Corbin Smith

Projecting The Seattle Seahawks Week 1 Roster

Created on Jul. 24, 2014 8:36 PM EST

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks hit the field for the first time Friday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex in Renton, Wash, in defense of their crown. Corbin Smith and Tad Hensinger decided to tackle roster cuts prior to the start of camp to see which players will be suiting up against the Green Bay Packers Week 1 at CenturyLink Field.


Corbin: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson (2)

Tad: Wilson, Jackson (2)

Analysis: Terrelle Pryor will make things interesting because of his freakish physical gifts, and if he showed more willingness to try another position, he might have a better chance to make the team. But Jackson’s experience in Darrell Bevell’s system will win out in the end to remain the backup to Wilson and I don’t see Seattle keeping three quarterbacks. – CS

Pryor has shown flashes of starting potential and he’s so athletic, but he isn’t a good enough quarterback at this point. The team will elect to cut him and keep a player at another position. Wilson is the unquestioned starter and Jackson is a professional veteran that knows how to help the team. Knowing Bevell’s system so well doesn’t hurt either. In the end, Pryor’s physical gifts aren’t enough to outweigh the need of another position player and Jackson’s experience. – TH

Running Backs

Corbin: Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, Robert Turbin, Kiero Small (4)

Tad: Lynch, Michael, Turbin, Small (4)

Analysis: The running backs seemed to be set in stone, but a long holdout by Lynch would change the dynamics greatly. If he's out long-term, Spencer Ware could be kept as an extra running back because he ran frequently at LSU. I fully expect Small to come in and take the fullback job away from Derrick Coleman and Ware because he’s simply a better blocker at the point of attack. –CS

Lynch is the top dog unless something unpredictable occurs, like holding out all of camp. Michael’s talent and improvement in pass blocking and reading blocks should allow him to jump Turbin for Lynch’s backup spot. Kiero Small will light defenders up while opening running lanes. A fullback like Small isn’t drafted without a purpose. –TH

Wide Receivers

Corbin: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood (5)

Tad: Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Richardson, Norwood, Ricardo Lockette (6)

Analysis: I was torn here about adding a sixth receiver to the roster, but with Sidney Rice retiring, I’m not sold on the idea of keeping an extra player at this position. Lockette could slide in because of his value on special teams, maybe Chris Matthews could steal a spot with his size and athleticism. Don’t see it, though. –CS

The Seahawks have a run-first offense, but that will change to some extent with Richardson and Norwood being drafted. More options for Wilson means more backups. Seattle rarely goes four or five wide, but they’ll need a sixth receiver just in case an injury or two crops up and Lockette’s special teams value gives him the nod. –TH

Tight Ends

Corbin: Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy (3)

Tad: Miller, Willson, McCoy (3)

Analysis: I thought Chase Dixon had potential to be a steady reserve tight end in this league, but he needs time to develop and will need time on a practice squad for at least one season. The team waived him prior to camp, so tough to envision him coming back. Expect the same core group as last year with McCoy returning from an Achilles tear. –CS

Undrafted rookies like Dixon and RaShaun Allen have upside, but they just don’t have the talent to crack the top three on this team. This isn’t a particularly strong group and McCoy should be on notice due to injury and drops, but he has enough potential to stay on the roster. –TH

Offensive Tackles

Corbin: Russell Okung, Justin Britt, Michael Bowie, Alvin Bailey (4)

Tad: Okung, Britt, Bowie, Bailey (4)

Analysis: Okung will start at left tackle, and I believe Britt will edge Bowie to take the right tackle job. Bailey and Bowie will make strong reserves on both sides, and that’s great news for an offensive line that has been ravaged by injuries in recent seasons. –CS

Okung is a lock on the left side. Bowie will edge Britt on the right side to start the season, largely due to experience. Britt will push Bowie in camp and may start at some point this season, but for now he’ll be given a backup role with Bailey as he grows into the starting role down the line. –TH

Offensive Guards

Corbin: James Carpenter, J.R. Sweezy, Stephen Schilling, Garry Gilliam (4)

Tad: Carpenter, Sweezy, Schilling (3)

Analysis: I know Gilliam is listed as a tackle, but like Bowie and Britt, he played some guard during off-season work. Schilling has more experience, but I like the upside of Gilliam more and don’t think he’d go untouched on waivers to make the practice squad. If Seattle keeps a sixth receiver, Schilling or Gilliam would be next in line to get cut. –CS

Seattle will go light at the guard spot due to keeping a sixth receiver. They’ll risk losing Gilliam if they waive him, but if nobody else claims him, he could be a practice squad player. Schilling has experience to be a quality back up, plus a guy like Bowie, Bailey or center Lemuel Jeanpierre can slide to guard in a pinch. –TH


Corbin: Max Unger, Jeanpierre (2)

Tad: Unger, Jeanpierre (2)

Analysis: This is the same cast as last season and Seahawks should be in good shape at this position. –CS

