Way Too Early 53-Man Roster Projection

Roster outlook

Projecting a 53-man roster at this stage of training camp is far more about framing where the major competition is than attempting to truly prognosticate. The Seahawks have the deepest roster in camp that we have seen in at least a couple of years. The cuts will be excruciating in some cases. Guys like Jaye Howard and Ron Parker could not make some of the older Seahawks squads, and went on to star for the Chiefs. We will likely see a repeat of that this year.

Take a look at how many players the Seahawks kept at each position last year, and what their average has been since Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over:

53-Man Roster Overview
Overview of positions, what Pete Carroll and John Schneider usually keep, and what I am currently projecting

You will notice that I am projecting one less receiver than last year, one more tight end, one more corner and one less safety. There are a few different swing players who can fill multiple roles, like DeShawn Shead and Brandon Browner that could change the typical calculus for how many people they keep at each secondary position.

Current projections

53-man Roster Projection
Breakdown of exactly who I expect to make the final roster, who is on the bubble and who is on the outside looking in


I still believe the team will try to pickup someone from another team if they can, but Trevone Boykin is the guy for now.

Running backs

Even with the glut of great running back talent, the decision should be pretty easy. They kept five last year, and I have a hard time seeing them let any of the guys go that I have highlighted. There is a chance that Tre Madden could overtake Brandon Cottom or that Zac Brooks makes the squad if there is an injury, but otherwise this should be set.

Wide receivers

I have them only keeping five this year. The main reason is that I like the tight end talent they have better than the receiver talent. The fifth receiver barely sees the field, so keeping a sixth doesn’t make a ton of sense. My current projection is that Kasen Williams snags the last spot due to being a better receiver than Douglas McNeil and a more valuable special teams player than Kevin Smith.

Tight ends

This is going out on a ledge a bit. I really like Brandon Williams. I think they do to. Add to that the potential for Jimmy Graham to be less than full health or have issues in durability, and it makes sense to keep an extra player at this position just in case.

Offensive line

This one is tough to project. I have Joey Hunt making it over Patrick Lewis and Will Pericak making it over either Terry Poole or Kristjan Sokoli. Lots left to figure out here. One thing I don’t think will change is the number of players they keep. There is enough cross-training that they can afford to keep just nine linemen, and I don’t think any of the bubble guys are so good that they have to find a spot for them.

Defensive line

This should be pretty easy to project. The main question is whether they keep Brandin Bryant on the inside or Ryan Robinson on the outside. I currently have Bryant winning the last spot since interior players with rush ability are very hard to find and Cassius Marsh can also play defensive end.


Another relatively straightforward projection. If Eric Pinkins can beat out Mike Morgan, those two could flop. Marsh is a lock due to his ability to play defensive end as well and being a core special teamer.


This was tougher. I have them keeping an extra corner with the notion that they value Tye Smith more than Steven Terrell. That’s a big leap considering Terrell is a far more accomplished special teams player. This could easily slide back to five players at corner and then Smith is on the outside looking in.


The fact that Shead can play safety as well seems to give the team some flexibility about keeping one less dedicated safety on the roster. Keep an eye on Tyvis Powell. He could be too good to let go, which would be bad news for either Smith or Browner.

Special teams

I have Drew Farris as the long snapper for now.

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  1. I love how we have a ton of talented depth and yet so many of these 53 man roster projections are so similar. We all seem to be hyped on pretty much the same people.

    I agree with your projections for QB, RB, WR, and LB.

    My disagreements or conflicting thoughts:

    TE: I could see this happening. There seems to be a real hype building for Williams and if it is true (good blocker, good receiver, etc) then I at worst want him on our practice squad for sure. But four TE’s? I think Cottom being listed as a TE along with his experience as a TE (mainly blocking I think) allows us to use him in any situations we would use Williams. If Jimmy isn’t ready then Cottom & Vannett can do the TE blocking we need done and Luke can be our receiving TE.

