Now that Seattle’s initial 53-man roster for the 2014 season has been set, I thought I’d briefly review the picks I got wrong when I published a final projection on Friday.
I ended up getting 48 of the 53 players correct, which speaks to two things:
1, The Seahawks had a pretty set roster for the most part heading into camp. I think just about anyone following the team closely would have gotten close to that number correctly;
2, The reality is that probably anyone who closely follows just about any NFL team could probably get about 45 or so right, at least — by this point, most roster spots are pretty secure and obvious.
Still, as noted, there were some I didn’t guess correctly.
Here’s a look at the players I had on the roster that did not make it, and what the Seahawks did instead:
WR Bryan Walters: I had the Seahawks keeping six receivers and had Walters making it instead of Phil Bates. The Seahawks ultimately kept seven receivers, also keeping Kevin Norwood. Norwood is expected to return to practice this week after missing all of the preseason, and while I knew the Seahawks wouldn’t cut Norwood, I figured they might put him on IR. As for Walters and Bates, I thought Walters’ return ability would keep him on the roster. The Seahawks might simply have decided that they wanted a bigger receiver and also may have seen more upside in Bates, who had a good camp and made a big catch against the Raiders Thursday. (As for whether Walters will end up back on Seattle’s practice squad, he would first have to clear waivers, and he might be attractive to another team. I also don’t think he has practice squad eligibility, even under the new rules).
TE Cooper Helfet — I thought the Seahawks might just go with two tight ends and get “third tight end” blocking out of the likes of Alvin Bailey, if needed. I also wondered how healthy Helfet was. Obviously he must be okay, which is nice to see since Helfet is a feel-good story, having hung around on the practice squad for much of the past two years after originally signing as an undrafted free agent.
OL Stephen Schilling — I had the Seahawks keeping both Eric Winston and Caylin Hauptmann and keeping 10 OLs overall. Instead, they kept nine (needing to make up the numbers somewhere for keeping seven receivers) and keeping Schilling instead of Winston and Hauptmann. To me, the release of Hauptmann was almost more of a surprise as I thought he was pretty secure early in camp when he was consistently working with the second team, after having been on the 53-man roster most of last season. He has practice squad eligibility, though, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he landed there. As for Schilling, it hardly needs to be said what a nice story it is for the former Bellevue High star to make his hometown team.
DL D’Anthony Smith — Smith landed on Injured Reserve after hurting his biceps Thursday against the Raiders. I thought he’d make it and wasn’t sure how bad the injury was at the time I made the projection. I had Seattle keeping 10 defensive linemen but they went with just nine. Would Smith have been the 10th if healthy?
CB Pillhip Adams — What’s obviously impossible to predict is a team filling a spot from outside. I assumed they’d want five cornerbacks, and someone who could be a backup nickel — Tharold Simon hasn’t been doing that in camp and doesn’t really fit the physical profile. So I kept Adams, even though he’d had a tough game against the Raiders. I also had thought his ability as a returner might help him. The Seahawks instead released Adams and made the move to trade for Marcus Burley of the Colts.