Seahawks Pre-Season Roster Analysis III

Seahawks Pre-Season Roster Analysis III

Brian McIntyre of NorthwestFootball.net looks at the locks, bubble players, and long-shots on the Seattle Seahawks roster after three pre-season games

Here's a look at the locks, bubble players and long-shots on the Seattle Seahawks training camp roster. Aside from three specialists, numbers kept at each position under Mike Holmgren and Jim Mora-coached staffs are not taken into consideration for the first year of the Pete Carroll Era, as the offenses and defenses are vastly different.

Quarterbacks

Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, J.P. Losman
Bubble: N/A
Long-Shots: N/A
Departures (since camp opened): N/A

Whitehurst's struggles the last two weeks may open the door for Losman to push for the top back-up job in the pre-season finale, which both QBs are expected to see significant playing time in.

Running Backs

Locks: Justin Forsett, Leon Washington, Julius Jones
Bubble: Quinton Ganther, Owen Schmitt
Long-Shots: Louis Rankin
Departures (since camp opened): Ryan Powdrell (Waived/injured), Adrian Peterson (Waived)

Talent-wise, Washington and Forsett are the top two backs. Unless he asks to be released, Jones' salary ($2.45M) isn't prohibitive enough in an uncapped year to justify his release, and he adds depth behind Washington, who is coming off a serious injury, and Forsett, who has never handled a large workload in the NFL. Ganther has gotten a long look at fullback, playing with the first-team offense into the 3rd quarter of the last two pre-season games. Schmitt's lead-blocking, hands, and special teams play should earn him a roster spot. Rankin has not played the last two weeks.

Wide Receivers

Locks: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Golden Tate, Deon Butler, Deion Branch, Mike Williams
Bubble: Ben Obomanu, Ruvell Martin
Long-Shots: Kole Heckendorf, Brandon Jones
Departures (since camp opened): Sean Morey (retired), Isaiah Stanback (Waived/injured), Matt Simon (waived), Marcus Maxwell (IR, waived), Mike Hass (released)

The top 5 are set, with Houshmandzadeh starting next to either Branch or Williams. Tate and Butler add speed and play-making elements that have been lacking. Obomanu and Martin are vying for the final receiving spot, and both have looked good in late-game action. Special teams will likely be the determining factor. Heckendorf is practice squad eligible.

Tight Ends

Locks: John Carlson, Chris Baker
Bubble: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah
Long-Shots: Nick Tow-Arnett
Departures (since camp opened): Jameson Konz (Waived/injured)

Carlson and Baker are locks. McCoy appears ahead of Morrah on the depth chart, but injured his ankle against the Vikings. Four tight ends were likely to be kept on the roster, but Baker (hamstring) and McCoy's injury situations may make that more of a necessity. Tow-Arnett is practice squad eligible.

Offensive Line

Locks: Russell Okung, Ben Hamilton, Chris Spencer, Max Unger, Sean Locklear, Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto, Mike Gibson, Chester Pitts
Bubble: Steve Vallos, Joe Toledo
Long-Shots: Jeff Byers, Mitch Erickson, Gregg Peat, Jacob Phillips
Departures (since camp opened): Adrian Martinez (waived, claimed by Indianapolis)

If healthy, the first five from left-to-right are the starters. Willis is the swing tackle, Wrotto and Pitts back up at every position except center, and Gibson is the back-up guard at both spots. Hamilton, Willis, and Pitts are poor bets to get through a full season at this point. Byers, Erickson, Peat, and Phillips are practice squad eligible.

Defensive Line

Locks: Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, Chris Clemons, E.J. Wilson, Kevin Vickerson, Dexter Davis
Bubble: Ricky Foley, Nick Reed, Craig Terrill, Kentwan Balmer
Long-Shots: Rob Rose, Quinn Pitcock, Jonathan Lewis, Amon Gordon
Departures (since camp opened): Lawrence Jackson (Trade, Detroit)

The starters and key reserves are set. Provided he's healthy, Balmer's versatility and potential make him a safe bet to make the team, but like Reed, health issues make him less of a lock. Terrill is what he is—a rotational interior lineman who is good for a blocked field goal or two each season. Foley has yet to show much on defense or special teams, and will need to do something on Thursday night to earn a roster spot. Gordon, Lewis, and Pitcock were signed just befor or during camp, and attrition would be their best chance of earning one of the 53 spots. Lewis has a fractured thumb. Rose has practice squad eligibility.

Linebackers

Locks: Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, David Hawthorne, Will Herring
Bubble: Matt McCoy, Tyjuan Hagler
Long-Shots: Joe Pawelek
Departures (since camp opened): Anthony Heygood (Waived/injured), Alvin Bowen (Waived)

Tatupu and Curry are assured starting roles. Hill is suspended for the season-opener, and Hawthorne missed Saturday's game with a hip injury. If he can't start on September 12, Herring starts at weak-side linebacker. The Seahawks don't necessarily need to keep six ‘backers, with Dexter Davis playing both strong-side linebacker and the "Leo" end position. If they do keep another linebacker, Hagler and McCoy have made it hard for Ken Norton, Gus Bradley, Pete Carroll, and John Schneider to make a decision. Hagler was a starter for the Indianapolis Colts before a torn triceps ended his season, and has looked good in his brief time in Seattle. So has McCoy, though, who has always been a solid special teams player and has fought through some injuries to state his case to make the 53-man roster. Pawelek is practice squad eligible.

Secondary

Locks: Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Kelly Jennings, Walter Thurmond, Kam Chancellor
Bubble: Jordan Babineaux, Kevin Ellison, Jamar Adams, Roy Lewis
Long-Shots: Kennard Cox, Cord Parks, Marcus Brown, Josh Pinkard
Departures (since camp opened): Chris Richards (Waived)

Trufant, Wilson, Thomas, and Milloy are your starters, with Jennings playing outside, and Wilson playing inside, in nickel packages. Thurmond and Chancellor have too much talent and potential to expose to waivers. The most DBs the Seahawks figure to take into the regular season is 9, which will make for some decisions in the secondary. Lewis has played well enough to earn a spot, while Babineaux's best attribute is his versatility. Neither Ellison nor Adams has shown much, with both possessing practice squad eligibility, as do Cox, Parks, and Brown. Pinkard, who played for Pete Carroll at USC, is on the "Active/NFI" list and may be headed for the "Reserve/NFI" list or IR for the 2010 season.

Specialists

Locks: Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan
Bubble: Clint Gresham
Long-Shots: Clint Stitser
Departures (since camp opened): Matt Overton (Waived)

No intrigue at kicker or punter, but Gresham was shaky on his field goal/extra point snaps against Minnesota and remains on the bubble. Unless they want to rest Mare for the pre-season finale, Stitser is likely to be part of the team's cut down to 75 players by Tuesday's 4pm ET deadline.

Breakdown

Locks

Offense: 22
Defense: 19
Special teams: 2

Bubble

Offense: 8
Defense: 10
Special teams: 1

Long-shots

Offense: 8
Defense: 9
Special teams: 0

In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.

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