense uses 11 personnel (one running back and one tight end), for example, Witherspoon will be on the field. He recorded two pass breakups from that spot Friday. On third-and-long and in two-minute situations, Seattle used its dime package, swapping inside linebacker Devin Bush Jr. for Coby Bryant.
Much of what is listed above should come as no surprise, although getting some hints as to how the defensive line and cornerback battles will shake out in advance of the first preseason game. Reportedly, the number one defense had a good day against Drew Lock and the second team offense, which is exactly what we would hope to see this time of year. We have heard about Jarran Reed getting the initial starting call at nose tackle, and now we can get a glimpse of who will be flanking him with Dre’Mont Jones and Mario Edwards Jr. getting looks there. Witherspoon has drawn praise for his performance early on, and I am thrilled at the idea of having a nickel with his skill-set on the defense. A lot could change between now and Week 1 of the regular season, but regardless of how things shake out, we are guaranteed to see some new (or newly returned) faces take the field when the Seahawks take on the Minnesota Vikings on August 10th at Lumen Field.