Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primer: Danny Etling

Signed as an insurance policy prior to the 2020 season, the former LSU starter will be looking to give Geno Smith a run for his money competing for the backup gig behind Russell Wilson in training camp and the preseason.
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With the calendar flipping to June and offseason programs in full swing across the country, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than two months. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.

Danny Etling, Quarterback

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 220 pounds

2020 Stats: N/A

After spending time as a starter at Purdue and LSU at the college level, the Patriots drafted Etling in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In five career preseason games, he completed 37 of 69 passes for 371 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions while also showing some dual-threat capabilities while rushing for 235 yards and a touchdown on 27 attempts. This athleticism led New England to try converting Etling to receiver in 2019, but he never played a snap at the position and eventually was claimed off waivers by Atlanta. With Matt Ryan sidelined, he dressed for one game as a backup in 2019 behind Matt Schaub, which ironically came against Seattle. Last August, with the team seeking additional quarterback insurance behind Russell Wilson while playing during a pandemic, the Seahawks claimed him off waivers and he spent the entire 2020 season on the practice squad.

Best Case Scenario: With his athletic traits accentuated in Shane Waldron's offense, Etling enjoys a stellar preseason as both a passer and a runner and after being waived in final roster cuts, he gets picked up by another team to be a primary backup on a 53-man roster.

Worst Case Scenario: With his third team in three years, Etling fails to distance himself from Alex McGough and after being released in early September, the Seahawks don't opt to bring him back on the practice squad.

What to Expect in 2021: During rookie minicamp and OTAs, Etling has shown improved accuracy as a passer during drill work and his plus-athleticism adds intrigue as a potential backup quarterback alternative, especially in Waldron's scheme. However, he hasn't played a regular season snap in the NFL and doesn't have the arm talent or experience Geno Smith brings to the table. While he's still young enough to play his way into a backup role elsewhere with a strong preseason, barring an injury in front of him on the depth chart, returning to the practice squad likely remains his best possible outcome in Seattle.

Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers

Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | LaDarius Wiley | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | B.J. Emmons | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans