The Seahawks have a lot of young, talented cornerbacks that have the potential to make this position one of the most competitive and skilled groups on the team in 2016.
This talented group will be led by Richard Sherman who is coming off another spectacular season. He has been very consistent for the Seahawks and will continue to lead the cornerback position with his play and leadership. Sherman’s left cornerback position is locked up, but the other spots will have open competition
The biggest battle will be opposite Richard Sherman at the right cornerback spot.
Tharold Simon would be my early prediction to win this position battle. Simon was injured all year and he tends to be forgotten in the cornerback discussion. In 2014 he started several games and showed that he has the size and athletic ability to compete in the NFL. This is Simon’s contract year and he will have extra motivation to prove himself.
DeShawn Shead would be the next player who could start on the left side. He is an ERFA (Exclusive Rights Free Agent), so all things considered he should be back in a Seahawks uniform. Shead did a fine job taking over from Cary Williams last season and he also showed that he can play the nickelback position.
The nickel spot is extremely important, and with Jeremy Lane an UFA, the position is open to competition.
Marcus Burley will be a leading candidate at nickelback. He is an ERFA, so he should be back in Seattle in 2016. When stepping in to replace injured starters, Burley has shown that he can play the position very well. Burley is extremely quick and matches up perfectly against slot wide receivers.
Tye Smith will get an opportunity to compete for more playing time this year. He was able to basically “red shirt” this season and learn the ways of the NFL while still being on the Seahawks active roster. Smith showed potential in training camp last year, and could really grow into a productive player this year.
Mohammed Seisay was acquired by the Seahawks in a trade with Detroit for a sixth round pick last August. He made some impressive plays in training camp, but suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth preseason game. Seisay is an ERFA, and this coming season, if he can stay healthy, he could make a good push to win one of the cornerback spots
The next three cornerbacks to watch were on the Seahawks practice roster in 2015: George Farmer, Trovon Reed, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
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Farmer and Reed are former wide receivers converted to cornerback and were able to learn the “Seahawk way” this season on the practice squad. They will be able to add to the depth at cornerback and increase the competition during training camp.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste was added to the Seahawks practice roster later in the season and is someone to keep an eye on. Jean-Baptiste was drafted in the 2nd round by the New Orleans Saints in the 2014 NFL Draft, but so far has struggled to find his way in the NFL. He still has a lot of potential and if the Seahawks can coach him up, he will be a great pickup.
The Seahawks still could add a few more cornerbacks through the draft or free agency which will add to the competition and depth at the position. The Seahawks don’t need to break the bank by bringing back Jeremy Lane either; the depth they have gives them flexibility this offseason.
The Seattle Seahawks have a long history of developing young, raw cornerbacks into starters in the NFL and that should continue with the athletes they have. Richard Sherman will be a leader for this group and will help to teach the young players how to play the game properly. Watch for the cornerbacks to shine in OTA’s and Training Camp as the Seahawks get ready for a big 2016 season.