Unger is a lock and one of the best at his position. Jeanpierre is a quality backup that offers versatility at the guard position if need be. No questions about this one. –TH

Defensive Ends

Corbin: Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Cassius Marsh, Benson Mayowa, Jackson Jeffcoat (5)

Tad: Avril, Bennett, Marsh, Greg Scruggs, Jeffcoat (5)

Analysis: I love the edge rush potential with both Mayowa and Jeffcoat and think they’d be excellent developmental players to keep on the roster behind Avril and Bennett. Scruggs brings size, but I don’t see room to keep him unless they plan on dropping him down to defensive tackle. –CS

Avril and Bennett start, no contest. Marsh has intriguing upside as a situational player and Jeffcoat will surprise a lot of people in camp and the preseason thereby earning a spot. Scruggs will survive cuts over Mayowa due to his size allowing him to drop down inside on passing downs while still excelling as a pass rusher. –TH

Defensive Tackles

Corbin: Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams, Jesse Williams, Jordan Hill (5)

Tad: Mebane, McDaniel, Williams, Williams, Hill (5)

Analysis: Mebane and McDaniel will be the primary starters, but Kevin Williams could see more action than expected if he’s still got something left in the tank. If healthy, Jesse Williams can be a force and Hill has great upside as well. –CS

Mebane is underrated and the top of the food chain in the defensive tackle rotation. McDaniel will get the nod immediately after with veteran Kevin Williams contributing in situational roles. If he’s healthy, Jesse Williams has the potential to be a starter in the league and that upside gives him an edge in the fourth spot over Hill. –TH

Outside Linebackers

Corbin: K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer (5)

Tad: Wright, Irvin, Smith, Pierre-Louis, Toomer (5)

Analysis: Toomer has had a strong offseason, and as long as he stays healthy through camp, he’ll round out a strong group headlined by Wright, Smith, and Irvin. Pierre-Louis could also be a pleasant surprise as a rookie on special teams. –CS

Toomer has gotten too much praise this offseason for it to be just talk. Malcom Smith is a valuable backup and spot starter, showing his worth in the Super Bowl. Pierre-Louis has looked good in offseason work, but he has a long hill to climb before he’s featured and will make his initial mark on special teams. Irvin is a lock this season even coming off hip surgery. Wright is a lock to start and can even slide inside when needed. –TH

Middle Linebackers

Corbin: Bobby Wagner, Brock Coyle (2)

Tad: Wagner, Coyle (2)

Analysis: It’s a tough decision to make, but if Coyle has a strong preseason, I’m keeping him over veteran Heath Farwell. Love him as a tackler and think he has much greater upside moving forward as a developmental prospect behind Wagner and Wright. –CS

I initially went with veteran Heath Farwell but changed my mind to Coyle. I have a feeling Coyle will display enough big plays and decision making to jump Farwell. He’s also younger and quite athletic. Outside linebacker K.J. Wright can also slide inside if needed as Coyle develops. Wagner is a guarantee and a budding star. –TH


Corbin: Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Tharold Simon, Jeremy Lane, A.J. Jefferson (5)

Tad: Sherman, Maxwell, Lane, Simon, Jefferson (5)

Analysis: The first four seem like solid locks to me, and Jefferson will win a head-to-head battle with fellow veteran Phillip Adams to secure one of the final roster spots. The main question will be deciding who takes the starting nickel corner job behind Maxwell and Sherman. –CS

The first four aren’t in doubt, only the final pecking order behind Maxwell and Sherman. Lane takes the nickel spot initially, but Simon came on strong in OTA’s and will push him. Jefferson’s size and athleticism plus penchant for making a tackle will lock him into the last spot, unless the team moves Eric Pinkins to corner. –TH


Corbin: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Pinkins (4)

Tad: Thomas, Chancellor, Johnson, Pinkins (4)

Analysis: If Pinkins becomes more comfortable as a corner during camp, then maybe he supplants Jefferson and opens up room to keep Dion Bailey or Deshawn Shead. But I would take Pinkins over those two at safety any day of the week in this system due to his length and athletic traits. –CS

Thomas and Chancellor are perennial Pro Bowl stars. Johnson is a valuable backup and may be asked to start if Chancellor’s return from surgery doesn’t happen as quickly as the team wants. Pinkins was drafted with the team thinking he’d be their next big, physical corner, but he’s more comfortable at safety and will cut his teeth in the NFL at that position. Bailey has a shot if the Seahawks want five safeties or Pinkins moves to corner. Shead just isn’t going to stand a chance barring injuries.–TH


Corbin: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham (3)

Tad: Hauschka, Ryan, Gresham (3)

Analysis: These three guys are locks. Hauschka signed a new deal this offseason and Ryan is coming off an outstanding 2013 season. No drama to be had here. –CS

Hauschka and Ryan are above average at worst. Long snappers don’t often lose their spot, so Gresham is safe. Nothing to see here, folks. –TH