The Seahawks were talented enough to make it back to the Super Bowl for a second straight year, but there was plenty of talent that either did not play, or played a very minor role during the season. Seattle will add to their roster through the draft and free agency. They will also benefit from organic growth and returning to health of young players already here.
Reinforcements from within
DE/DT Cassius Marsh
Marsh was a bright light during training camp and earned regular reps to start the year. He was not the impact player during the season that he was during camp, but he demonstrated a high ceiling. High enough that a year of rehab and working on his body should have him ready to challenge for meaningful reps again.
DT Jordan Hill
Hill was on fire to end the season with 5.5 sacks and an interception. The pass rush was not the same after he was injured. Some of that was due to the teams Seattle played, and some was due to missing Hill. If he is able to sustain even half the production he was showing at the end of the year, he could push 10.0 sacks, and change the makeup of that defensive line rotation.
G/T Alvin Bailey
The team could decide to let James Carpenter go, and probably will. They have some options for dealing with his departure, and one could be sliding Bailey into that role. He needs to get his weight under control, but he is a far superior pass blocker to Carpenter, even if he is not the same level of run blocker.
CB A.J. Jefferson
Jefferson is an unrestricted free agent after missing this year on injured reserve, but he was performing quite well before he sprained his ankle. This is not quite “from within” but it is someone the team is very familiar with and could be part of the answer should Byron Maxwell leave.
S Dion Bailey
Bailey was an impressive rookie last year before getting hurt in a training camp scrimmage. The team has had him on and off the practice squad all year as he recovered and signed him to a futures contract recently. He would help special teams and has shown signs he could have starter ceiling if everything fits together for him. Seattle could need some safety help early next year depending on the health of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis
KPL was coming into his own before an injury late in the year. He is a good candidate for a big jump from year one to year two. He needs to attack the offseason, and let his athleticism do the rest.
WR Kevin Norwood
Norwood never quite got untracked during his rookie year. He will either sink or swim in his sophomore season. The bet here is for a more significant role.
RB Christine Michael
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Michael is such an explosive athlete that there has to be real off-field problems getting in the way of the coaches finding a way for him to contribute more regularly. He will step into a ferocious competition at running back should Marshawn Lynch choose to not play. Seattle would likely draft another running back and have an open competition between Micahel, Robert Turbin and the rookie.
WR Chris Matthews
Matthews starred in the Super Bowl, but assuming he could make that sort of contribution regularly is a leap. Seattle took advantage of the benefit of surprise, and to Matthews credit, he came through. There is talent there for sure. Whether he will make the roster is still in question for me. His contributions on special teams surely helps his chances.
FB Derrick Coleman
Coleman was a good fullback and a great special teams player. The coaches will tell you that losing him really through special teams for a loop. He will be challenged by Will Tukuafu and possibly others, but his ability on special teams gives him a big advantage.
CB Tharold Simon
Simon was torched in the Super Bowl, and during the playoffs in general. He also played quite well down the stretch of the regular season. This was his first year playing in the NFL. His maturity level is the only thing that could hold him back. The hope is that mentoring from Richard Sherman will help him approach the offseason like a pro and be ready to make a leap in preparation and preparedness when he reports to camp.