    OL: This is hard to judge because we know so little about guys like Sokoli and Poole right now. You really gotta wait until the preseason games to have a strong idea as to where their ability is at. However Poole has been getting some solid buzz at RT (and his body transformation) and on the flip side recently Webb can been getting some negative reviews. Currently I have it as a “thing to watch” that Poole could have a shot at winning the RT job. As for the center position we’ll have to wait and see how Britt actually does along with how truly favorited he is by the FO. I’d love it if he worked out but if he is what you’d expect from Britt I’d love for Hunt to wow and earn the job.

    DT: You have Reed, Rubin, Hill, Siliga, Jefferson and Bryant making the roster. Six DT’s (not counting Bennett & Clark who can play inside). Maybe you’re right and given Hill’s propensity for getting hurt maybe that is the way to go. But in my projections I have us carrying four DT’s (Hill, Reed, Rubin, Jefferson) along with Bennett, Avril, Clark and Robinson. I had us carrying 10 OL but I agree with you that I’d rather us carry more DL talent than OL.

    CB: I have us cutting Burley. When we are thin at CB I get why we keep him. IMO he has been fairly solid and a sure tackler. However he is limited to the slot position along with being 5’10 with short arms. Sherman, Lane, Shead and maybe even Simon and Smith can all play the slot. I see Lane as the starting slot corner and if he gets hurt Shead is ready and able to step in. Or heck if the slot receiver is really good Sherm could cover him while Simon and Shead play outside corner. This is all assuming no one (SJB, Farmer, Reed, Elliot) show up big in camp/preseason and make cutting them impossible.

    Safety: Here is where not carrying TE Williams (instead cutting him and trying to get him on the PS) helps with keeping Powell (assuming he lives up to the hype). Another spot could be LB to trim some fat. If Marsh looks really good and Pinkins looks really promising then we could possibly cut Mike Morgan to keep Powell. Also at CB I personally have us carrying five (Sherm, Lane, Simon, Shead, Smith) and trying to get SJB and whoever else is best on our PS. I don’t see the big advantage with carrying Burley. Heck Pete said Powell can play CB along with both safety spots so if someone got hurt maybe Powell himself could step up.


    Overall though those are fairly small nit picks. I like your 53 man projection.

  2. Great post, Brian! For kicks, here is my 53:

    QB (2)- Agree. Russ and Boykin for now. Hopefully we can find someone better at backup or Boykin steps up. Heaps shouldn’t touch this team with a ten foot pole. Dude was AWFUL in college.

    RB (5) – I like the idea of not suiting Rawls for a few games or taking it easy early. Let Collins and Michael split the load. If Procise can’t stay healthy, Brooks can take his place, however I think it will be: Rawls, Michael, Collins, Procise. PS Brooks. Cottem at FB and TE depth.

    WR (5) – I can get behind this. Kasen can take the 5th spot while the 1-4 are locked (barring injury) Between Smith, Lawlor, Goodley, Foxx, etc. We should be able to keep some on the PS.

    TE – Jimmy, Luke, Vannett. No questions here for me. If Jimmy is PUP’d then keep Williams. Otherwise, cut him loose. Doesn’t seem like a game changer, even if he looks solid after 3 practices…. he’ll be 29 by BYE week. Cottem can add depth without adding a spot. Williams can go.

    OL (10) Gilliam Glow Britt Ifedi Webb seem set for now.
    I like Sowell and Poole as backup tackles. Lewis backup Center and Odhiambo as backup G. Hopefully Sokoli steps up and can be a capable 4th G and 3rd Center. Hard for me to see Hunt/Lewis/Britt making it and don’t like the idea of only keeping 3 G’s or 3 T’s given most of these players are young or unproven.

    DT (4.5)- Rubin and Reed are locks. Hill healthy is a lock. I think Siliga makes it barring his injury set back. I also think Bryant makes it. I believe 9 dlineman is a good plan and Bryant has more upside to me than keeping Robinson as a DE.

