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Seahawks 53-man roster prediction: Danny Kelly's Version 2.0

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go, it's the day before the day before. With the preseason on our doorstep, I thought I would put together another roster prediction that takes into account some of the injuries and roster movement that have been happening of late. As per usual, I'll throw out the requisite caveats that these are guesses and the Seahawks do weird shit constantly, so I'm not expecting to be correct on all of my predictions.

I've included a guess at the practice squad as well, but keep in mind that a lot of Seattle players will get scooped up when roster cutdowns happen, so predicting the eight that will make up that list is extremely difficult.

Version 1.0 from June 20th is here, if you want to make a comparison.

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Quarterbacks (2)

Keep:

QB1 Russell Wilson 5'10, 215
QB2 Tarvaris Jackson 6'2, 215

Practice Squad:

QB4 B.J. Daniels 5'11, 217

Cut:

QB3 Terrelle Pryor 6'4, 233

Notes: I still think that Tarvaris Jackson will be the backup. Terrelle Pryor is an interesting athlete but I don't know if the team trusts him to actually throw the football quite as much as they do T-Jack. Additionally, quarterbacks coach Carl Smith noted the other day that Pryor is a quarterback and a quarterback only -- "he would not make this team as a receiver," he stated.

Of course, for you conspiracy theorists out there, he didn't say "tight end." The Seahawks just happen to be thin there. So, we'll keep dreaming about a 6'4, 230 pound guy that can run a 4.3 40 at tight end and not quarterback.

With the Hawks only keeping two quarterbacks on the active roster, I could see B.J. Daniels again land on the practice squad as the emergency call-up guy.

Running Backs (5)

Keep:

RB1 Marshawn Lynch 5'11, 215
RB2 Robert Turbin 5'11, 220
RB3 Christine Michael 5'10, 221
RB4 Spencer Ware 5'10, 225
FB1 Kiero Small 5'8, 244

Cut/Ghost Roster:

RB Demitrius Bronson 5'10, 212
FB Derrick Coleman 6'0, 240

Practice Squad:

n/a

PUP/Injured Reserve:

n/a

Notes: Yahoo! Lynch is back! Now we don't have to worry so much about what Christine Michael and Robert Turbin could do with a full load.

Overall there are two main questions I have about the running backs group:

1. How many backs will the Seahawks keep? (Four or five?)
2. Which fullback will get the nod? (Coleman or Small?)

For the first question, I think it'll be five. For the second, I legitimately have no idea. I am guessing Small here because he's more of a pure fullback that should have no trouble rooting out defenders and taking on big-ass linebackers in the hole. On the other hand, Coleman is quicker/faster, more versatile, and probably more of an impact player on special teams, so he might have the advantage right now. The other advantage that Coleman has is that Small is practice squad eligible.

Nonetheless, I'm going with my gut feel on this, and right now I'm guessing Kiero. I just think for a team that stakes its identity on smashmouth physicality, punching opponents in the face, wearing them down late in games, and running the ball, Small makes too much sense. This will definitely be a very interesting competition to watch though, and I don't feel confident about my guess.

Wide Receivers (5)

WR Percy Harvin 5'11, 195
WR Doug Baldwin 5'10, 189
WR Jermaine Kearse 6'1, 215
WR Paul Richardson 6'1, 183
WR Phil Bates 6'1, 220

PUP/Injured Reserve:

WR Taylor Price 6'1, 195
WR Kevin Norwood 6'2, 200

Practice Squad:

WR Kevin Smith, 5'11, 208

Cut/Ghost Roster:

WR Arceto Clark 5'10, 180
WR Bryan Walters 6'0, 190
WR Chris Matthews 6'5, 218
WR David Gilreath 5'10, 170
WR Ricardo Lockette 6'2, 211

Notes: This is another group that I find insanely hard to predict, and for this version, I made a couple of assumptions. Most importantly, it's looking more likely that Kevin Norwood will be stashed on the injured reserve with a foot injury, much like what happened with Tharold Simon last year.

It wouldn't be ideal, obviously, but the club still would have three more years of control and could play more experienced receivers this year in their title defense. I don't think the Seahawks' offensive system is necessarily easy to learn for rookie receivers -- there are option routes on pretty much every play and blocking is a premium skill that takes a little time to master -- and this would give Norwood the opportunity to learn the system while giving a guy like Phil Bates, who has three years in it, a shot.

With my prediction, I went with five receivers instead of six, and ten offensive linemen instead of the nine I had been thinking previously. Why? Well, because I don't feel as good about the depth on the OL and the annoying rash of injuries at that group during training camp has given me the jitters.

