Projecting the Seahawks 53-man roster: Version 2.0

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Richard Sherman
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Richard Sherman /
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SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 15: Defensive end Frank Clark
SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 15: Defensive end Frank Clark /


Defensive Line (9):

Starters: DE Michael Bennett, DT Ahtyba Rubin, DT Jarran Reed, DE Cliff Avril

Backups: Frank Clark, Nazair Jones, Malik McDowell, Cassius Marsh and Quinton Jefferson

Summary: When you look at the backups for the Seahawks, you are really looking at the future of the line. McDowell has gotten a lot of time in offseason workouts at DE. The logical reasoning for this is Seattle is envisioning a future line of McDowell and Clark at ends and Jones and Reed at tackle.

This unit has huge potential., especially if McDowell plays as well as the Seahawks’ brass hopes. Jefferson, for one, needs to prove his worth this season or he may not be in Seattle past 2017.

Linebacker (5):

Starters: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright

Backups: Michael Wilhoite, Terence Garvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis

Summary: For most snaps, the Seahawks will play with two linebackers. Wilhoite is expected to be a better version of Mike Morgan. Pierre-Louis and Garvin are expected to make impacts mostly as special teams players.

My assumption is that on most downs if a linebacker is thought to be needed, Kam Chancellor or Bradley McDougald will be asked to creep closer to the line. This will give Seattle more flexibility in pass coverage while still being able to cover the run.

Cornerbacks (6):

Starters: Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane

Backups: Shaquill Griffin, Mike Tyson, DeAndre Elliott and Neiko Thorpe

Summary: This is an odd group to pick. My feeling is a lot of nickel coverage will be filled with three safeties instead of three cornerbacks. Also, the Seahawks clearly want DeShawn Shead to return healthy and productive or they would not have re-signed him after his injury in the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons.

Basically, the group that begins the season in Seattle will most likely not be the same unit that ends the season. This means Tyson, Thorpe or Elliott will be playing in live action for the futures of their jobs. This is not really a great thing for the Seahawks.

Safeties (5):

Starters: Chancellor, Earl Thomas and McDougald

Backups: Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson

Summary: Again, I am going with three safeties here because I think there is a greater possibility we see more of them than three cornerbacks on a lot of plays. The versatility of Chancellor and McDougald to either play the run really well (Chancellor) or nickel (McDougald) allows them to make up for some other deficiencies.

Hill and Thompson could be the future ball-hawks of the defense, but do not expect a lot of either in 2017.

Related Story: Will this group of Seahawks rule the NFC West again?

Specialists (3):

Kicker: Blair Walsh

Punter: Jon Ryan

Long snapper: Tyler Ott

Summary: Ryan may be in his last season with the Seahawks as his contract nearly doubles in 2018. Walsh may be in Seattle long-term if he can replicate his pre-2016 Vikings career. Ott or Nolan Frese will be the long-snapper and just need to make sure Ryan does not have as many issues receiving the snap to punt this season.