Seahawks Insider

Roster Analysis

Post by Eric Williams on March 30, 2009 at 10:39 am with 29 Comments »
March 30, 2009 10:39 am

Except for perhaps another free agent addition or two to fill out the roster along with the team’s draft selections, the Seahawks roster is in large part what it will look like when the team begins its first minicamp in April. So here’s another look at the team from each position heading into April. Seattle currently has 65 players on the roster, and has lost seven of its own players through free agency.


Number kept last season: Three

Currently on roster: Three

Average number kept since 2002: Three

Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace

In the hunt: Jeff Rowe

Longer odds: Charlie Frye

Comment – Some of the focus in the draft has been shifted to the possibility of Matthew Stafford being available when Seattle drafts at No. 4, which would leave the Seahawks mulling whether they should take a franchise quarterback to eventually replace Matt Hasselbeck a year or two down the road. If Stafford is available, it would be hard for Seattle to pass him up. However, this is a team that is built to win now, and Seattle more likely would draft an offensive lineman, running back or receiver with the No. 4 overall pick to help them get over the hump as a playoff team. If Seattle does not take Stafford, they probably will take a quarterback later in the draft to groom as a future starter. Rowe was a late addition last season and will be in the hunt for the third quarterback spot. Frye is a free agent and likely will wind up with another team.

Running back

Number kept last season: Six

Currently on roster: Four

Average number kept since 2002: 5.5

Locks: T.J. Duckett, Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Owen Schmitt

In the hunt: Justin Griffith

Longer odds: ???????

Comment – Maurice Morris (Detroit Lions) and Leonard Weaver (Philadelphia Eagles) have moved on to greener pastures. It appears Seattle will go with the running back rotation of Jones and Duckett. Forsett may get a look as a third-down guy. But Seattle could use another explosive back to add to the mix, a guy with game-changing speed who can make an occasional big play, through the draft. Ohio State’s Chris "Beanie" Wells reportedly will visit Seattle. Schmitt, it appears, will get a shot at the starting job and will have to learn on the run. He showed flashes of being able to handle the job last season. Signing free agent fullback Justin Griffith would add depth at fullback along with bringing in someone familiar with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s system. Griffith played for Knapp both in Atlanta and Oakland.

Wide receiver

Number kept last season: Six

Currently on roster: 10

Average number kept since 2002: Six

Locks: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, Nate Burleson

In the hunt: Jordan Kent, Courtney Taylor,

On the bubble: Logan Payne, Michael Bumpus, Ben Obomanu.

Longer odds: Mike Haas, Billy McMullen

Comment — Picking up Houshmandzadeh really solidified this group. However, the Seahawks still could use another speed receiver on the outside to stretch the field. Jordan Kent and Courtney Taylor both contributed on special teams last season, and probably have a leg up on Payne and Obomanu, who are both returning from season-ending injuries. The loss of Bobby Engram will be felt, leaving Seattle without one of its veteran leaders. It will be interesting to see how many receivers Seattle keeps during the season, with the Seahawks emphasizing the run more and perhaps not using as many three or four-receiver sets. But right now the depth looks okay here. You couldn’t say that last season.

Tight end

Number kept last season: Three

Currently on roster: Four

Average number kept since 2002: Three

Locks: John Carlson, John Owens

On the bubble: Joe Newton

Longer odds: John Tereshinksi

Comment – The Seahawks essentially switch back-up tight ends with Detroit Lions, signing John Owens in free agency. Heller later signed with the Lions. This is still a position of strength, but Seattle may consider drafting a pass-catching tight end in case Carlson gets injured.

Offensive line

Number kept last season: Nine

Currently on roster: 11

Average number kept since 2002: 9

Locks: Walter Jones, Mike Wahle, Sean Locklear Chris Spencer, Ray Willis, Rob Sims

In the hunt: Mansfield Wrotto, Kyle Williams, Steve Vallos.

