Post-Offseason Seattle Seahawks 53-Man Roster Projection

Now that school is out for the summer and training camp looms on the horizon, which Seahawks have the inside track to roster spots in September?
Dec 10, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet (26) runs past San Francisco 49ers linebacker Randy Gregory (5) 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 Randy Gregory (5) in the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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Putting a bow on a successful first offseason program under new coach Mike Macdonald with minicamp wrapping up earlier this month, the Seattle Seahawks will get to enjoy a lengthy break before returning to kick off a new season with the start of training camp in late July.

Less four weeks away from rookies reporting back to the VMAC and veterans to follow soon after, here's my latest shot at projecting what Seattle's roster and practice squad will look like when a new season opens against Denver in September:

Quarterback (2)

Starter: Geno Smith

Backup: Sam Howell

Practice Squad: PJ Walker

As evidenced throughout the spring, Smith looks to be several steps ahead of Howell at this point, making it obvious why the organization named him the undisputed starter before even taking the practice field in April. With that said, Howell will get plenty of chances to impress in training camp as well as the preseason and still has the potential to be a long-term starter down the line, while Walker's experience will be welcomed as an insurance policy on the practice squad.

Running Back (3)

Starter: Ken Walker III

Backups: Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh

Practice Squad: George Holani

Keeping the backfield band together, the dynamic duo of Walker and Charbonnet should once again provide a thunder and lightning combination for Seattle both in the run and pass game, offering Ryan Grubb's offense two starter-caliber backs at his disposal. After a knee injury wrecked his rookie season, McIntosh's versatility and special teams talent as a potential kick return option should lock up the third-down role replacing DeeJay Dallas in a close battle with Holani, an undrafted rookie out of Boise State that 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

Practice Squad: Cody White, Hayden Hatten

Along with the trifecta of Metcalf, Lockett, and Smith-Njigba already cemented on the roster, Bobo may be nearing lock status after a strong offseason program where he took a major step towards winning over a new coaching staff with his soft hands and quality route running. With four spots likely locked up, as many as five or six players could be vying for just one or two reserve spots. Offering tackle-breaking ability as a receiver and returner with previous running back experience, Shenault winds up beating out Dee Eskridge, while Dareke Young sticks around due to his excellent punt and kick coverage skills and own positional versatility. After missing out on roster spots, White and Hatten are retained as depth pieces on the practice squad.

Tight End (3)

Starter: Noah Fant

Backups: Pharaoh Brown, AJ Barner

Practice Squad: Jack Westover

With Fant as the lone returning contributor from last year's tight end group, the Seahawks will be counting on Brown to help fill the physicality void left by Will Dissly's departure, as he should see the bulk of the team's inline blocking reps early. Assuming Barner has recovered from a tight hamstring that limited him during his first offseason program, he will play significant snaps on special teams and the torch could be passed to him from Brown on offense at some point in the season. Despite his connection with Grubb at Washington, Westover narrowly misses out on a roster spot with the team having more pressing depth needs elsewhere, signing back on the practice squad.

Offensive Line (10)

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

Backups: George Fant, Anthony Bradford, Nick Harris, McClendon Curtis, Sataoa Laumea

Practice Squad: Mike Jerrell, Garret Greenfield, Max Pircher

A recent update from Lucas himself suggests he's trending towards being ready to return early in training camp, which would be great news for the Seahawks up front. Cross, Tomlinson, and Oluwatimi should already be penned in as starters, while Haynes will be given an opportunity at some point to snatch the starting right guard job away from Bradford and Curtis, who has taken all of the first-team reps during the offseason program. As far as potential shockers, with Fant returning to presume the swing tackle role, Seattle decides to move on from Stone Forsythe in favor of Curtis and Laumea, who both can play guard and tackle and have at least two more years of club control. For development purposes, Jerrell and Greenfield return to the practice squad.

Defensive Line (6)

Starters: Leonard Williams, Johnathan Hankins, Jarran Reed

Backups: Byron Murphy II, Mike Morris, Cameron Young

Practice Squad: Myles Adams, Matt Gotel

If offseason practices serve as an indicator, Macdonald and his staff will lean heavily on experience in the starting lineup out of the gate with Hankins stepping in as the new starting nose tackle and the duo of Williams and Reed manning the 3-tech defensive tackle spots. While he won't begin his NFL career as a starter, however, Murphy should see extensive run rotating in to play multiple positions, including potentially even seeing reps at nose in passing situations. Given his previous background playing for Macdonald and positional flexibility, Morris beats out Myles Adams for the final reserve spot, while Young sticks around as a second nose tackle.

Outside Linebacker/EDGE (5)

Starters: Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe

Backups: Dre'Mont Jones, Derick Hall, Nelson Ceaser

Practice Squad: Joshua Onujiogu, Sunny Anderson

Thanks to the return of a healthy Nwosu, the Seahawks will be back at full strength, pairing the talented veteran once again with Mafe as the projected starters. But in a new scheme, Jones should see the bulk of his playing time rotating in off the edge as well, which changes the dynamic for how the rest of the position group may be constructed. Behind their new big three, Hall has flashed enough this spring to suggest he will be ready for an expanded rotational role, bypassing Darrell Taylor on the depth chart. Rather than keep Taylor around, the team decides to move on in favor of an undrafted rookie in Ceaser, whose quality all-around game and special teams ability land him one of the final roster spots instead of the speedy veteran rusher.

Inside Linebacker (5)

Starters: Jerome Baker, Tyrel Dodson

Backups: Jon Rhattigan, Tyrice Knight, Patrick O'Connell

Practice Squad: Easton Gibbs

Though they have yet to see any practice reps recovering from injuries, Baker and Dodson should be ready to go for the start of training camp and will jump back into the starting lineup, providing athleticism and playmaking talent to the middle of the defense. Since both players are coming off injuries, however, depth will be prioritized in final roster cuts, especially with Rhattigan and O'Connell expected to be core special teams players. The Seahawks won't be moving on from Knight this quickly, and the fourth-round pick out of UTEP could have a chance to play at some point on defense during his rookie season, opening the door for five off-ball linebackers to earn a spot.

Cornerback (6)

Starters: Devon Witherspoon, Riq Woolen

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

Practice Squad: Artie Burns, Lance Boykin

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 against Artie Burns and Lance Boykin, 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 Burns for a final roster spot, with the latter coming back on the practice squad.

Safety (4)

Starters: Julian Love, Rayshawn Jenkins

Backups: K'Von Wallace, Coby Bryant

PUP List: Jerrick Reed II

Practice Squad: Ty Okada, Jonathan Sutherland

Love, who made his first Pro Bowl last season, will pair up with Jenkins, giving the Seahawks two safeties with positional interchangeability that the Seahawks will demand at the position. Wallace should also receive significant snaps as a third safety in certain packages with prior experience playing both safety spots as well as nickel cornerback. With Reed likely poised to miss at least the first month of the season coming back from a torn ACL, Bryant will stay on the team as a reserve safety who also can play outside or slot cornerback in a pinch as well as special teams, edging out Okada and Sutherland for one of the final roster spots.

Specialists (3)

Starters: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Chris Stoll

While Seattle will have an intriguing competition on tap for kick and punt return duties, Myers, Dickson, and Stoll will all return as the primary specialists without anyone vying for their respective jobs. With that talented trio, special teams should stay a strength with new coach Jay Harbaugh now running the show.

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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.