After the next two games, the Seattle Seahawks must cut their roster down from 90 to 53 players — there is no longer a first and second round of cuts.
With two preseason games in the books, here’s a quick look at a potential final 53. It’s 100% accurate.
QB – Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin
Boykin over Austin Davis for obvious reasons. Boykin has played much better and well enough to hold off a veteran signing.
RB – Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, CJ Prosise, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic
McKissic over Alex Collins and Mike Davis because he can also return kicks. This is just a shot at what the running backs could look like, but Collins and Davis both have arguments for why they should stay. People felt the same way about Troymaine Pope being a “must-keep player” in the way that Davis has played (Carson has for sure earned a roster spot, I think) but most of those plays came against back-roster defenses.
There’s no way to avoid tough cuts at receiver. In this case, Tanner McEvoy, Kenny Lawler, Cyril Grayson, and David Moore get disappointing news.
TE – Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett
It’s fair to wonder if Vannett could be released after only one season, but no tight end has stood out in the way that Brandon Williams did a year ago. Tyrone Swoopes gets left out.
With George Fant out for the year, another lineman gets a job. The question is: Is that lineman currently on the roster? Maybe not. Roos gets a nod here while Justin Senior has missed too much time with injury.
DT – Ahtyba Rubin, Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones, Tylor Harris
Jones has stepped up in the absence of McDowell, who seems certain to at least miss a PUP-amount of time this season. Harris is selected here instead of Garrison Smith, Rodney Coe, or Greg Milhouse.
Seattle consistently keeps four or five defensive ends. The top four are obvious, while Jefferson should be safe, if healthy. David Bass and Christian French get left out.
The Seahawks have kept between four and seven linebackers under Pete Carroll. I chose Smith here because it’s more interesting than keeping Mike Morgan, who seems like a fair bet to maybe be released before Week 1 and then re-signed during the season. I’m not tied to Wilhoite, Garvin, or Alexander, but I’d put them in order of Garvin, Alexander, then Wilhoite.
CB – Richard Sherman, Shaquill Griffin, Jeremy Lane, Tramaine Brock, Neiko Thorpe
They’ve consistently kept five corners in every season with Carroll and John Schneider. This could be a year where they keep six, as DeAndre Elliott, Pierre Desir, and Mike Tyson get left out. With a rookie getting starting reps (Griffin) and Brock just getting into the system, it’s possible that Tyson, Desir, or Elliott stick, knowing that DeShawn Shead could be back in November.
S – Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Delano Hill, Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson
This seems like an obvious position to predict, but Seattle made a ton of moves at safety (some of which were negated) right before Week 1 last season. With McDougald potentially playing some corner, that could give them flexibility to only keep five cornerbacks again. Thompson is not a lock, but he’s close to a lock.
ST – Blair Walsh, Jon Ryan, Tyler Ott
Three special teamers, as usual (when Brandon Coutu isn’t around), and Walsh looks so good so far.
Injured – Fant, McDowell, Senior, Jordan Simone, Dion Jordan, Shead
Practice Squad Potentially: Grayson, Tre Madden, David Moore, Swoopes, (other team’s released offensive lineman), French, Otha Peters, Kache Palacio, Elliott
I tried to pick guys who might not get picked up on waivers by other teams. I assume Elliott, Tyson, and Desir could be popular options, but maybe one slips through.
Tough cuts: Davis, Collins, McEvoy, Grayson, Moore, Lawler, Marcel Reece, Bass, French, Dewey McDonald, Morgan, Elliott, Tyson, Desir.
There’s a 53-man roster projection. No one question that that’s what it is.