Friday, August 17, 2012

Meet The Seahawks Bubble Men

There are eleven starters on each side of the ball. Rotational packages (e.g., nickel defense, short yardage offense, etc.) pulls in another 5-10 players. There are three specialists with a punter, a kicker and a long snapper. That means that roughly two-thirds of the 90 players on the current Seahawks roster are battling for 10-15 remaining spots. May the odds be ever in their favor. Seattle's roster is talented enough that fifty players could be listed as on the roster "bubble," but there are a few that are of particular interest.

OL Rishaw Johnson
Johnson stood out in rookie camp and OTAs. He has continued with a strong camp, but looks to be behind the likes of fellow rookie J.R. Sweezy on the depth chart. Johnson is working as a back-up center this weekend which could help his stock if he handles it well. This is a player the front office does not want to lose, but may need to see if he can be signed to the practice squad.

LB Matt McCoy
McCoy was playing terrific football early last year before getting injured. He was the nickel middle linebacker and a special teams hero. He has missed most of camp with an injury and is 29 years-old. Heath Farwell may be taking advantage of McCoy's absence to take his spot.

RB Kregg Lumpkin
Lumpkin was signed as a free agent from the Bucs. He has had a quiet camp, but is a valuable receiving back who runs hard. It is not easy to recruit a guy as a free agent and then cut him. Logic would dictate Lumpkin finding work elsewhere, but something has me wondering if we will all be shocked to see him stay.

RB Leon Washington
Washington has looked good in camp, but is 29 and has a larger contract than some. Robert Turbin is the clear back-up running back, and return men are losing value given the new rules. It is possible the team would look to Lumpkin over Washington.

LB Barrett Ruud
It may be a stretch to say Ruud is a bubble man. He's been injured most of camp, and is on the older side. However, he is the only player with meaningful starting experience at middle linebacker on the roster. The team would need to feel good enough about Bobby Wagner, and a back-up to K.J. Wright should Wright need to slide over and play the middle, in order to hand Ruud his walking papers.

DE Dexter Davis
It's make or break for this third-year pass rusher. Injuries have slowed him the last two seasons, but Pete Carroll has been a fan of his for a while. He has played fast in camp, but has not flashed. He has some serious ground to cover if he wants to make the roster.

CB Marcus Trufant
Trufant's greatest attribute is his experience. It is also what works against him. Byron Maxwell, Phillip Adams, Coye Francies and Jeremy Lane don't need to be better than Tru. They need to prove they can do the job, and have potential to improve. The cost differential will take care of the rest.

DT Pep Levingston
Levingston is a talented interior player who is only in his second season. He continues to show progress, but not necessarily enough to justify a roster spot. The team could attempt to keep him on the practice squad again. Interior defensive lineman with some pass rush potential are a rare commodity. Nobody wants to see another Michael Bennett situation. Levingston is not sudden enough to have that kind of upside, but will still cause some indigestion in the front office if they let him walk.

DE Pierre Allen
Allen is another second year player who shows promise, but not enough to be a lock. He generally backs-up Red Bryant and trades more pass rush ability than Bryant for less run-stuffing. A strong remaining pre-season will make it very difficult for the team to let him go.

LB Korey Toomer
Toomer was a fifth-round pick, and started camp very slowly. He is raw, but has flashed some pass rush potential in recent practices. It would not shock me if the team tries to put him on the practice squad, but if his trajectory remains pointed up, they will certainly keep him.

TE Sean McGrath
McGrath has had a strong camp. He definitely has the team's attention. The question is whether they value him over Cameron Morrah, who is only one year-older than McGrath, despite being in the league for three seasons. 

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