Longer odds: Na’Shan Goddard, William Robinson

Comment – Seattle has decent depth here. With the signing of Willis, the Seahawks now have a competent backup should Jones or Locklear not come back at full strength. Willis also should compete with Sims for the starting right guard spot. Wrotto, Vallos and Williams proved they could play in a pinch if called upon. The Seahawks still need to draft a couple guys to add depth. Look for Seattle to take a couple athletic, agile lineman who fit the team’s move to more of a zone blocking scheme.

Defensive line

Number kept last season: Nine

Currently on roster: 11

Average number kept since 2002: 9

Locks: Darryl Tapp, Brandon Mebane, Patrick Kerney, Lawrence Jackson, Red Bryant, Colin Cole, Cory Redding.

In the hunt: Baraka Atkins, Craig Terrill,

Longer odds: Kevin Brown, Brandon Miller

Comment – The additions of Cole and Redding add much-needed depth to the unit and also give Seattle some versatility up front. Perhaps Seattle could still use another run stuffer inside and a speed rusher to come off the edge, and will look to add a few guys through the draft. But through coaching and player improvement the Seahawks expect to be much better up front in 2009.


Number kept last season: Six

Currently on roster: Seven

Average number kept since 2002: 6.6

Locks: Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Will Herring,

In the hunt: David Hawthorne, Lance Laury, D.D. Lewis

Comment – The team is still negotiating with Hill, who has not signed his $8.3 million franchise tender. Seattle lost veteran Pro Bowler Julian Peterson in the trade with Detroit, and might look to the draft for his replacement, especially if Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry is available when Seattle picks at No. 4. Even with Peterson gone, this group remains a strength for Seattle, but they must play like it in 2009.


Number kept last season: Four

Currently on roster: Seven

Average number kept since 2002: 4.5

Locks: Kelly Jennings, Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, Jordan Babineaux

In the hunt: Kevin Hobbs

Longer odds: Marquis Floyd, DeMichael Dizer

Comment – Seattle still may need another big body here, and could get a guy through the draft. Two bigger corners Seattle has sized up is 6-foo-3 corner Sean Smith from Utah and Don Carey out of Norfolk State.


Number kept last season: Four

Currently on roster: Four

Average number kept since 2002: Four

Locks: Deon Grant, Brian Russell

In the hunt: C.J. Wallace, Jamar Adams

Comment – The Seahawks will look to bring in a couple young bodies to add a more physical presence in the secondary, but they also like Wallace and Adams. Better defensive line play will translate into better play from the secondary.


Specialists kept last season: Three

Currently on roster: Five

Average number kept since 2002: Three

Locks: (K) Olindo Mare, (K)Brandon Coutu

In the hunt: (P) Jon Ryan

Longer odds: (LS)Tyler Schmitt (LS)Ryan Senser

Comment – With long snapper Jeff Robinson likely not coming back, the Seahawks need to find some reliability at the position, with both Schmitt and Senser competing for the spot. Schmitt is attempting to come back after a severe back injury put him on the injured reserve list during training camp last season. Mare and Coutu will continue their competition for a second straight season. Mare proved a great weapon with his ability to consistently kick the ball in the end zone.

Roster Analysis
Leave a comment Comments → 29
  1. Dukeshire says:

    I’m at work so I’ll have to keep this short, but: this team is built to win now but that shouldn’t preclude them from keeping the window open for as long as possible. I’m not necessarly advocating taking him, but if Stafford is there and they pass on him, it seem hard to believe they will look for a future starter to groom, in this draft. If he is there, he has to be a serious consideration. (He will not be there.)

    How can Ben Obomanu not be in the hunt?
    D.D. Lewis is a lock.

  2. Why is Brian Russell a “lock”?

  3. Both kickers a lock for training camp is OK but PLEASE dont take up two spots on the roster when we get to the real season…PLEASE!

  4. Rob Sims being a lock over a guy like Mansfield Wrotto is crazy. Wrotto may not be a star, or even a future star, but as he stands right now, will less experience, he’s a heck of a lot better than Rob F’N Sims.

    Rob Sims in 3 years has proven 1 thing — that he sucks.

