That headline felt a bit weird to write, since no one is thinking that Kam Chancellor is in need of replacement, but the Seahawks have huge expectations for 6th round pick Winston Guy.
When the Seahawks selected Kam Chancellor in the 5th round 2 years ago, it was tough to tell if he’d stick at safety or have to move to LB. Chancellor silenced all doubters and earned himself plenty of playing time as the team’s nickel back. A year later, he was the starting strong safety and on his way to the pro bowl.
The Seahawks see similar potential in Guy, even though he fell all the way to the 6th round in the draft. At 6-1, 218 lbs. The Seahawks see a potential big hitter who can help in the run game. With a 4.5 second 40 yard dash, they see a someone who’s fast enough to cover a lot of ground in coverage.
Its important to note that part of the reason that Guy fell to the 6th round was that he had an injury that prevented him from participating in the combine and in Kentucky’s pro day. Guy also ended up playing mostly at linebacker this past season because Kentucky really needed help at that position. This lead NFL teams to wonder if he protected as a LB or as a safety at the NFL level, and further hurt his draft value.
The Seahawks didn’t have any such trouble knowing how they are going to use him. The plan this season is to use Guy the same way the Seahawks used Chancellor in his rookie season, as the team’s nickel back. That means Guy is likely to see plenty of snaps on the field next to Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
To me, the interesting problem comes in 2013. If Guy develops the way the Seahawks expect him to, then he would be ready to step in and become a starter at that point. But where would he play? It’s pretty clear that Thomas and Chancellor aren’t going anywhere. Both were pro-bowlers last season, and appear to still have room to improve.
Obviously, this would be a great problem to have. 3 high quality safeties capable of starting? I don’t think you’ll see Pete Carroll complaining if that happens, but it does make me wonder if we’ll end up seeing a trade of one of them for a high draft prick at some point in the future.