Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will Cameron Young Stay on Seattle's Active Roster?

The Seahawks bolstered their defensive line depth this offseason, making Young's path to retaining his roster spot from last season much more difficult. Can he make a jump in year two?
Detroit Lions running back Craig Reynolds (13) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cameron Young (93) during second-half action Sunday, Sept.17 2023.
Detroit Lions running back Craig Reynolds (13) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cameron Young (93) during second-half action Sunday, Sept.17 2023. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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With OTAs wrapping up across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in just under two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we'll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best- and worst-case scenarios and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

After adding plenty of defensive line depth, where does second-year DL Cameron Young fit into Seattle’s nose tackle rotation?

Background

Prepping at Franklin County High School in Meadville, Mississippi, Young emerged as a three-star recruit and committed to Mississippi State. Young, 24, played five seasons there and appeared in 42 games, starting all 13 contests as a senior and logging 37 combined tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. He finished his collegiate career with 106 total tackles, nine TFLs and two sacks as a true run stuffer. Seattle selected Young 124th overall in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he was named to the 53-man roster after training camp. Appearing in four games and making one start, Young finished his rookie season with 18 combined tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed.

Scheme Fit

At the NFL level and throughout much of his career, Young has been limited to being a run-stuffing 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 nose tackle. In fact, his college snaps were split almost right down the middle (619 snaps at nose and 612 at DT), per Pro Football Focus, and he was deployed similarly in Pete Carroll’s defense last season. At 6-3, 304 pounds, Young lacks the versatility to line up wider than a 3-tech, which leaves him competing for snaps with Jarran Reed and Johnathan Hankins in the middle of Seattle’s defensive front.

Best Case Scenario

Young’s youth and run-stuffing acumen allow him to outplay Hankins in training camp for the backup nose tackle spot behind Reed, and he sees slightly higher usage than in 2023 when he recorded 201 snaps on defense. That volume allows Young to become a quality rotational defensive lineman in the league.

Worst Case Scenario

After skipping OTAs, Young’s late start in getting his hands on Mike Macdonald’s defense favors Hankins’ veteran knowledge and ability and the rest of the defensive line shows enough plug-and-play ability to warrant leaving him on the practice squad.

What to Expect in 2024

Right out of the gate, Young’s absence from OTAs is a concern. Although optional, those practices are key for younger players looking to get extra reps — especially when hoping to impress a new coaching staff and get an early start on learning the defensive scheme. That said, Young’s ability to defend the run is an asset for Seattle, and the Seahawks don’t have a ton of experienced, big-bodied defensive linemen that can sit in gaps outside of Reed and Hankins. The current unknown is how frequently Macdonald will utilize sets with a true nose tackle, and whether Young is even needed much with Reed, Hankins and the other DLs Seattle is expected to keep on its active roster that are far more versatile.

With all that on the table, Young may actually have a fairly difficult path to a roster spot, and certainly more so than last season. One potential competition to watch in minicamp and training camp, particularly, is Young and third-year DT Matt Gotel, who spent most of last season on the Seahawks practice squad. Gotel, who is 6-1, 341 pounds, was a developmental prospect who played just one season at the University of West Florida, and he may fit Macdonald’s scheme better. Young should have a spot reserved on the practice squad, but that would be a step back from 2023. He will have to work extra hard to get up to speed in minicamp and training camp to convince the coaching staff to keep him on the initial 53-man roster.

Previous 90-Man Roundups

Buddha Jones | Devin Richardson | TaMerik Williams | Rason Williams II | Ro Torrence | Nathan Pickering | Dee Williams | Devere Levelston | Kobe Lewis | Sunny Anderson | Mike Novitsky | Max Pircher | Easton Gibbs | Hayden Hatten | Garret Greenfield | Carlton Johnson | Matt Gotel |George Holani | Cody White | Ty Okada | Drake Thomas | McClendon Curtis | Easop Winston Jr. |Nelson Ceaser | Jonathan Sutherland | Lance Boykin | Joshua Onujiogu | Patrick O'Connell |Jack Westover | Raiqwon O'Neal | Tyler Mabry | Dareke Young | Tremayne Anchrum | DJ James | Artie Burns | Kenny McIntosh


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Connor Benintendi

CONNOR BENINTENDI