    In 2 years Wrotto had never proven anything (that he was good or sucked). Then he got his chance the last month of the ’08 season and played so-so. He may not make anyone forget Hutch anytime soon, but he proved that he’s already better than Sims. That may not be a great compliment to Wrotto, but it’s better than being worse than Sims (which would truly make that player the all time worst starter at any position in the history of the NFL).

  5. If Sims starts at RG and that forces either Lock or Willis to the bench — does anyone have a number to hire a Hit Man?

  6. hawkdawg says:

    I’m glad they signed Willis, but he is no way, no how, a “back-up” to Walter at LT. Not even for one play.

  7. Cut some freakin WR’s

  8. If Obamanu or Payne get healthy enough to compete in camp, then I can’t imagine them not beating out Taylor and Kent. Taylor had opportunities to prove himself all season long and did little except diappoint. Kent looks like a great track athlete who just isn’t a football player. I’m looking forward to seeing Payne and Obo step up.

    And, Who would have thought our D line depth chart could look so good, even before the draft?!

  9. I don’t think W Jones will be able to come back from microfracture surgery at his age. I think he is done. I also believe Spencers’ shoulder is chronic and he won’t be able to play a whole season ever again. William Robinson and Na’ Shan Goddard are strictly camp fodder.

    That leaves Willis, Locklear and Williams at OT, Wahle, Sims and Wrotto at OG and Vallos at center. Gee, should Seattle draft some O linemen?

  10. finfangfoom says:

    Obamanu should be perfectly healthy already. He was only put on IR because he was going to miss the first few weeks of last season, and we already had Branch and Engram who were injured to start the year but still on the active roster, so we did not have the option to carry a third WR that wasn’t going to be able to play right away.

  11. Eric, thx for the summary… For training camp, any names you’ve heard being thrown around for another QB????

  12. seafanalways1 says:

    bobby, enough with the rob sims hate. hes not that bad

  13. hawkcrazy says:

    I agree about R. Sims…we KNOW how you feel. Whether it’s Jordan Gross, K. Moreno and how bad R. Sims is, we know…we know.

    Other than that…I actually look forward to your contributions. It’s the obsessing that gets to be redundant.

  14. Football Outsiders ’08 rankings (higher rankings are better)
    M.Hasselbeck DYAR 40th, DVOA 39th
    S.W. DYAR 22nd, DVOA 19th
    J.Jones DYAR 42nd, DVOA 43rd
    TJ Duckett not enough carries to be ranked
    TJ Houshmandzadeh DYAR 23rd, DVOA 34th
    D.Branch DYAR 69th, DVOA 69th
    N.Burleson not enough recepts to be ranked

    J.Carlson DYAR 8th DVOA 10th
    J.Owens not enough recepts to be ranked

    Run Blkg 29th
    Pass Blkg 21st

    Run D 17th
    Pass D 18th

    ST: 9th

    Drive Stats:
    Yds/Dr: 26th, Pts/Dr: 26th, TDs/Dr: 26th, Punts/Dr: 31st, TOs/Dr: 18th, Ints/Dr: 19th, FUM/Dr: 17th, LOS/Dr: 13th, DSR: 25th
    Yds/Dr: 26th, Pts/Dr: 25th, TDs/Dr: 19th, Punts/Dr: 22nd, TOs/Dr: 26th, Ints/Dr: 29th, FUM/Dr: 13th, LOS/Dr: 8th, DSR: 22nd

    Overall Team Efficiency: 29th
    Offense: 26th, Defense: 27th, ST: 9th

    Hawks are gonna need a lot more to be a contender next year.

  15. higher ranking = 1st or 2nd

  16. DSR = Drive Succes Rate

  17. T A K E T H E Q B

    Seriously? “Built to win now?” A 4-12 team with no outside deep threat (not that our QB can throw accurately beyond 30 yards anyway), no big play running back, an aging, slow OL, a DL that can’t stop the run, rush the passer or keep the other teams OL’s off the linebackers so they can make plays, and a secondary full of liliputians who make Bono look like Wilt Chamberlain. Yup. Fix those small issues, and this is a team ready to win right now…

    And not to mirror BobbyK with the repeativness, but did I mention our 34-year-old QB with a bulging disk in his back?