So, in this iteration, I've got Phil Bates rounding out the group of five receivers, leaving Ricardo Lockette out. Lockette has excellent speed and did well in limited chances as a gunner last year, but I am beginning to think that Bates may be the superior receiver. The preseason will paint a better picture of course, but right now that's my guess. The Hawks have a multitude of options at the gunner spot, including Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, Richard Sherman, Tharold Simon, or even a guy like A.J. Jefferson, who I have making the team. All these guys are fast, and importantly, can tackle.

Guys like Bryan Walters and Ricardo are likely to be available on speed dial if the Seahawks sustain injuries, and in this prediction, I'm putting Kevin Smith on the practice squad.

Tight Ends (3)

Keep:

TE1 Zach Miller 6'5, 255
TE2 Luke Willson 6'5, 260
TE Rashaun Allen 6'5, 250

PUP/Injured Reserve:

TE Anthony McCoy 6'5, 275

Practice Squad:

n/a

Cut/Ghost Roster:

TE Cooper Helfet 6'4, 240
TE Morrell Presley 6'3, 225

Notes: The Anthony McCoy injury opens up a roster spot for one of the youngsters, and I was most impressed with Rashaun Allen the several times I went to practice. I think he certainly looks the part at an imposing 6'5, 250 pounds, and while he's not necessarily a speedster, his 38" vertical points to his explosive athleticism for his size.

Allen, out of Southern University, ran the 40 in 4.68 seconds at his pro day, had a 4.52 second short shuttle, a 7.35 3-cone, put up 24 reps on bench, and broad jumped 9'7".  Per our pSPARQ metrics, Allen actually comes in with very similar athleticism scores to Eric Ebron, interestingly enough. While no one would make that comparison -- he only had 9 catches for Southern in 2013 -- it speaks to the way the Seahawks likely see him, as an underrated and athletic mover that they can potentially develop. His chance may come sooner than he thought.

Jared Stanger and Zach Whitman brought up an interesting scenario on twitter the other day that involved the Seahawks holding on to two tight ends for their final 53, and utilizing Alvin Bailey and/or former tight end Garry Gilliam as a de facto tight end and perhaps even using Cassius Marshwho caught a couple of touchdowns on offense or UCLA, as another option. The Seahawks ran him through tight end drills at his pro day, apparently, and the guy has soft hands. It seems like a long-shot that this will happen, but it's a thought nonetheless. It would open up an additional roster spot for a receiver or defensive player, if that's what the Hawks want.

Offensive Line (10)

Keep:

LT1 Russell Okung 6'5, 315 
LG1 James Carpenter 6'5, 320
OC1 Max Unger 6'5, 305
RG1 J.R. Sweezy 6'5, 320
RT1 Eric Winston 6'7, 302

G/T Alvin Bailey 6'3, 320
T/G/C Caylin Hauptmann 6'3,305
C/G Lemuel Jeanpierre 6'3, 305
T/G Justin Britt 6'6, 325
T/TE Gary Gilliam 6'6, 306

PUP/Injured Reserve:

LT Garrett Scott 6'5,305

Practice Squad:

T/G Cory Brandon 6'7, 324

Cut/Ghost Roster:

T/G Wade Smith 6'3, 300
G/C Greg Van Roten 6'3, 303
G/T Stephen Schilling 6'5,312
OG Nate Isles 6'5, 348
OG C.J. Davis 6'3, 303

Notes: First off, I have no idea what the Seahawks have in Wade Smith. I've gotten conflicting reports on how good he is/was but the bottom line is that he's 33 years old. So, for this prediction, I have him providing some nice competition but ultimately not making the roster. In his place, I see the Seahawks going with Caylin Hauptmann, who can also play pretty much every position on the offensive line.

Danny O'Neil posited that Justin Britt will start at right tackle ("things I know", which is a pretty strong opinion), so perhaps he has heard some things from the club that lead him to believe that. I am still going with the safer option of starting Eric Winston to begin the year, but regardless, the two of them both make the final roster.

As do Garry Gilliam, a valuable developmental swing tackle and sixth offensive lineman, Alvin Bailey, and Lemuel Jeanpierre. Lem and Alvin provide value as they're both able to play multiple positions. In fact, pretty much every player on Seattle's line outside of Russell Okung has played multiple positions in their career.

I've got Cory Brandon on the practice squad but considering I've never seen him play, that could obviously change.

Defensive Line Interior (6)

Keep:

5T1b Tony McDaniel 6'7, 310
NT1b Brandon Mebane 6'1, 305
3T1b Kevin Williams 6'5, 311
3T/5T Michael Bennett 6'4, 275
3T/NT/5T Greg Scruggs 6'3, 310
DTn Jordan Hill 6'1, 300

PUP/Injured Reserve:

3T/5T Jimmy Staten 6'4, 304
3T/NT/5T Jesse Williams 6'3, 315

Practice Squad:

NT2 Andru Pulu 6'1, 322
3T/5T Michael Brooks 6'3, 275

Cut, IR, Ghost Roster:

3T D'Anthony Smith 6'2, 300

Notes: I feel like the situation on the DL is getting clearer, barring any more injuries. I've got six interior linemen -- McDaniel, who can play the 3T (interior defensive tackle) and the 5T spot (Red Bryant), Mebane, who can play the nose and 3-tech, Kevin Williams, also can play multiple spots, and Bennett, who moves all over.

