2018 was another solid season for the Seattle Seahawks, led by their superstar quarterbacks Russell Wilson. Since drafting Wilson in the third round in 2012, he has led them to 10+ wins in six of the past seven seasons, with that one non-10 win season being only 9-7. You can say that the franchise has been very consistent, having six […]
2018 was another solid season for the Seattle Seahawks, led by their superstar quarterbacks Russell Wilson. Since drafting Wilson in the third round in 2012, he has led them to 10+ wins in six of the past seven seasons, with that one non-10 win season being only 9-7. You can say that the franchise has been very consistent, having six playoff appearances, two Super Bowl trips, and of course, winning one of the Super Bowls back in 2013.
2018 saw a lot of differences, mainly on the defensive side. This was the first time in that the famous Legion of Boom defensive unit was no longer around, with Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril leaving for free agency, while Kam Chancellor announced his retirement from the NFL due to a lingering neck injury.
Still, they posted a 10-6 record with Wilson continuing his run as one of the best quarterbacks in the league while Bobby Wagner was a star on the defensive side. They ended up losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round, 24-22.
Seattle did not make any huge signings in the offseason, with the only notable move being long-time starting safety Earl Thomas leaving the team to sign with the Baltimore Ravens. As far as the draft, they had a lot of draft picks (11) and look to have a majority of the guys contribute right away.
How do the draft picks, as well as other members on the roster, fit into the 2019 lineup? Here are my position breakdowns for the Seattle Seahawks.
- Starter: Russell Wilson
- Backups: Geno Smith
- Preseason Cuts: Paxton Lynch, J.T. Barrett
We knew Wilson would be the starter once again and him signing a four-year, $140 million contract (which makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL right now) just assures that he will be under center for many years to come. Look for him to have another fantastic season as the leader of the franchise.
Smith was signed as the backup to Wilson and missed some time after having surgery to remove a cyst in his knee. He came back for the third preseason game and looked impressive. Lynch was productive during his time in preseason games but missed the last preseason game due to a concussion. Still, Smith came in as the main backup and has likely held the spot, leaving Lynch on the outs for now, unless the team wants to keep three QBs. Wilson has never missed a game during his time in Seattle and given that track record, it’s unlikely that happens.
- Starter: Chris Carson
- Backups: C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Travis Homer, Nick Bellore
- Preseason Cuts: Rashaad Penny, Bo Scarbrough, Xavier Turner
- Out for the Year: Adam Choice
Carson was a former seventh-round pick from 2017 and missed the majority of his rookie season with a broken ankle. 2018 was a different story, as he rushed for 1,151 yards to go along with nine touchdowns. He is a hard-nosed runner that will be the feature back once again. Prosise has had an injured-tenure with Seattle since being drafted in 2016. He could be a cut candidate but after seeing him play a ton in the preseason, it has me thinking that they plan on using him in the offense once again. When healthy, he is a solid backup/receiving back.
McKissic is a solid receiving back as well as a Special Teamer and Homer is a sixth-round rookie that could get some playing time down the line. It may be out there but after hearing him in trade talks and struggled a ton in his rookie season, I have Penny not making the roster come Week 1. I might be wrong on this and they could keep him on the roster but it would not shock me if he was in a different uniform at some point during the 2019 season.
- Starters: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore
- Backups: Gary Jennings Jr., Jaron Brown, John Ursua
- Preseason Cuts: Jazz Ferguson, Keenan Reynolds, Malik Turner, Terry Wright, Amara Darboh
With the retirement of Doug Baldwin, Lockett now has the role as the number one receiver. Look for him to lessen his role in the kick return department and continue to develop as a solid receiver only. Metcalf was drafted in the second round of this past draft and looks to be a huge factor in the offense once he returns from his knee injury. Moore is currently recovering from a broken arm so he’ll be out for the first few weeks of the season.
Brown and fourth-round rookie Jennings Jr. will compete for Moore’s snap in the meantime while Ursua, another receiver Seattle drafted (this one in the seventh-round) has been impressive so far and looks to be some insurance and development project.
- Starter: Will Dissly
- Backups: Nick Vannett, Jacob Hollister
- Preseason Cuts: Ed Dickson, Jackson Harris, Wes Saxton
- Out for the Year: Justin Johnson
Dissly was impressive during his first couple of games in his rookie season but a knee injury ended his season and all the momentum he was having. He’ll look to bounce-back nicely and regain the form he had before the injury. Vannett is also a lock here as he showed he is a solid tight end at the NFL level. I have Hollister making the team as the third TE due to his size and athletic ability.
I have Dickson on the outs when it comes to roster cutdowns. Dickson hasn’t played at all during the preseason following knee surgery and given his salary ($3.3 million), he could be a cap casualty. Not to mention the young options provide a ton of upside.
