How do I know it’s incorrect? Well guessing the entire 53-man roster correctly is only a bit easier than filling out a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. No matter how much you think you have a handle on who will and won’t make the team, there are always surprises. Always.
Making this exercise even more futile is the fact that, even if you were somehow able to nail the 53-man roster today, it will inevitably change over the weekend as teams sign some of the players who were just released by other teams.
But what the heck, it’s fun to speculate even if I know I’m going to end up looking silly, so here it goes, one man’s best guess at what the Seahawks roster will look like after today’s cuts, which have to be made by 6 p.m. PT.
Quarterbacks: Russell Wilson, Matt Flynn, Josh Portis
Analysis: Wilson and Flynn are locks, and Portis obviously has a much better shot of sticking around now that Tarvaris Jackson has been traded. But while more NFL teams than not prefer to keep a third quarterback around just to be safe, it’s possible the Seahawks could try to carry two to free up a roster spot somewhere else. And Portis’ performance Thursday night didn’t do much to help his cause.
Running back/fullback: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, FB Michael Robinson
Analysis: Vai Taua made a strong case for himself Thursday night, but suffering a knee injury late in the game won’t help his chances.
Tight end: Zach Miller, Kellen Winslow, Anthony McCoy
Analysis: Undrafted rookies Sean McGrath and Cooper Helfet have both shown potential, but the Seahawks will most likely only keep three tight ends to make room for talent at other positions.
Receiver: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Braylon Edwards, Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler
Analysis: The battle for the last couple of roster spots was one of the tightest in training camp, and this position could go a lot of directions. For starters, there are no guarantees that Seattle even keeps six receivers, but if six is the number, Obomanu and Butler are likely battling for spots with the likes of Charly Martin and Ricardo Lockette. It would not be a big surprise at all if Martin made the team over Butler.
Offensive line: Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini, Max Unger, John Moffitt, Paul McQuistan, J.R. Sweezy, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Frank Omiyale, Rishaw Johnson
Analysis: The Seahawks could decide to go with eight lineman if they feel that roster spot is better used somewhere else, in which case someone like Omiyale or Johnson could be expendable. The real surprise here is that rookie J.R. Sweezy, a converted defensive tackle, is a lock to make the team, and might start ahead of Moffitt.
Defensive line: Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Allen Branch, Brandon Mebane, Jason Jones, Bruce Irvin, Clinton McDonald, Jaye Howard, Greg Scruggs
Analysis: With the amount of variation the Seahawks like to use with D-line combinations, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Seahawks keep a 10th lineman. In that case, look for Cordarro Law to be added to this list.
Linebacker: Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Leroy Hill, Heath Farwell, Mike Morgan, Malcolm Smith
Analysis: Farwell is an easy choice because of his ability on special teams, something we might be saying about Matt McCoy if his knee were healthy. Morgan was probably going to make the team before last night, but if he was on the bubble, he certainly helped himself with a standout performance. Rookie Korey Toomer has a shot, but might be the odd man out.
Cornerback: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Marcus Trufant, Byron Maxwell, Phillip Adams.
Analysis: Like receiver, cornerback is a position with a tough battle for the final spots. Rookie Jeremy Lane could easily make the cut, but might get caught up in the numbers crunch.
Safety: Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Chris Maragos, Jeron Johnson, Winston Guy
Analysis: Johnson erased any doubt about his spot on the team with his play over the past couple of weeks, and Maragos has shown his value both on special teams and as the most capable backup at FS behind Thomas. Guy looked like he might be a bubble player, but Carroll was effusive in his praise of the rookie this week, noting that he’s a “starter” in Seattle’s bandit (six defensive back) packages.
Specialists: K Steven Hauschka, P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham
Analysis: Um, they’re the only guys on their roster who play those positions, so let’s go with them. That being said, Hauschka has been a bit inconsistent of late. It won’t likely cost him his job, but job security is something kickers have little of, so depending on who becomes available this weekend, a change wouldn’t be all that shocking. Again, that doesn’t seem likely, just throwing it out there as a possibility.