    Seriously, I’m not sure what’s worse, Obama-nomics or Ruskell’s mismanagement of the Seahawks roster.

    Hey, I’ve got it! Maybe Obama could appoint Ruskell to run GM and we could get that CEO he just fired to run the Seahawks…

    And yeah, Obomanu has showed more than either Payne or Taylor, but he has a broken collarbone, and we know what happens to WR’s with fragile collarbones (see Bannister, Alex).

  18. Sorry, the main point is that this team is delusional if they think they are built to win now. Most of their best players are over 30, coming off injuries, or both. They should take the long term view and go with Stafford or Sanchez @ #4.

  19. If they go with Sanchez we will SUCK for years

  20. Maybe I’m being an overly optimistic fan who is blinded by the reality that this team is injured and aging, but I think we can win Super Bowl XLIV. Yes. We need to stay healthy, but so does every team. A good draft would do wonders (as it would for any team). If we can get 2-3 “impactful” starters to add a spark, I think we’ll be fine for ’09 (unless you-know-who is a starting guard — then all bets are off and we’re going to suck and then we’ll have ability to draft McCoy or Bradford next year, so we won’t need to worry about Stafford this year).

  21. Well Gosh, no team can succeed after an unlucky 4-12 season (see Falcons, Atlanta, Dolphins, Miami & Ravens, Baltimore).

    Guess I’ll send back my season tickets when they arrive.

    Sure there are question marks headed into the season, but if there is an attractive offer to trade down from #4, I say use the additional draft picks to build for the future that way. Makes more sense to me than blowing a high pick and millions of guaranteed $$ on another question mark (see, Mirer, Rick, Leaf, Ryan,

    Yes, I know two of the teams that rebounded last year had rook QBs, but I’m pretty sure were exceptions rather than the rule.

    Also, WTF does Obama have to do with anything on this blog?

    As someone who doesn’t follow college football closely enough to make assessments on players’ future NFL success, I’d rather hear why you think Stafford is THE pick IF he’s available at #4.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    This team is set up on two different paths. The core of the D is young and just entering their prime. The offense is exiting theirs and is aging at a exponential pace. That’s one reason I’m secretly in favor of Stafford. An infusion of talented youth at the most crucial positions on offense is critical right now. O line is certainly included, as we have discussed at nauseum.

  23. piperfeltcher says:

    Not sure what people want out of Sims. Everything I read about him last offseason talked about how much work he was doing and how much he is improving. Then he hurts his shoulder in training camp and needed surgery. He puts off surgery and tries to play with basically the use of 1 arm as the team needs him and then when he struggles they realize he can not perform they shut him down and he gets his surgery. Yes he struggled last year but he was playing HURT because the team needed him and instead of doing the easy thing and calling it a season he tried to gut it out and help the team. Personally I hope his shoulder is healed and he has a great season.

  24. nighthawk2 says:

    “bobby, enough with the rob sims hate. hes not that bad”

    Yes, he is. Rob Sims is awful, if you saw the 2007 season you’ll know why I gave him the nickname “Turnstile”. Spencer at least improved in a modest way. Yes, I know that Sims went on IR after the first game of the season (it was a torn pectoral, not a shoulder, maybe your thinking of Spencer). He still sucks. If it’s a choice between he and Wrotto to start at right guard, Wrotto wins hands down, and Wrotto sucks too, just not as bad.

    Yes a team can rebound from a 4-12 season. I do not see the pieces here for a Falcons/Dolphins 11-5 turnaround though. I would be very happy with a 9-7 or 10-6 season, anything beyond that would be gravy. It will take at least adequate play at LT (and if we don’t draft one early I think we’ll be seeing Sean Locklear there) and improved play at RG, much better play from the existing RB’s than we saw from them last year, and a quantum leap in the defense, especially in pass rush and secondary play. With the schedule, the number of holes to fill and our GM’s unerring knack for drafting 1st round busts and lousy offensive linemen, well that’s why I’m keeping expectations at the 9-7 to 10-6 level.

