With OTAs on the horizon and the draft in the rearview mirror, time to updated our review of Seattle’s defensive roster.
Here was our earlier review of the offense.
And this is the roster as it stood as of Friday. With OTAs coming on Tuesday, always the possibility of additions or subtractions among the undrafted free agents.
DEFENSIVE LINE (17)
Cliff Avril (DE), Michael Bennett (DE), Tony McDaniel (DT), Brandon Mebane (DT), Bruce Irvin (DE), Jordan Hill (DT), Jesse Williams (DT), Greg Scruggs (DE), Benson Mayowa (DE), Kenneth Boatright (DE), Michael Brooks (DE), Dewayne Cherrington (DT), D’Anthony Smith (DT), Jackson Jeffcoat (DE), Cassius Marsh (DE), Andru Pulu (DT), Jimmy Staten (DT).
Comment: Boy, looking at that list, you can see a lot of tough decisions ahead. As we noted in an earlier position review, the Seahawks are listing Irvin solely as a defensive end on their roster, so will we, too, though he again figures to bounce back-and-forth from the LEO spot to linebacker. Seahawks had nine true DLs on their roster at the end of the season, along with hybrid DE/OLB types Irvin and Schofield (the latter of whom the team is listing as an LB). Avril, Bennett, McDaniel, Mebane, Irvin, Hill, Williams and Scruggs all seem like virtual locks to make the roster, assuming health isn’t an issue, though this undoubtedly will be a big off-season for Hill and Williams, particularly the latter coming off of last season’s knee injury. Marsh almost certainly makes the 53-man roster, as well (hard to fathom he’d make it through to the practice squad). That could leave the rest fighting for one or two spots. Jeffcoat and Pulu were each attractive UDFA signees, making the roster here even that much deeper. And it’s easy, maybe, to overlook guys like Brooks and Smith. But each played well when called upon last season.
Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell, Mike Morgan, O’Brien Schofield, Korey Toomer, Mike Taylor, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Brock Coyle.
Comment: As noted above, Seattle right now is listing Irvin solely as a DE — he was listed as an LB/DE last year. Seattle kept five true LBs on its roster throughout the 2013 season, along with hybrids Irvin and Schofield. All five return — Wagner, Wright, Smith, Farwell and Morgan. Wagner, Wright and Smith are locks. Pierre-Louis also would seem to have a one foot in the door to a roster spot as a fourth-round pick who had some good moments in the rookie mini-camp. Toomer, a fifth-round pick in 2012, is now healthy after missing all of last season with a hip injury and the team will want to get a long look at him. Taylor and Coyle are undrafted free agent signees (Taylor, a 2013 rookie, signed after the season).
DEFENSIVE BACKS (15)
Richard Sherman (CB), Byron Maxwell (CB), Earl Thomas (FS), Kam Chancellor (SS), Jeremy Lane (CB), DeShawn Shead (DB), Jeron Johnson (SS), Tharold Simon (CB), Akeem Auguste (CB), Chandler Fenner (CB), Philip Adams (CB), Terrance Parks (CB), A.J. Jefferson (CB), Eric Pinkins (CB), Dion Bailey (SS).
Comment: Seattle ended last season with eight DBs on its active roster — four true corners, three true safeties, and Shead, listed at both spots. Right now, the first eight listed there would be the favorites to win the roster spots this season, with the first five — Sherman, Maxwell, Thomas, Chancellor, Lane — locks. One big question remains who backs up Thomas, who is still the only player listed as a free safety on the Seattle roster. It will be interesting in OTAs and mini-camp to see who gets the bulk of the snaps behind Thomas (whose backup last year was Chris Maragos, now gone to the Eagles via free agency). Another big area of intrigue is where Pinkins spends the majority of his time after being drafted as a cornerback but having playing safety in college, and with Seattle using him mostly at safety on the final day of the rookie mini-camp. And like lots of other guys in the draft class of 2013, it’s a big off-season for Simon, who sat out last year with a foot injury but is said to be pretty-well recovered.
LONG SNAPPERS (1)
Comment: Greshman has held the job since 2010 and at the moment has no competition.
Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan.
Comment: Hauschka is back as the kicker and Ryan the punter. And at the moment, neither has competition.