We are two games into the preseason, and staring at the third. Starters will play the majority of this game, leaving precious few chances for the bottom of the roster to make their case to stick around. Let’s take a look at where things currently stand.
First, a refresher on how many players the Seahawks broke camp with at every positions last year, their average keep for that position since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived, and my projected keep. The plus/minus column indicates where I am projecting a change from what the team kept for that position last year.
No changes here from my last prediction. I am confident the team will only keep five receivers. The toughest calls, in terms of numbers, are CB, S and DL.
I continue to vacillate between keeping five safeties, with someone like Tyvis Powell knocking Tye Smith off the roster as a swing CB/S, and keeping six corners with Smith winning out. That one is too close to call, but I’m going the more conservative route for now.
There is no competition on the roster for Trevone Boykin. Jake Heaps is not getting anywhere near enough run in these games to make a case for sticking around. Boykin’s only real competition may come from other team’s rosters. He has not been strong enough to make him even a high confidence part of the roster, but he is getting closer.
This decision just got a whole lot tougher with the signing of Will Tukuafu. Previously, I had Zac Brooks making the roster and the fullback position possibly being filled elsewhere. That’s looking less and less likely. I think the team wants a true FB on the roster, and Tukuafu is the only one worth considering so far. That pushes Brooks out. Troymaine Pope, for all his preseason glory, has very little shot of beating out Alex Collins. People can continue to hate on Collins all they want, but the guy is too valuable to cut. He will prove that soon enough.
Kasen Willams! Calling Kasen Wiiiiilliams!! It’s time to show up. Make a play on special teams. Make a play at receiver. Just make a play, man. I was very tempted to slide Douglas McNeil over Williams due to his availability and special teams prowess. In the end, I still have Williams making the roster due to his potential as a receiver and athletic contribution to special teams. His grip on a roster spot is as tenuous as it can be. Tanner McEvoy climbs into the bubble conversation not because of his play at receiver, but because of his play on special teams. He was first man down on punt coverage multiple times. If he is the best special teamer of the group, he could win the spot even if he is a very raw receiver.
Barring injury, this position should be set. Nick Vannett is nursing a high ankle sprain and Jimmy Graham’s availability for the opener is in question. There is a chance the team would want to add another TE temporarily. I’m not sure that player is on the roster.
No changes here. I still have Joey Hunt and Will Pericak making the roster over guys like Terry Poole, Jahri Evans and George Fant. Evans will get a chance to play significant snaps this week. Fant is a sleeper, but someone they very likely can stow away on the practice squad.
Tony McDaniel first getting signed and then balling out last week shakes up this position. I was tempted to make him a lock, but left him as a high confidence part of this roster. He looked that good, and has that kind of history with the team. Quinton Jefferson moves up and gets the coveted dark green designation due to his continued reps with the first unit and improving play against the run. He’s got strong hands and the type of versatility the team covets. Right now, I have Jordan Hill and Ryan Robinson making the roster for the final two spots. It is possible the team could choose to cut bait on Hill due to his injury issues, but nobody has really made a case to replace him or force the team’s hand. Brandin Bryant has faded, and is off the roster at this point. Robinson has had plenty of reps with the starters, but has made few plays. He makes the team due to his ability to rush from the edge.
I probably should have put Justin Hamilton over Sealver Siliga, but both players are long shots at this point to make it.
Eric Pinkins has had a disappointing preseason. He is still a special teams ace, but his play at SAM has been less than impressive. He needed to ball out to win a roster spot over Mike Morgan. That has not happened. There is a small chance he could challenge Kevin Pierre-Louis who also has been underwhelming on the field, but I give KPL the nod.
Marcus Burley had a very good game against the Vikings, both on special teams and in coverage. He still is a more valuable player than Smith to my eyes due to his ability to play outside or inside and his special teams contributions. If Tyvis Powell can prove he is a promising corner, Smith could be gone. Powell is a much better special teams player and can play safety as well. Smith has not stood out so far in the preseason.
How do you cut two out of Tyvis Powell, Brandon Browner and Steven Terrell? Terrell is a great special teams player and the best option to back-up Earl Thomas. Kelcie McCray could do it, but Terrell has the speed. Browner has been playing well and offers unique options. He is solid on special teams. Powell could be the odd-man out, but he’s young and very intriguing and also has shown well on special teams. Very tough call.
Nolan Freese is the guy for now. I changed him to on the bubble because of the poor snaps last week.