Seahawks Insider

Roster Analysis

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm with 27 Comments »
August 24, 2010 7:28 am

We’ve got two preseason games left, so it’s time for another roster analysis. Here’s a closer look at how the Seattle Seahawks’ roster is shaping up as the team inches toward reaching an 53-man roster, with the first cuts down to 75 players happening on Aug. 31, and final roster cuts taking place on Sept. 4.

Check out the full roster here.

Number kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Three
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst,
Looking good: J.P. Losman
Comment – Hasselbeck’s performance against Green Bay put to rest any talk about a quarterback controversy. And although he struggled against the Packers, Whitehurst appears to be the clear No. 2. I’m still interested to see what Seattle’s does four games into the season if the Seahawks start slowly. Will Carroll have a quick trigger on Hasselbeck? It appears that Carroll firmly believes in Whitehurst as a potential quarterback of the future for this franchise.

Running back
Number kept last season: Five
Currently on roster: Six
Average number kept since 2002: 5.2
Locks: Justin Forsett, Julius Jones, Leon Washington
In the hunt: Owen Schmitt, Quinton Ganther
Longer odds: Louis Rankin
Comment – Both Julius Jones and Justin Forsett have struggled as starters with the first unit, with the offensive line still getting comfortable with Alex Gibbs’ new system. Carroll said Washington might get the start this week, so I’m interested to see how he performs against a pretty stout run defense in Minnesota on Saturday. Ganther continues to show his versatility by playing solid at fullback. Jones certainly is feeling pressure here, but Seattle likely will need all three runners over the course of the season.

Wide receiver
Number kept last season: Five
Currently on roster: 9
Average number kept since 2002: 5.8
Locks: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Golden Tate, Deion Branch, Mike Williams.
In the hunt: Deon Butler, Ben Obomanu, Ruvell Martin
Longer Odds: Kole Heckendorf, Brandon Jones
Comment – I think Williams has done enough to prove that he can contribute and help create mismatches for Seattle this season. The Vincent Jackson speculation has been interesting, but it appears the Seahawks have moved on by picking up Jones. Obomanu continues to prove that he belongs with each game, and I believe has nudged ahead of Martin if Seattle keeps six receivers. Heckendorf could be a practice squad guy, but if he doesn’t start making some plays in the preseason games the Seahawks may look elsewhere for a young receiver to groom for the future.

Tight end
Number kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Five
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: John Carlson, Chris Baker
On the bubble: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah
Longer odds: Nick Tow-Arnett
Comment – They could keep four tight ends because Bates likes to run two-tight end sets, but that seems unlikely. Morrah has looked better catching the ball, and would be a good fill-in for Carlson if he suffered an injury. McCoy is probably the better overall prospect, but his play has been inconsistent. If the Seahawks decide to put either McCoy or Morrah through waivers to get them on the practice squad and lose one of them, they have a fall-back option in Tow-Arnett.

Offensive line

Number kept last season: Nine
Currently on roster: 15
Average number kept since 2002: 9
Locks: Russell Okung, Ben Hamilton, Sean Locklear, Chris Spencer, Ray Willis, Max Unger, Mansfield Wrotto, Chester Pitts (PUP).
In the hunt: Steve Vallos, Mike Gibson, Joe Toledo
Longer odds: Mitch Erickson, Jeff Byers, Jacob Phillips, Gregg Peat.
Comment – Mansfield Wrotto, who moved from guard to tackle this season, actually played OK in place of Okung when the Oklahoma State product went down with an ankle injury against Green Bay. However, Seattle could still use another body at tackle. It will be interesting to see if Chester Pitts is allowed to start practicing with the team this week. He has played tackle in the past and could provide some depth there if he can go. If not, the Seahawks will be looking for a tackle when teams cut down to final rosters on Sept. 4.

Defensive line
Number kept last season: Nine
Currently on roster: 15
Average number kept since 2002: 9
Locks: Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Kevin Vickerson.
In the hunt: E.J. Wilson, Craig Terrill, Nick Reed, Dexter Davis, Quinn Pitcock, Kentwan Balmer.
Longer odds: Ricky Foley, Rob Rose, Jonathan Lewis, Amon Gordon.
Comment – Clemons has gotten pressure at times, but Seattle still doesn’t have a sack against a starting quarterback so far this preseason. And the defense is giving up an average of 4.4 yards-per carry in exhibition play. Having a healthy Brandon Mebane and linebacker Lofa Tatupu should help, but still the performance of the defensive line has been underwhelming during preseason play. Dexter Davis has played well against backups, with two sacks so far.

Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: Eight
Average number kept since 2002: 6.6
Locks: Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne, Will Herring.
In the hunt: Leroy Hill, Tyjuan Hagler, Matt McCoy
Longer odds: Joe Pawelek
Comment – The play of Tyjuan Hagler could give Seattle some tough choices to make come September. Hagler has been all over the field in the second half of games making plays. Hagler has started 17 games in his five years in the league – all with Indianapolis – so he has a pretty good pedigree. With Hill’s court settlement, the team now has to wait on the league to see if he will get further punishment. So his status on the team remains uncertain. It will be nice to finally see Tatupu on the field and see how much that elevates the play of the first-unit defense, which has struggled so far during the exhibition season. Pawelek has had his moments and could be a practice squad guy.

Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: 9
Average number kept since 2002: 4.5
Locks: Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, Walter Thurmond
In the hunt: Kelly Jennings, Roy Lewis.
On the bubble: Kennard Cox, Marcus Brown
Longer odds: Cord Parks, Josh Pinkard (PUP).
Comment – Lewis has been one of the pleasant surprises of the camp, with his ability to play physical in the nickel package. He’s also one of the best special teams players for the Hawks. Jennings still struggles against bigger receivers, with the latest being Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley. Thurmond’s play has tailed off a bit, but he still has enormous potential and would not make it through waivers if Seattle tried to put him on the practice squad. Cord Parks and Marcus Brown are likely competing for a practice squad spot.

Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: Six
Average number kept since 2002: Four
Locks:Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Kam Chancellor
In the hunt: Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams
Longer odds: Kevin Ellison
Comment – This is one of the most competitive units in camp. Babineaux could be on the outside looking in come September, but if Seattle does not keep him they will not have a lot of experience at the position besides Milloy. In his third year, Adams only has four career tackles to his credit. Babineaux also adds versatility, with his ability to play corner and in the slot in nickel situations. And you can’t count out Ellison. He started nine games as a rookie for San Diego last season.

Specialists kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Three
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: (P) Jon Ryan, (K) Olindo Mare, (LS) Clint Gresham.
Longer odds: (K) Clint Stitser
Comment – Stitser is serving as a camp leg while Mare rests a sore calf. Ryan continues to impress, averaging 50 yards a punt against Green Bay, including three inside the 20-yard line. A Texas Christian product, Gresham was the only long snapper invited to the combine this year.

Roster Analysis
Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. MattandCindy says:

    As a diehard fan my whole freakin’ life, I gotta say…’s kinda cool to finally see a BUNCH of new faces. I’m loving the young talent (i.e.: Reed, Davis, Butler, Tate, Thomas, etc.), and digging the loose, fun kinda attitude that Mr. Happy has brought with him here. I know it’s silly to have my hopes up for anything magical to happen this year…but I absolutely do. GO HAWKS!!!
    12TH Man Nation in effect!

  2. There is added competition at linebacker Dexter Davis has moved ahead of Matt McCoy and is playing 2ND unit strong linebacker behind Curry.

    See Clair Farnsworth’s Tale of two Linebackers in Blog under Team.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    I think Kam is a lock if, for no other reason than it would be unlikely he’d make it through waivers to the PS. He’s got a ton of potential I’m sure they want to invest time in.

    One player that impressed me last night was Max Hall, R QB from BYU for Ariz. If the Cards keep 5th rounder John Skelton and cut Hall, I wouldn’t mind seeing the ‘Hawks add him to their PS.

  4. They should cut JP Losman and add Max Hall to the active roster – there is no point in keeping Losman to the roster. Hall did look good.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    They have some tough decisions coming. I see them keeping 6 receivers and 5 corners (how can they not keep Lewis, at this point?) so that puts them 2 over the limit. They can save 1 spot a LB by keeping 5, as Dexter Davis can play both DE and Sam. That still leaves 1 more to cut somewhere. Do they possibly go 4 at RB? Ganther vs Schmitt…?

    …and the league wants to reduce the preseason by 2 games in which these decision need to be made. (Another topic for another time…)

  6. Everyone always lists Julius Jones as a lock, but somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if he is cut.

  7. SeanCarney says:

    Chancellor a lock? I must have missed a great performace by him on saturday

  8. The TE battle is heated. They could keep four if they put Pitts on Reserve PUP for six weeks, and see who performs early in the season before cutting somebody.

    Has anyone heard news on Kentwan Balmer’s injuries? If he gets healthy, he could be that guy the pushes Terrill off the roster. But he had better be ready to go soon. I think EJ Wilson, Dexter Davis, and Nick Reed are all making the team.

  9. I hope Mitch Erickson makes it.

  10. I just learned that G Mitch Erickson was born in Hutchinson, Minnesota. That’s just spooky. Do you have some voodoo spell going on there, Bobby?

  11. chuck_easton says:


    Everyone is saying Jones is a lock pretty much by default. He’s still in the mix for the starting job (I don’t know how, but he’s still listed as the #1 back). Even if he get’s replaced by Forsett or Washington as the starter, the team still needs a minimum of 4 to 5 backs.

    So, barring the team picking up another RB from somewhere Jones will be here. The question is how far up or down the depthchart does he end up?