I think that Scruggs and Hill will be moveable chess pieces in the nickel packages, while providing depth in Seattle's base schemes.

D'Anthony Smith is a wild card, as is Michael Brooks, but ultimately I'm going with Scruggs and Hill. I think that Jimmy Staten will get the Tharold Simon treatment, and big Jesse Williams is already done for the year. Andru Pulu is a nice practice squad candidate as a backup to Banger (Mebane).

Edge rushers/SAM (5):

LEO/DE Cliff Avril 6'3,260
LEO/DE Benson Mayowa 6'3, 267
LEO/DTn Cassius Marsh 6'4, 265

SLBb Bruce Irvin 6'3, 255
SLB2b Mike Morgan 6'3, 226

PUP/Injured Reserve:

SLB Korey Toomer 6'2, 244

Practice Squad:

LEO/LB Jackson Jeffcoat 6'3, 247

Cut/Ghost Roster:

LEO/LB O'Brien Schofield 6'3,242

Notes: Ok, so I've played around with how to classify Seahawk defensive players, and for this exercise I've separated "edge rushers/SAMs" and regular type "linebackers". The Seahawks' strongside (SAM) linebackers and LEO (Left) defensive ends are pretty interchangeable and are mostly the same types of athletes, as Dan Quinn and Pete Carroll have noted repeatedly over the past year. So, I'll start to look at them as the same group of players.

Here, I've got Avril, Mayowa, Marsh, Irvin, and Mike Morgan as the edge rusher types. Korey Toomer, interminably injured, is back to the PUP, and Jackson Jeffcoat heads to the practice squad (as long as he's not claimed, which actually seems likely). O'Brien Schofield, still ailing from a knee issue that will have to be managed throughout the year, gets cut in this prediction. It's tough to say how likely this is -- the Hawks could like him a lot more than we think, so I'm not confident about this. I do know that he's on a one-year deal though, so it may come down to him and Morgan (also in the last year of club control).

Linebackers (5)

WLB1 K.J.Wright 6'4, 246
MLB1 Bobby Wagner 6'0, 241
SLB1 Malcolm Smith 6'0, 230
WLB2 Kevin Pierre-Louis 6'0, 232
MLB2 Brock Coyle 6'1, 235

PUP/Injured Reserve:

n/a

Practice Squad:

LB Horace Miller 6'0, 235

Cut/Ghost Roster:

LB Mike Taylor 6'2, 222
LB Heath Farwell 6'0, 235
OLB Marcus Dowtin 6'2, 230

Notes: This is fairly straight forward, and I have but one question:

1. Is Heath Farwell going to make the roster over Brock Coyle or Horace Miller?

In this case, Coyle gets the nod, and Miller heads to the practice squad. Why? Money, and club control. Farwell is certainly valuable, but Pete Carroll isn't afraid to go with young players.

Defensive Backs (9)

Keep:

CB1 Richard Sherman 6'3, 195
CB2 Byron Maxwell 6'1,2 07
FS1 Earl Thomas 5'10, 202
SS1 Kam Chancellor 6'3,232
NB1 Jeremy Lane 6'0, 190
NB2 A.J. Jefferson 6'1, 190
CB3 Tharold Simon 6'2, 205
FS2 DeShawn Shead 6'1, 225
SS2 Jeron Johnson 5'10, 212

Practice Squad:

SS Terrance Parks 6'2, 218

PUP/Injured Reserve:

SS Dion Bailey 6'1, 200
CB/S Eric Pinkins 6'3, 220

Cut/Ghost Roster:

CB Phillip Adams 5'11, 195
NB Akeem Auguste 5'10, 185
CB Trey Wolfe 6'0, 190
FS Steven Terrell 5'10, 197
CB Terrell Thomas 6'1, 202

Notes: Dion Bailey hurt his ankle recently and is on crutches, and Eric Pinkins has been in a walking boot for weeks. It'd be pretty convenient, honestly, if both could get stashed on the injured reserve this year. The Hawks are too deep at defensive back, so both players are unlikely to make the final roster anyway.

Terrance Parks has made some plays in training camp and seems like a good practice squad candidate. I'm sticking with A.J. Jefferson rounding out the list of cornerbacks, but I could also see this easily being Terrell Thomas if he stays healthy through the preseason.

Specialists (3)

P Jon Ryan 6'0, 217
LS Clint Gresham 6'3, 240
K Steven Hauschka 6'4, 210

That's your 53. I'm sure I'm wrong. Tell me where.