    DE (4.5) – Bennett, Avril, Clark are locks. I think Jefferson gets more outside playing time and Marsh gets DE time as well. Ryan Robinson is in his 4th year and I think Brandon Bryant provides more potential even if it means keeping 5 DT. Robinson can go.

    LB (6) – very straightforward group for me. I think Wagz, KJ, and Morgan are going to start. Morgan has been in this system for a while and is sound fundamentally. I like what Marsh brings and also provides DE depth. Coyle is a solid backup, and I think KPL is the most in jeopardy of being beat by a rookie. If Pinkins could double as a Will back up I’d say he makes it – otherwise I think he’s odd man out.

    CB (6)- flashbacks of 2014 signing scrubs off PS and the street basically, feel like 5 corners is too risky. Say Sherman and Lane go down. You have Simon, Smith and Shead…barely enough to field a nickel package. I think Burley as the 6th corner is a must. He’s cheap, hes solid, and I think he’s the best nickel on the team aside from Lane.

    S (4) – Earl and Kam are locks. I think McCray is a lock too. Someone said he’s the best 3rd safety Pete’s ever had, I think there’s some truth to that. The team loves Browner. Pete loves Browner. He’s got the swagger. I think he makes the team. Powell was undrafted for a reason, he was good in college but I don’t think we’re missing out on the next Kam Chancellor if we don’t keep him. Ideally he’d “break a finger” and we can IR him and stash him. Otherwise, cross our fingers and hope we can PS him.

    S/T (3) – Hauschka and Ryan are locks. I really don’t care who plays long snapper given they can do the job. I’ve seen Sowell long snap, he looks decent. Can’t he pull double duty as LS and swing tackle and essentially free up a spot on the 53?

  3. I really like the idea of Rubin, Hill and Reed at DT. Mix in Bennett, Jefferson and Bryant at DT/DE. On the outside, Avril, Clark, Robinson and Marsh. I think this group still makes for speed against the rush as well as every down pass rush. It appears interior speed, rather than just bulk is yielding better defensive results as the league goes more and more with a high percentage nickel groupings. I think this also gives Seattle more options if Hill again goes down with injury. (Hamilton PS)
    Burley has had his share of injuries as well…maybe it’s time Smith gets his shot.
    Cottom just has more upside as a FB…with RB and TE potential; not to mention his size and athletic ability.
    Powell makes sense at safety/cb…along with Browner and Pinkins both in hybrid roles CB/S; LB/S
    4 Backs with Michael in the mix makes sense…maybe Brooks could clear waivers for PS.
    TE insurance with Williams makes sense if Graham goes on PUP in season.
    Jackson may be back in the mix as a backup QB, if Boykin doesn’t do well in preseason. Seattle needs to find another younger option other than Jackson though
    I like Hunt over Lewis; even with his size…Britt as a starter may well work out.
    Way to early is right…preseason will shake it out.

  4. I really can’t disagree with any of your roster. I’m just questioning the WR. I don’t remember a time when they have kept less than 6. With Richardson’s history of injury, I know I’d feel better with 6 WR’s, and since WIlliams and Smith both have experience in the system, and have been on ST’s before, I’d say they keep the six. Great write though.

  5. Excellent listing. On the O-line I hope to see Pool get past Sowell, as longer term he has far more upside; & Pericak lose out to Sokoli, for the same reason. That neither of the youngsters will likely make it past waivers into the D-squad gives them a small edge in that regard imo. Tough of Lewis who has bailed us out of tough spots at center the last two seasons with steady play. However he’s already hit his ceiling & we all know it’s too low against the better DT/NTs.
    Also would not be surprised if, in the end, Terrell makes it over Browner (who I’m just not convinced is worth the bother & Pinkins could play the role he’s tagged for); & also totally agree re’ Powell. I reckon they can sneak Smith into the D-squad again.

    Would also value your thoughts, based on your above selection, who makes the D-squad (waivers assumed passed).

    Lastly, for giggles (& work avoidance), I took the roster & removed all our starters. QB question aside I reckon it would still be a competitive squad & better than a half dozen other squads out there.

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