The Seahawks have to get down to the final, 53-man roster by Saturday. As always, it won’t be easy as several players are straddling the line on whether or not they will make the roster.
But I thought we would take an initial swing at the final 53 and see who might be on the outside looking in come Saturday.
Quarterbacks (3): Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Mike TeelComment: Teel appears to have wrestled away the third spot from free agent Jeff Rowe. The Rutgers product has shown he has a good head for the game, verifying the team using a sixth-round pick to select him.
Running backs (5): Tailbacks – Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Edgerrin James. Fullback – Justin Griffith, Owen Schmitt.Comment: We still have yet to see James in a game, but Jones and Forsett proved they could get the job done on the ground for Seattle against Kansas City. I believe Griffith cemented his spot as the starter with his play against the Chiefs. He has a better understanding and feel for the zone blocking scheme than Schmitt at this point in his career.
Wide receivers (6): T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch, Deon Butler, Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu.Comment: You could also go with Jordan Kent instead of Taylor here because of Kent’s special teams play. Or the team might make the bold move of releasing Branch if they feel that Butler and Obomanu provide enough quality depth at receiver. The Seahawks have not ran a whole lot of three and four-receivers sets, so perhaps Branch is expendable, but I would be surprised if Branch is not on Seattle’s final roster.
Tight ends (3): John Carlson, John Owens, Joe NewtonComment: Carlson and Owens give Seattle a good 1-2 punch, although Carlson can still improve on his run blocking. Newton has looked better and more ready than rookie Cameron Morrah.
Offensive line: (9): Walter Jones, Chris Spencer, Sean Locklear, Rob Sims, Steve Vallos, Max Unger, Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto, Kyle Williams.Comment: I think the Seahawks may want to keep an extra guy here because of the injuries to Jones and Spencer. Na’Shan Goddard would be that guy because he can play both guard and tackle.
Total offense: 26
Defensive line: (9): Cory Redding, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, Patrick Kerney, Darryl Tapp, Lawrence Jackson, Craig Terrill, Red Bryant, Michael Bennett.Comment: I think Baraka Atkins is the odd man out here. Nick Reed probably should be on the final roster, but Bennett can play both tackle and end, and Tapp can play linebacker if Seattle goes with a 3-3 defensive front. You also can use Aaron Curry at defensive end in a pinch. Reed will be on the practice squad if he clears waivers, which I know is a calculated risk However, there’s more teams playing a 3-4 defensive front now, and I don’t see Reed as a fit in the 3-4 as an outside backer. So that limits the teams that would be interested in Reed’s services. That said, Reed probably deserves to be on the final roster, but I think more teams might covet Bennett because of his ability to play both defensive tackle and defensive end.
Linebackers (7): Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Aaron Curry, Will Herring, D.D. Lewis, David Hawthorne, Lance LauryComment: Herring has looked good during the preseason and is fighting for a chance to get on the field on a regular basis. One less linebacker might make the team, but all of the reserves play on special teams right now.
Defensive backs (8): Ken Lucas, Josh Wilson, Deon Grant, Brian Russell, Jordan Babineaux, C.J. Wallace, Kelly Jennings, Jamar Adams. Comment: Kevin Hobbs has struggled defending the deep ball during the preseason, and Babineaux or Adams could serve as a fourth corner if they needed a body in a pinch. Wallace is a special teams stud and needs to be on the field.
Total defense: 24
Specialty (3): Jon Ryan, Kevin Houser, Olindo MareComment: Even though he missed two field goals, I think with his distance on kickoffs coupled with the season he had last year you have to go with Mare if he’s healthy. The 51-yard attempt by Brandon Coutu sealed it for me, with the second-year kicker barely making it to the end zone. I’ll chalk up Mare’s underwhelming performance against Kansas City as an aberration, looking to what he did last season as the norm.
PUP: Marcus Trufant
Practice squad: RB Devin Moore, OL Andre Ramsey, TE Cameron Morrah, DB Courtney Greene, DE Nick Reed, DE Derek Walker, WR Logan Payne, OL Brian De La Puente.