    Yes, we need to draft some offensive linemen, but I am thinking this is less and less likely. Why? For one reason Ruskell is on record saying he doesn’t like to take lineman that high, secondly he’s only drafted an offensive lineman higher than the 4th round once in 4 years here, and that was Spencer, who is awful and can’t stay healthy. He drafted OL in the 4th round 3 times (Willis, who is average, Sims, who is lousy, and Wrotto who is not quite as lousy) and twice in the 7th round (Doug Nienhuis who missed being Mr. Irrelevent by 1 pick and I don’t think made it out of camp and Vallos, who was converted from tackle to gaurd to center and is average at best). So as much as I want OT and G/C in the first couple of rounds, I’m not expecting that to happen.

    If we draft Crabtree at 4, I think it signals the end of Deion Branch here, if not this season then next. He’s an injury prone $5 mil cap hit, so why have 4 receivers like Branch, Burleson ($8.25 million cap hit this year between them), Houshmandzadeh and Crabtree on a team that wants to run the ball first and foremost? It would give Crabtree a year to learn to run routes (which his college offense didn’t call for) and for his foot to heal more. But if they want an “impact” player at 4, does a receiver in a crowded field of receivers equal an impact player? There’s only so many passes to go around, Crabtree is not known to be a “homerun” threat, hell his 40 time isn’t even known because he had surgery on his foot and missed the combine and Pro Day workouts. Plus he needs to pick up the playbook and the WCO calls for precision routes. If we take Stafford, presuming Detroit doesn’t take him, he’s not an impact player this year unless both Hasselbeck and Wallace are injured (again). But he has a year or two to learn the offense. If we draft Moreno (or Wells), well, yeah, they’d be an impact player because he’d be the starter at halfback, or at least see significant playing time. Curry would be an impact player at 4 because he’d be a starter. He’d also put us right back into the Peterson situation (a boatload of money tied up in the linebacker position). And from some draft analyst’s point of view, he’s strictly a strong side lineback in the Tampa 2 defense we’re supposed to be running.

    Sanchez will be a good quarterback IF he goes to a team where he doesn’t have to start right away, and to a team with the right system. Seattle would be just such a team. I think he’d be a good WCO quarterback.

    I’m glad Eric mentioned Don Carey. He’s projected as a 7th rounder by, but I’d like to see us get him in the 6th, because he may be a lot better than a 7th round pick. Al Alfalava, the safety from Oregon State, is another late round DB that the Hawks seem interested in. Seattle is one of several teams (also Indy and Chicago) who have set up private workouts for him after seeing him at his Pro Day. He didn’t get invited to the combine, but if he had, his Pro Day numbers would have been the top numbers for a safety there. 5’11”, 207 pounds, 4.42-4.8 fourty time, 40″ vertical, 10.5″ broadjump, 29 reps in the benchpress.

    If our draft was this, I think we could be said to have a really good off season. That is, IF either Walter Jones recovers from the microfracture surgery on the knee (of which I remain high skeptical) or Sean Locklear is as good on the left side as some think he will be.

    2. Marcus Freeman OLB Ohio State
    3.Gerald Cadogen OL Penn State
    4. Stephen McGee QB Texas A&M
    5. James Davis RB Clemson
    6. Don Carey CB Norfolk State (hey, maybe Ruskell finally takes a small school guy)
    7a. Al Alfalava S Oregon State
    7b. Jared Bronson TE Central Washington
    7c. Jon Cooper C Oklahoma
    7d. Chris Miller P Ball State

  25. Eric – I am pretty sure the Hawks carried four specialists last year, not three (two kickers, long snapper and punter). Also, I would say the DD Lewis is a lock.

    Rob Sims – I hate seeing him get pushed backward (which I saw a whole lot). Other than constantly getting pushed backward and pretty much never creating a surge forward, I think he looks ok with the rest of his technique. If power were not a required element for NFL caliber guards, I think he would be just fine. He might even be strong, but the kid just gets pushed around too much (and of course that puts him in bad positions).

