Three position battles to watch for the Seahawks against Chargers

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 03: Cornerback Byron Maxwell (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 03: Cornerback Byron Maxwell (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images) /

There are still roster spots to be won with the Seahawks. Here are three position battles to watch Saturday when Seattle plays the Chargers.

The Seahawks will get a better view against real competition of the players they believe will make an impact for them this year on Saturday. The starters will go a bit longer. And the players most likely to back up those starters will get more snaps too against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second preseason game of 2018.

There are several starting positions that are assumed to already be taken. We obviously know Russell Wilson will be the starting quarterback. And that Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright will be starting linebackers.

But 12s are not totally sure who will be starting at right cornerback opposite left corner Shaquill Griffin. And there is no way of knowing who will backup Wilson at this point. These are just two of the positions where Saturday’s game might provide an answer. Or at least lead to a resolution. Here are the top three positions to watch.

Defensive end

With the release of Marcus Smith this week, the Seahawks need to find even more pass rushers they can rely on this year. Smith may not have been a starter or one to put up big sack totals, but the position was already suffering a lack of depth.

In the first preseason game against the Colts, rookie Rasheem Green had a sack-and-a-half and looked explosive. He is going to make the roster definitely, but as a starter? Dion Jordan might have started in 2018 and may still, but he can’t stay healthy.

So on Saturday 12s should closely watch the edge rushers. Green will play. Jordan will not (of course). But Jacob Martin has shown flashes of potential and could make a push to see a lot of playing time this year. If Martin gets one or two sacks tonight, he is making a push to possibly start week one.

Frank Clark should play on Saturday as well, but we already know he will start at one end for Seattle this year.

Backup quarterback

Week one of the preseason provided no real answers as to who will play behind Wilson in 2018. Rookie Alex McGough in some raw statistics appeared to do pretty well.

But he averaged less than three yards per throw so what did he actually do? And just from an eye-test he looked really raw and not ready to start an NFL game should Wilson be injured (PLEASE NO!!).

Austin Davis, of course, completed all of his passes, but one happened to be on a horrible interception. Like, so bad you or I could have picked it off. That cannot be the case in real games. Seattle would lose.

So, here’s hoping that Davis or McGough look really really good against the Chargers. Otherwise, Seattle may need to start looking elsewhere for Wilson’s backup.

Right cornerback

Byron Maxwell came back to Seattle in 2017 after Richard Sherman went down for good with injury and was pretty good. In fact, Maxwell was so good that Seattle re-signed him and moved Griffin to Sherman’s old spot at left corner. But now Maxwell might be battling to be a starter.

Tre Flowers, rookie safety-turned-corner, did pretty well in his first game in preseason. And what to watch for is if Seattle gives Flowers a lot of snaps at corner on Saturday. The only way for a player to really learn a position is to get reps. Seattle could be thinking of Flowers as a long-term answer at right corner and let him work out the kinks in preseason.

Next. Seahawks injuries: Who's out vs. Chargers. dark

If Flowers, who has perfect size for a Seattle corner, plays well against the Chargers and beyond in preseason, Maxwell could be backing up in 2018. Of course, if Flowers does do well then Seattle is set at corner for the next several years.