How many roster openings do the Seahawks have?
It's a numbers game and Seattle's roster is close to being full already, so how many roster spots can they actually draft for this year?
I read a mock draft that had the Seahawks trading down so many times this year that Pete Carroll and John Schneider wound up with TWELVE new draftees, not counting all of their priority free agent signings. It made me ask: Can Seattle even do that?
NFL teams have 53-man rosters and even if new league rules allow for expanded rosters and practice squad teams under certain circumstances, it still matters to be aware of which positions need help and how many of those key “53” spots are already taken.
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QB (2) - Geno Smith, Drew Lock
Maybe - A rookie, Jacob Eason, a veteran
I haven’t changed my belief that Jared Goff, Nick Foles, and Jimmy Garoppolo remain in play for Seattle. I’m not giving into the Baker Mayfield or Colin Kaepernick rumors. I could see a rookie added to the fold after day two, maybe late in the third round—would that mean that he’s a third QB or that the Seahawks cut one of these veterans? If fans want Seattle to draft any QB, they probably need to account for three QB roster spots instead of two, which has been a luxury since finding Russell Wilson.
RB (5) - Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, Nick Bellore (FB/ST)
Maybe - A rookie, Josh Johnson, Darwin Thompson
This is a position where obviously Seattle could cut its numbers down, whether that’s because Carson isn’t healthy or because one of these backup options gets beat out by a rookie. I would say a rookie draft pick is near guaranteed, and only Penny is guaranteed a spot.
WR (4) - Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain
Maybe - Penny Hart, Aaron Fuller, Cody Thompson, Cade Johnson, a rookie
A third round pick at this position could come with punt return ability so he can have an immediate impact. I love Jahan Dotson’s potential to be the next Tyler Lockett. I’m curious about Christian Watson’s ceiling that compares to DK Metcalf. I’m interested to see what players like Skyy Moore, Khalil Shakir, and Alec Pierce can do at the next level. It’s a loaded class, so pick one before the fifth round.
TE (3) - Noah Fant, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson
Maybe - Tyler Mabry, a rookie
Not a spot to make a draft pick unless he is a steal.
OT (2) - Stone Forsythe, Jake Curhan
Maybe - Rookies, Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Eric Fisher, Greg Eiland
Expect Seattle to sign a veteran and to use one of their first two picks on an offensive tackle.
G/C (5) - Gabe Jackson, Damien Lewis, Austin Blythe, Kyle Fuller, Phil Haynes
Maybe - Rookies, Dakoda Shepley, Pier-Olivier Lestage
The Seahawks have come close to guaranteeing all of these players a job next season and unless they trade Jackson, I don’t see a lot of room for new guards and centers. There’s definitely room for one, maybe two, but I can’t get on board with everyone else who is panicking about center and guard; it’s just not the Pete Carroll M.O.
DE (2) - Shelby Harris, L.J. Collier
Maybe - Rookies, Alex Tchangam
This might seem underwhelming but the truth is that Seattle could totally enter the season with Harris, Collier, and nobody else to play end. However, a versatile defensive lineman who is too good to pass up (Travon Walker if he slips out of the top-eight?) might change the Seahawks’ draft plans.
DT (4) - Quinton Jefferson, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone
Maybe - Jarrod Hewitt, Myles Adams, Jarrod Hewitt, Niles Scott, a rookie
I know a lot of people love Jordan Davis. I can’t see the Seahawks using a first round pick on a 340-370 lb defensive tackle when they have so many other needs. It’s a weak all-around defensive tackle class and that could be why the Seahawks signed Jefferson and re-signed Woods.
EDGE LB (3) - Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Alton Robinson
Maybe - Rookies, veteran pickups
This ain’t it. The Seahawks will PROBABLY draft an edge rusher with their first pick.
ILB (4) - Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven, Tanner Muse
Maybe - Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Jon Rhattigan
Even I get enticed by the possibility of adding Leo Chenal or Channing Tindall, but I think a day two pick on a linebacker would be a poor use of that selection. Seattle just drafted Brooks in the first round two years ago and that’s enough.
CB (5) - Sidney Jones, Justin Coleman, Tre Brown, Artie Burns, Ugo Amadi
Maybe - A rookie, Mike Jackson, John Reid, veteran
It’s not the most exciting group. I’m not at all against drafting Sauce Gardner and I won’t be that upset about Derek Stingley—I just think his injury history is too big of a red flag for the top-10. There are too many good CB values on day two.
S (4) - Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair, Ryan Neal
Maybe - Nigel Warrior, a rookie
The Seahawks would love to draft a safety on day three. Blair will be a free agent in 2023.
ST (3) - K Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott
It actually doesn’t matter if you think Seattle should cut or keep Jason Myers. All that matters is that the Seahawks will need a kicker, so all we need to focus on is the numbers. Seattle needs a kicker, a punter, and a longsnapper. If they can find a good CB, WR, or RB who can return punts and kicks, then it saves them a number.
OFFENSE/DEFENSE/ST TOTAL (46)
So, the Seahawks have seven spots remaining. What roster roles do they absolutely NEED to fill before Week 1?
Seattle needs to commit to at least THREE additional offensive tackles. That unfilled need immediately cuts the open roster spots down from seven to four.
I think the Seahawks are looking at needing to commit to at least two more outside linebackers, if not THREE. Seattle had six outside linebackers last season. They’ll need more than Nwosu, Taylor, and Robinson; it’s a prime spot for a double-down in the draft.
That would only leave Seattle with one more roster spot to account for, which means that if you want the Seahawks to draft a developmental QB—it cuts that number down to zero. This is a numbers game and if you want a developmental QB behind two veterans, then Seattle has to carry three quarterbacks.
Do you choose a fifth receiver? A fourth safety? A third defensive end? There’s always the chance to cut down to four running backs or three defensive tackles, but it doesn’t take long to fill up 53 roster spots.
Seahawks eight picks (There will be trade downs but not for this):
1.9 (OT or OLB)
2.40 (OT, OLB, CB, RB)
2.41 (OT, OLB, CB, RB)
-Have drafted OT, OLB by now.
3.72 (CB, RB, WR, LB, QB, DE)
-Have drafted CB by now.
4.109 (RB, WR, LB, OL, QB, DE)
5.145 (RB, WR, LB, OL, QB, DE)
-Have drafted RB by now.
5.153 (WR, LB, OL, QB, DE)
-Have drafted LB, DL by now.
7.129 (WR, OL, QB, anything)
I think the Seahawks can’t come out of this draft without an offensive tackle, an edge rushing linebacker, a five-tech, a cornerback, and a running back who will be probable to make the final 53-man roster. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double-down and tackle and/or edge rusher. I think Seattle is more than open to drafting a quarterback, but would rather pick up a cheap veteran and a seventh rounder/UDFA.
Tell me what you think! Leave a comment!
Once again great read. Thought provoking and probably accurate. Thanks
I was looking PFF's rating of depth of positions and it appears that Edge tops the list of their top 100 along with LB, WR and OT. Corner is still not bad. I agree with your perspective of Seattle needing to leave the draft with the have to position groups. They really need to invest in RB along with OT and Edge this year. I'm wondering how many of the LB's listed could be hidden gems at edge as well too. WR should offer some value even up to the later rounds. I like the idea of the Lockett mirror at WR and returner. Seattle could use a returner who presents a threat again at least on punts. Corner might be the surprise find for Seattle this year. Do you think Seattle might consider Kevin King pairing with his old partner from the UW Sidney Jones. I know he's had a lot of injury history, but he was having one of his best years in 2021 before he got hurt, and if they don't get who they want in the draft they might add him as a FA. Just spitballing.