  26. It would be an awful idea to waste a 4th overall pic on a QB when Hasselbeck will still play another 3ish years. Why take one now, when next year there will be 4 QBs sitting there in the first round (McCoy, Harrell, Bradford, Tebow?). One of those guys will be available anywhere in the first round next year. I’d rather not grab Stafford since he has been known to be a little bit of a party boy, and was never able to step up and perform in the big game. He’s an overhyped, over-weight slacker with a strong arm (think Ryan Leaf). It would make more sense to grab Curry (if available) or one of the stud OL. After all, if you have a great QB and an average line, whats the point (I.E: Joey Harrington)? A great offensive line allows you to see success with a less talented quarterback by providing him proper time (TEVARIS JACKSON led a playoff team this year!) And lets all remember, Tom Brady was a 6th rnd pic, the same year Chad Pennington was the top QB taken. Taking Stafford would be a HUGE mistake. Literally huge, because he is too fat.

  27. monmornQB says:

    Aside from Tru our secondary is WEAK. I don’t care if we had an entire Dline of pro bowlers. Those jokers couldn’t cover a bed w/ a sheet. About the only person they could tackle is Alexander and thats only because he falls down before contact. I will alway watch the hawk play but if i hve to watch a 2nd rate secondary get burned over and over again next season I might end up breaking my TV.

  28. tp10super10 says:

    Couple things.. First, Osiris, you are such a waste of time and space, do you realize that when people see your comments in each article we just skip over it. Your redundancy is so over the top it gets to the point where there is no insight, no fresh ideas, not even anything you could come close to calling constructive. It’s dark clouds, chaos, and the way you describe the state of the team and Tim Ruskell’s obvious terribleness seems like you are forecasting the apocolypse. I read your post here just for a laugh. There are plenty of “Debbie Downer’s” here on a regular basis, but at least they aren’t so jaded they can’t offer something tangable.

    Apologize to everyone else for that rant, but I tend to think “glass half full” without being delusional. I believe with a new regime, a more healthy team overall, and a weak schedule…why not 8-11 wins. All our tough games (Tenn, GB, Chi) are at home save for @Minn and @Indy and we don’t travel any further east than Indy. Looking at the schedule based off the previous year usually doesn’t mean much, but we only play 4 playoff teams from last year.

    Wanted to throw this out to see what people think regarding the draft. Opinions welcome. I have been thinking about players that fit Ruskell’s mold (whether you like it or not it’s the way it’s going to go). 4 year player, consistant, BCS school, effort/character guy. I have serious doubts Curry will get past STL or KC but if he does I’m not sure how they don’t take him. With that said, what about taking Malcom Jenkins from Ohio St.? He is a great character guy, big for a CB (6’0 205) and played Safety in certain packages his last 3 years in school. He could challenge for a starting spot, nickel CB at very least, and could give them a real physical presence at Safety in passing situations.

    Haven’t heard much out there about him and the Hawks but he seems to fit how we draft and fills a need. Problem is, I’m not sure he is worth the #4 pick overall. Would be much more comfortable taking him at 7-15.


  29. tp10super10 says:

    SteveCP, did you say Staffor is “too fat”? Not sure about that..

    Regardless, I agree with you about next year’s QB class (minus the fact that Graham Harrell is in THIS year’s draft and is a “system” QB from TT which usually doesn’t translate well to the NFL. See, Kingsbury, Kliff. Symonds, BJ.) There is alot of hype around Tebow, McCoy, Bradford, Snead, Grothe, etc.. I’m not sold on any of them but with that said, I have read many times that NO QB in this years draft is ready now and may not have superstar potential. I like Stafford more than Sanchez because he is a proven winner and would enter the NFL with maybe the strongest arm in the league along with Russell and Cutler.

    Saw on today the mention of Hasselbeck and #4 to Denver for Cutler. Obviously rumor…any thoughts on that??

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