- Starters: Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi
- Backups: George Fant, Jamarco Jones, Joey Hunt, Ethan Pocic
- Preseason Cuts: Marcus Martin, Elijah Nkansah, Jordan Roos, Jordan Simmons, Landon Turner, Brian Wallace
- Out for the Year: Demetrius Knox
- PUP: Phil Haynes
Brown has been a huge upgrade to Seattle’s line since joining the team in 2017. He is a guaranteed starter at left tackle while Ifedi starts on the right side…for now. Ifedi has struggled since being drafted in 2016 and this may be his last shot to show that he is a capable starter. If Fant impresses early, he could easily replace him.
Iupati, Britt, and Fluker start in the middle while Jones, Hunt, and Pocic provide depth on the line.
- Starters: L.J. Collier, Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Ezekiel Ansah
- Backups: Cassius Marsh, Rasheem Green, Poona Ford, Jacob Martin
- Preseason Cuts: Barkevious Mingo, Earl Mitchell, Bryan Mone, Jamie Meder, Branden Jackson, Nazair Jones, Jay-Tee Tiuli
- PUP: Demarcus Cousins
- Suspended: Jarran Reed
Ansah is a former Pro Bowler that had an injury-riddled 2018 season. After signing with Seattle this past offseason, he’ll look for a fresh start in a new city. He so far has 48 career sacks in six seasons. Collier was a first-round pick in this past draft and starts on the other end spot. With Reed suspended for the first six weeks, Jefferson will start for the time being. Woods starts opposite, forming a nice duo at the defensive tackle spot.
Marsh is a solid backup veteran that rotates in as well as Green, Ford, and Martin. I have Mingo not making the final roster. The former first-round pick has struggled to make any sort of impact even after moving from linebacker to defensive end. Seattle can save $3.5 million if they want to cut him.
- Starters: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Mychal Kendricks
- Backups: Cody Barton, Austin Calitro, Shaquem Griffin
- Preseason Cuts: Ben Burr-Kirven, Justin Currie, Jawuan Johnson, Juwon Young
- Out for the Year: Emmanuel Ellerbee
Seattle has had a consistent linebacking core for quite some time and that seems to be the case in 2019. Wagner is in the conversation as one of the best defensive players in the NFL while Wright has been a solid starting outside linebacker since 2011. Kendricks is a solid starter as well and looks to play in 2019 after his insider trading trial looks to be postponed for the foreseeable future.
Griffin looks to be the main backup here and is a top contributor on Special Teams. Barton and Calitro will also contribute on Special Teams.
- Starters: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers
- Backups: Neiko Thorpe, Akeem King, DeShawn Shead
- Preseason Cuts: Jamar Taylor, Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas
- Out for the Year: Kalan Reed
Griffin is a young corner that I believe will make a huge leap forward in year three. Flowers will look to start opposite as he heads into year two. His 6’3″ frame is a typical Pete Carroll cornerback.
Thorpe is the team’s best special teams player and could get some time on the field on defense. King looks to be rotated in at the nickel spot while Snead’s versatility at both corner and safety makes him a valuable player in the secondary.
- Starters: Tedric Thompson, Bradley McDougald
- Backups: Ugochukwu Amadi, Marquise Blair
- Preseason Cuts: Delano Hill, Shalom Lunai
It is weird to not see Thomas or Chancellor in this spot but it is a new era as Thompson and McDougald seem to be the Week 1 starters. Amandi, a fourth-round rookie, and Blair will likely be the main backups here. They’ll likely be main contributors to Special Teams. You also have to factor that corner Snead will be a part of this rotation too.
- Kicker: Jason Myers
- Punter: Michael Dickson
- Long Snapper: Tyler Ott
- Preseason Cuts: None
No competition here so these three will look to hold the Special Teams spots. Myers was a Pro Bowl kicker with the New York Jets last season while Dickson is already one of the best punters in the league after one season. Ott holds down the long snapper spot.
Despite some major roster changes the past few years, the Seattle Seahawks have remained a consistent playoff team in the NFC and I expect that to be the same heading into 2019.
On the offense, it all starts with Wilson leading the way. He has never missed a game and despite never having a consistent offensive line and receiving core, Wilson always gets it done. Having a feature back like Carson helps, who I think will take another step forward as he heads into his second year as the starter. The tight end group is young but has a lot of potential while the receiving group will be interesting to watch, with Lockett looking to take a huge leap forward as a true number one receiver. But mainly, Seattle’s offensive line needs to protect Wilson as they have shown that that is still one of the weaker spots on the team.
While they may no longer have the Legion of Boom, there is still plenty of notable names on the defense which of course is lead by Wagner captaining the middle of the field. The defensive line looks to be revamped Ansah leading the way and showing that 2018 was just a one-time thing. The secondary has completely changed than in years past but I think Griffin has a chance to a huge bright spot in that group.
While it is still the Los Angeles Rams division to lose, Seattle is still right behind them. A wild card spot is likely, but I do not see them making it far in the playoffs.