  12. chuck_easton says:

    In other news, it may be early but I think we have to give the edge to Mr. Happy regarding the Daryl Tapp trade.

    Tapp is currently the #4 DE on the Eagles and is struggling to find playing time.

    We got Clemons who is likely our starter at DE as well as a 4th round pick. That pick became Thurmond.

    I’ll put this one in the win column for us.

  13. Maybe that also speaks to how bad the “talent” level of the Seahawks was coming into this year. I look at this schedule and think, “what stops them from starting the year 1-9??”

  14. He will definitely be lower on the depth chart, but I’m saying that I think he’s “on the bubble” more than people might think. Maybe they don’t cut him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. I could see them conceivably going with Forsett, Washington, Ganther, and Schmitt. I guess we’ll see!

  15. Interesting news about Tapp in Philly. Thurmond could end up being a better player than either player in that trade, Tapp or Clemons.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, I think taking Thurmond with that pick makes this a win for Seattle. From what I’ve read too, Tapp is struggling a bit. He’s behind Cole (who won’t come out much during the regular season) and a bit lost, it appears. I was a big Tapp fan but have to admit, at this point a great move by Schneider / Carroll. Let’s see if we feel the same way in November…

  17. I’m really drinking the Thurmond kool aid.

    I could easily be wrong, but I think Tapp is playing the strong side in Phil?

  18. Dukeshire says:

    I’m not going to pretend to follow the Eagles close enough to be thoroughly familiar with their DE rotation. But, as I understand it, Graham has been named starter opposite Trent Cole. Juqua Parker was with the ones ahead of Graham, so I presume Tapp has been on the weak side behind Cole, at least for the most part. Cole is probably the only one that won’t rotate in and out too much.

    But like I said, I’m not an expert on the Eagles so I have only pieced together what I’ve read here and there.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – That crazy drink you made for the first preseason game (Vodka, Mtn Dew, sugar, simple syrup, Dr Pepper, Tabasco… whatever was in it) should be called the Thurmond, from now on.

    “Honey, game’s coming on. Mix me up a Thurmond…!”

  20. “Thurmond Ingredients” – Vodka, 7-up (only 1/2 the Mountain Dew as 7-up), and orange juice.

  21. chuck_easton says:

    I’m sure there will be news here soon, but Danny O’neil at the times is reporting the following:

    Okung DOES have a high ankle sprain
    Hamilton is working exclusively at backup Center
    Gibson is working with the 1st team offense at LG
    Hawthorwne had an MRI on some unreported injury
    Morrah is not at practice at all
    Pitts has been activated off the PUP

    Stay tuned for further details.

  22. tylakewalker says:

    I believe our new gm built a young team at Green Bay. I would like to think this is the year Seattle gives up on some of the veterans in order to develop the younger players.

    Cornerback: Kelly Jennings is just too small to cover the bigger wide receivers that are commonplace in today’s NFL. Roy Lewis and Walter Thurmond show lots of potential.

    D-Line: Craig Terrill has done well for himself over the years but I would rather see guys like Quinn Pitcock and E.J. Wilson get a chance.

    Receiver: Lose Branch so you can develop Butler and Tate. Too many undersized receivers anyway.

    These are just some of the positions that stick out in my mind. You know Kelly Jennings, Craig Terrill and Deion Branch are not going to get any better. You don’t know how good some of the younger players can get given some playing time. As others have said, the hawks need time (years) to undo the damage that Tim Ruskell did. Since it will be some time before Seattle can go deep in the playoffs, give the younger guys an opportunity, work for the future.

    I would also like to see guys that can play multiple positions make the team, ie., Quinton Ganther and Dexter Davis. This may allow Seattle to keep an extra player or two at a position of weakness, like O-line or D-line.

    On that note, I seem to remember hearing that Earl Thomas can play corner in a pinch. I wonder if the hawks keep one less corner than usual because of this.

  23. chuck_easton says:

    More news:

    Reed is out for a couple of weeks after having his knee scoped.

  24. You’re not exactly the bearer of any good news, are you? Grrr…

  25. Dukeshire says:

    Boy, that is a whole pile of bad news.

    Well, Reed missing the rest of preseason give Davis more reps at DE (as well as Foley so that’s not the worst news in the world.

    Heater worries me. I am anxious to hear more details.

    Gibson with the ones? Okay. Hamilton at center? Odd indeed. Is this an audition for Spencer’s spot? Will Pitts be heading to LG as Hamilton adjusts to center. In two weeks is the line; Wrotto, Pitts, Hamilton, Unger, Lock? Guess we’ll see…

  26. Man. It is still surprising to me every time our whole offensive line goes down, even though it happens every year.

  27. They may just be trying Hamilton at center to see if he could be a capable backup, so Unger would not have to move. Gibson has beat out Vallos for the roster spot.

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