Seahawks Insider Blog

Roster analysis

Good morning. With the draft and free agency pretty much over, I thought this would be a good time to take a second look at the Seattle Seahawks’ roster.

By my count, the Seahawks have filled the 90-man roster heading into OTA’s and training camp. Seattle will host a rookie minicamp on May 10-12.

UPDATE: The Seahawks actually have 91 players on the roster, but they can carry over the 90-man limit because none of the draft picks have signed contracts yet.

Head coach Pete Carroll will have some tough decisions to make come September, particularly at cornerback, receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle and linebacker.

QuarterbackNumber kept last season: TwoCurrently on roster: FourAverage number kept since 2009: 2.75Lock: Russell WilsonLooking good: Brady QuinnOn the bubble: Josh PortisLonger odds: Jerrod JohnsonComment – I’m interested to watch the competition for the backup job between Quinn and Portis. I give Quinn the edge right now because of his experience and first-round draft status. However, Portis has a better understanding of the offense, and more closely resembles Wilson’s skill set. Both John Schneider and Pete Carroll appeared excited about Johnson when talking about him after the draft, saying that he’s changed his quirky throwing motion and looks good throwing the ball. At 6-5, 251 pounds with the ability to run some read option, Johnson also is an interesting prospect.

Running backNumber kept last season: FourCurrently on roster: SevenAverage number kept since 2009: 4.25Locks: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin.Looking good: Michael Robinson, Christine Michael.On the bubble: Spencer WareLonger odds: Derrick Coleman, Dominique Whaley.Comment – Even though he’s a second round pick, it’s hard for me to put Michael here as a lock because he was a healthy scratch in the final game of his college career. The physical ability obviously is there, but I wonder how he’s going to handle the competitive aspect of playing in the NFL. Julius Jones comes to mind here. Ware is expected to compete for time at fullback, but has not played that position since he was a freshman, and there’s some subtle things with Seattle’s zone blocking scheme that he’ll have to pick up quickly to earn a spot on the final roster. Wide receiverNumber kept last season: FiveCurrently on roster: 12Average number kept since 2009: 5.0Locks: Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate.In the hunt: Chris Harper, Jermaine Kearse, Charly Martin, Phil Bates, Stephen Williams, Brett Swain.Longer Odds: Bryan Walters, Matt Austin. Comment – I’m interested to see how Harper mixes into this group. He definitely brings a different element because of his physicality and ability to fend off defensive backs for contested passes, but Bates has some of that ability as well. It could come down to which of these players between Kearse, Martin, Bates and Swain handle special teams duties the best. Williams also brings something different with his ability to stretch the field vertically.

Tight endNumber kept last season: ThreeCurrently on roster: SixAverage number kept since 2009: 2.75Locks: Zach Miller,Looking good: Anthony McCoy, Sean McGrathIn the hunt: Luke Willson. Longer odds: Darren Fells, Cooper Helfet.Comment – I like the overall depth and talent at this position group with the addition of Fells and Willson. There’s not a lot of experienced talent on the roster, but I think this group has the potential to be good if guys play up to their ability. Don’t sleep on McGrath – he’s got quiet hands like Dallas Clark. Offensive lineNumber kept last season: 10Currently on roster: 15Average number kept since 2009: 10Locks: Russell Okung, Max Unger, James Carpenter, Breno Giacomini, J.R. Sweezy.In the hunt: Paul McQuistan, John Moffitt, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Ryan Seymour, Mike Person, Rishaw Johnson.Longer odds: Jared Smith, Michael Bowie, Alvin Bailey, Jordan Roussos. Comment – The depth and overall talent level is better than the perception of this group, in my opinion. Yes, there are question marks, including Carpenter’s ability to come back healthy and productive after finishing 2012 on the inured reserve with continued knee issues. But Sweezy should see a jump in production after a year of experience, Moffitt is a solid player who will compete for a job, and McQuistan offers versatility because he can play four positions on the line. I’m bullish on Giacomini, and believe he will cut down on the penalties and bone-headed mistakes. And I also like Jeanpierre as a solid fill-in guy in the interior of the defensive line. Tom Cable has brought this group a long way in two seasons.

Defensive lineNumber kept last season: EightCurrently on roster: 13 14Average number kept since 2009: 8.5Locks:Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Clinton McDonald, Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, Michael Bennett.In the hunt: Tony McDaniel, Jordan Hill, Jaye Howard, Gregg Scruggs, Jesse Williams. Longer odds: Kenneth Boatright, Myles Wade.Comment – The competition at defensive tackle should be heated, with McDaniel, Hill, Howard, Scruggs and Williams fighting for what appears to be one spot, athough the Seahawks do have some versatility here, with both Irvin and Avril capable of playing outside linebacker. Bennett also can move inside and rush the passer from the defensive tackle position.

LinebackersNumber kept last season: SevenCurrently on roster: 12Average number kept since 2009: 6.5Locks: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell.In the hunt:Mike Morgan, Allen Bradford, Kyle Knox, Korey Toomer.Longer odds: Ty Powell, Ramon Buchanan, John Lotulelei, Craig Wilkins. Comment – Outside linebacker appeared to be a pressing need for Seattle, with Leroy Hill likely not returning in free agency. But Seattle drafted just one linebacker in the seventh round in Powell, who’s more of a pass rusher than a guy who regularly drops in coverage. Carroll said that Smith will get the first opportunity to fill the role left vacant by Hill, but Seattle has some added versatility with Avril and Irvin able to play SAM linebacker. Seattle also could play more nickel with the addition of Antoine Winfield.

CornerbacksNumber kept last season: SixCurrently on roster: 11Average number kept since 2008: 5.75Locks: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Antoine Winfield.On the bubble:Jeremy Lane, Walter Thurmond, Tharold Simon, Byron Maxwell, DeShawn Shead, Will Blackmon.Longer odds: Ron Parker, Chandler Fenner.Comment – This position group should be one of the most competitive in camp, with some intense battles for the backup spots on the outside and at nickel cornerback. Thurmond is heading into the final year of his contract, and must show the organization he can stay healthy for an entire season. Blackmon offers the added dimension of being able to fill in as a returner. Lane proved last season that he can fill in as a capable starter. And team scouts are bullish on the skill set of fifth round draft choice Simon.

SafetiesNumber kept last season: FiveCurrently on roster: SixAverage number kept since 2008: 4.25Locks:Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor.In the hunt: Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos, Winston GuyLonger odds: Ray Polk.Comment – With Chancellor signing a long-term extension, he solidified his role as a cornerstone player and young leader in this organization. Guy needs to improve and show more consistency from is rookie season. If Johnson and Maragos continue to be solid role players and strong special teamers, it will be hard to keep them off the roster.

SpecialistsSpecialists kept last season: ThreeCurrently on roster: FourAverage number kept since 2009: 3.0Locks: (P) Jon Ryan, (LS) Clint Gresham.On the bubble: (K) Steven Hauschka, (K) Carson WiggsComment: With Hauschka re-signing with Seattle, there should be an strong competition at kicker with strong-legged Purdue product Wiggs. Gresham has been steady at long snapper since the team added him in 2010. Ryan has developed into one of the better punters in the league, helping Seattle flip field position.