Mid-OTAs Seattle Seahawks 53-Man Roster Projection

As the offseason program approaches the finish line and training camp draws closer, which Seahawks look poised to land roster spots come September?
Dec 24, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) hands the ball off to running back Kenneth Walker III (9) during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) hands the ball off to running back Kenneth Walker III (9) during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Now halfway through their 10 scheduled OTA practices, the Seattle Seahawks will soon be entering a month-long hiatus before the anticipated start of training camp, which will be their first under new head coach Mike Macdonald.

Closing in on the conclusion of their offseason program and heading full-steam ahead towards the 2024 season, which players will be on the 53-man roster when the Seahawks open the regular season schedule against the Broncos on September 8 at Lumen Field?

Two months away from the start of training camp, here's my first stab at projecting what Seattle's roster will look like in early September:

Quarterback (2)

Starter: Geno Smith

Backup: Sam Howell

With Smith back under center as the undisputed starter and Howell arriving as a potential heir apparent, the Seahawks shouldn't have any shakeups coming at quarterback with the present and possibly the future on the roster.

Running Back (3)

Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet (26) runs past San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) in the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet (26) runs past San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) in the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Starter: Ken Walker III

Backups: Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh

The duo of Walker and Charbonnet should once again provide a thunder and lightning combination for Seattle's running game and both players offer pass catching capabilities as well. Coming off a lost rookie season, McIntosh's own versatility and special teams talent should lock up the third-down role replacing DeeJay Dallas in a close battle with undrafted rookie George Holani, who the team will be hoping to stash on the practice squad.

Receiver (6)

Starters: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Backups: Jake Bobo, Laviska Shenault, Dareke Young

At the top of the depth chart, with Metcalf, Lockett, and Smith-Njigba already locks to make the team, there won't be any drama from a starters standpoint at receiver. But behind those three staples, the situation could get quite interesting due to the amount of talent and depth Seattle has amassed at the position. After a surprising rookie season, Bobo will have to fight for his spot, but Ryan Grubb and Smith hold him in high regard, while Shenault's kick return prowess and Young's overall versatility will help them beat out former second-round pick Dee Eskridge and stellar undrafted rookie Hayden Hatten for two of the final roster spots.

Tight End (4)

Starter: Noah Fant

Backups: Pharaoh Brown, AJ Barner, Jack Westover

Aside from Fant, the Seahawks will have a completely new-look tight end group following the departures of Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. Signed as a free agent, Brown will start off as the primary inline blocking tight end to complement Fant's athleticism and pass catching ability, but Barner could come for the role at some point in his rookie season. With the former Michigan standout and Westover both offering special teams ability and the latter being a favorite of Grubb from their time together at Washington, don't be surprised to see four tight ends make the roster.

Offensive Line (10)

Starters: Charles Cross, Laken Tomlinson, Olu Oluwatimi, Christian Haynes, Abraham Lucas

Backups: George Fant, Anthony Bradford, Nick Harris, Stone Forsythe, Sataoa Laumea

Assuming Lucas will be ready to go at some point in training camp, the Seahawks will be set at the two tackle spots, while Tomlinson and Oluwatimi appear to have the edge at left guard and center respectively. Given his All-American pedigree, Haynes will edge out Bradford in a hotly-contested battle at right guard, but both will be on the roster. Fant and Forsythe will give Seattle experienced depth as swing tackles, while Harris and Laumea earn the final two roster spots with their positional flexibility. Sixth-round pick Michael Jerrell will be the last one out with the team banking on keeping him on the practice squad to develop.

Defensive Line (6)

Seattle Seahawks first-round pick Byron Murphy II is introduced to local media alongside general manager John Schneider and coach Mike Macdonald.
Seattle Seahawks first-round pick Byron Murphy II is introduced to local media alongside general manager John Schneider and coach Mike Macdonald. / Corbin Smith/All Seahawks

Starters: Leonard Williams, Jarran Reed, Byron Murphy II

Backups: Jonathan Hankins, Mike Morris, Cameron Young

Returning all of their key contributors from last season, including Williams with a new three-year deal in tow, the Seahawks should have one of the more formidable starting defensive fronts following the arrival of a game-wrecking presence in Murphy. Adding beef to the interior, Hankins will step in as a traditional nose tackle that the team lacked a year ago, while Morris and Young remain intriguing young rotational pieces with upside. With Dre'Mont Jones still offering the ability to play inside in a pinch, the team only needs to keep six players at end and tackle.

Outside Linebacker/EDGE (5)

Starters: Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe

Backups: Dre'Mont Jones, Darrell Taylor, Derick Hall

After not making any changes to their EDGE group in free agency or the draft, the Seahawks should have the same cast of characters with Nwosu returning from injury and Mafe coming off a breakout sophomore season as the starters. Those two will be complemented by Jones, who looks poised to play most of his snaps as a standup edge along with occasional interior snaps on passing downs, while Taylor will be a pass rushing specialist option and Hall provides a balanced skill set in a rotational reserve role.

Inside Linebacker (4)

Starters: Jerome Baker, Tyrel Dodson

Backups: Jon Rhattigan, Tyrice Knight

Following the departures of Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks, the Seahawks will have two new starters in the middle with Baker expected to play weakside linebacker and Dodson handle MIKE duties. Behind them, Rhattigan's special teams talent should keep him on the roster, while Knight's playmaking upside as a fourth-round pick with the versatility to play either off-ball linebacker spot will keep him on the roster over Drake Thomas and Patrick O'Connell, who could both be practice squad options as developmental insurance.

Cornerback (6)

Starters: Devon Witherspoon, Riq Woolen

Backups: Mike Jackson, Tre Brown, Nehemiah Pritchett, D.J. James

Headlining the deepest position group on the roster, Witherspoon and Woolen provide star power in Seattle's secondary, with the former likely to see significant playing time in the slot in nickel and dime packages with either Brown or Jackson checking in as the second outside defender. While they will have to compete for their roster spots, Pritchett's speed will benefit him in kick and punt coverage and he could be in the mix to return kicks as well, while James' physicality will also help him become an immediate special teams asset. The two rookies will edge out returning veteran Artie Burns for a final roster spot.

Safety (4)

Starters: Julian Love, Rayshawn Jenkins

Backups: K'Von Wallace, Coby Bryant

PUP List: Jerrick Reed II

Coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, Love will pair up with Jenkins, giving the Seahawks two safeties with positional interchangeability that fits Mike Macdonald's defense. Wallace should also get plenty of run as a third safety in certain packages with prior experience playing both safety spots as well as nickel cornerback. With Reed unlikely to be ready for the start of the regular season as he recovers from a torn ACL, Bryant will hold onto a roster spot as a reserve safety who also can play outside or slot cornerback in a pinch and offers special teams value.


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Corbin K. Smith

CORBIN K. SMITH

Graduating from Manchester College in 2012, Smith began his professional career as a high school Economics teacher in Indianapolis and launched his own NFL website covering the Seahawks as a hobby. After teaching and coaching high school football for five years, he transitioned to a full-time sports reporter in 2017, writing for USA Today's Seahawks Wire while continuing to produce the Legion of 12 podcast. He joined the Arena Group in August 2018 and also currently hosts the daily Locked On Seahawks podcast with Rob Rang and Nick Lee. Away from his coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL, Smith dabbles in standup comedy, is a heavy metal enthusiast and previously performed as lead vocalist for a metal band, and enjoys distance running and weight lifting. A habitual commuter, he resides with his wife Natalia in Colorado and spends extensive time reporting from his second residence in the Pacific Northwest.