A training camp unlike any other is now in the books for the Seattle Seahawks and they will need to make their roster cuts by 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
The team has had no preseason games, three "mock game" scrimmages and just 17 total practices to get ready for the start of the 2020 regular season. However, real games are set to be played and the Seahawks will be traveling to face the Atlanta Falcons in just over a week's time. So with all of the preseason preparation possible now in the rear-view mirror, here's our best guess at what the trimmed down roster will look like following cuts on Saturday afternoon.
This projection will not presume any free agent acquisitions (Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Britt, etc.) or trades with other teams and will assume that the roster is just being trimmed down. Also, veterans are now able to be a part of expanded 16-man practice squads, which will change some of the calculus in the players teams try to keep.
Seahawks projected roster:
QB (2): Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
Russell Wilson is the starter and Geno Smith may be the best backup quarterback he's had during his nine years in Seattle. It would be between Smith and Tarvaris Jackson for that title. Smith has had a really good camp for the team.
Neither Anthony Gordon or Danny Etling have made a strong enough case for the 53-man roster but don't be shocked if Etling finds his way onto the team's practice squad.
RB (5): Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, Nick Bellore (FB)
Rashaad Penny will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list. The remaining four give the team a really nice depth at the position to begin the season. Hyde has shown he should be a nice second option to Carson and Dallas has made a strong impression in his rookie camp. Bellore is mainly around for special teams reasons but gives the team the option to use a fullback when they so desire.
TE (3): Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister
Colby Parkinson should begin the year on the non-football injury list and an injury late in camp to Stephen Sullivan probably scuttles his chances of making the opening roster as well. This position has been a really strong one in camp for Seattle with Luke Willson and Tyler Mabry also having strong moments as well. However, the top three give Seattle a strong, versatile set of options for the position.
WR (6): Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, John Ursua, Freddie Swain
While Lockett and Metcalf have been the two locks at the position, the depth at the group has been more of a challenge throughout camp with injuries taking a toll.
For the purposes of this projection, we're going to assume that Josh Gordon will remain on the suspended list for the time being and therefore will not be a part of the roster after being re-signed on Thursday. Additionally, Paul Richardson hasn't had much time to get up to speed after signing earlier in the week and could be destined to be one of the team's veteran additions to the practice squad while he gets back in gear.
David Moore's restricted free agent price tag of just over $2 million makes his contract potentially ripe for a release or a pay cut. However, Dorsett dealing with an ongoing foot issue combined with Gordon and Richardson's situations keep him on the roster for now. Ursua and Swain round out the group for the time being but this is a position that should be expected to be rather fluid.
OL (10): Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Ethan Pocic, Damien Lewis, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes, B.J. Finney, Jordan Simmons
The starting line has been in place since the start of camp with a battle for the center position waning in the last stretch of camp. Pocic will almost certainly be the opening day starter at the spot. Finney will serve as the backup as Kyle Fuller heads to the suspended list for the first two games of the season.
Due to the greenness of the group with three new starters on the line and no offseason work, we decided to keep 10 offensive linemen for the start of the season.
DE (5): Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Rasheem Green, L.J. Collier, Damontre Moore
Benson Mayowa and Alton Robinson have had really nice camps for Seattle for differing reasons. Mayowa is the veteran that is ready for his chance to be a big part of a defensive line's rotation. Robinson is the rookie that has impressed with his strength and power.
Darrell Taylor is almost certainly going to start the season on the non-football injury list, which led Seattle to bring back a familiar face in Damontre Moore on Thursday. Gregg and Collier will also factor into the rotation and can kick inside to tackle as well with Bruce Irvin and Shaquem Griffin also factoring into the pass rush groupings.
DT (3): Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone
With both Green and Collier able to play tackle, we're only keeping three defined defensive tackles on the initial roster. P.J. Johnson and Demarcus Christmas would be the next up should the team elect to carry more to start the year.
Reed has had a strong camp and Mone has flashed at times as well.
LB (7): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Shaquem Griffin, Ben Burr-Kirven
If seven linebackers seems like a lot, remember that Irvin and Griffin will split time as pass rush options. Brooks will certainly get a chance to see the field in some capacity this season as he and Barton provide strong reserve options behind Wagner and Wright. Griffin and Burr-Kirven are core special teams pieces.
CB (5): Shaquill Griffin, Quinton Dunbar, Tre Flowers, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi
Griffin, Dunbar and Flowers give Seattle a really strong top three options at cornerback. Flowers looks to be in terrific shape this year and has had a nice camp as Dunbar was getting settled following his legal issues in Florida. Blair has seized the nickel back spot following his move from safety and looked strong in the latter stages of camp. Amadi will serve as his backup at the spot.
Neiko Thorpe has been a valued special teams piece for a long time and could easily find his way onto the roster in the same role, but we're going with this five for now. Linden Stephens has also had a good camp and would be a practice squad consideration.
S (4): Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Lano Hill, Ryan Neal
Diggs and Adams have had the starting spots locked down. Blair and Amadi can both fill in at safety as well for addition depth with Hill being healthy finally and a trusted backup option by the team. Neal is the one "outside the box" player making the 53-man roster. He's looked good in camp and has experience as a cornerback as well which gives Seattle even more versatility in the secondary, which is a strong group collectively.
ST (3): Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
No competition for any of these spots.
PUP (1): Rashaad Penny
NFI (3): Darrell Taylor, Colby Parkinson, D.J. Reed
Penny, Taylor and Parkinson should all be on track to return around midseason from their various ailments. Reed, a waiver claimer from the San Francisco 49ers, has a torn pectoral that could keep him out all season.
SUS (2): Josh Gordon, Kyle Fuller
Gordon remains indefinitely suspended by the NFL and will need to be reinstated to join the team's active roster. Until that happens, we're keeping him on the suspended list. Fuller will miss the first two games before becoming eligible to join the roster.
Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde #30 carries the ball as he is pursued by Ryan Neal #35 during a mock game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA on August 26, 2020. (pool photo by Rod Mar / Seattle Seahawks)