I’m not immune! I rail against these things (particularly the regularity with which they’re produced) and laugh at people who take them too seriously. That having been said, it’s Monday. We’ve seen two pre-season games so far, and I don’t know any more than anyone else covering this team. But, that also means I really don’t know that much less than anyone else, particularly when it comes to predicting the season-opening 53-man roster.
These things are, like, 85% duh, with another 13% educated guesses, and 2% batshit insanity so you can look back in a couple weeks and say, “See, I was crazy, but I was right!” Or, with a laugh, go, “Hoo boy, what was I thinking, right folks?”
Sad! Fun! Sad!
Without further ado, feel free to pick it apart:
Put this in the ol’ Duh category. I think the ship has sailed on Tarvaris Jackson. I mean, if we cut Clint Gresham to save a few sheckles at long snapper, there’s no reason to expect this team to shell out a million bucks just to have Tarvar calling the coin toss for us in overtime games. They’ve given Boykin every opportunity to win the job, and so far he hasn’t really disappointed. You don’t want him starting for you anytime this year (or next, or ever, really), and he doesn’t look like he could win you any games if you needed him in an emergency basis. But, he’s the kind of guy who could grow into the role, learn behind Wilson, and build value over the next 3-4 years. Plus, if Wilson ever was severely injured, guess what? Nobody’s signing Tarvaris Jackson anytime soon, so you could very well see him back with the club if it came to that! Win-win, everyone!
I am … not confident at all in this grouping. Prosise has yet to do much of anything since we drafted him; I keep getting an IR vibe off of him. Collins has looked pretty bad in the first pre-season games, but I’m hard pressed to judge the kid based off of running with the reserve O-Linemen. Tukuafu was just re-signed, so that seems like a no-brainer. He knows the system and they obviously like what he brings to the table. On my cut list, that ices out Brooks & Pope. It’s a numbers game at this point, and I think one of these guys makes it on the practice squad. With a VERY outside chance of Pope weaseling his way onto the roster outright, if he keeps looking amazing, and the team doesn’t want to risk losing him to another team.
Pretty easy, this one. I guess you could consider me buying into all the Brandon Williams hype, as the best blocking tight end on the team. His spot gets cemented even further the longer Graham sits out of practice. And, this ankle sprain from Vannett is another nail in the coffin … of Williams’ continued good fortune! Were the top three guys fully healthy, I could easily see the team only keeping three tight ends, but with each guy bringing something different to the table, I like going with the four. For now.
Here’s where I’m going to stick one of my batshit insane picks. Receivers 1-4 are obvious no-brainers. But, I get a sense everyone is jumping off of the Lawler bandwagon. I see what you all see: a VERY skinny kid who looks like he’s about to snap into a million pieces with the next stiff breeze that crosses his path. But, he’s looked pretty resilient so far in the first couple games. He definitely looks like one of those receivers who’s ahead of the game, compared to where he’s at in his career (rookie 7th rounder). If he plays smart, avoids excessive contact, and stays healthy, I think he has as good a shot as anyone of making that 5th WR spot. I also think that if he’s released, he won’t make it onto the practice squad; I bet some other team snaps him up in a heartbeat. Kevin Smith is doing himself no favors by being injured all this time. Kasen Williams has been out with injury for a while too (and already has experience being passed through to the practice squad). 4th quarter hero Tanner McEvoy is someone you’d think would be in the mix, but I don’t think he’s all that refined in his route running. I do think teams are looking at him, but I also think he’s a year or two away from making any sort of impact at the NFL level.
The surprises here land in who gets left out. No Patrick Lewis: I think the team feels he’ll be available if/when they need him; and I think Hunt has the higher upside (with being more likely to be picked up by another team, and thus not on our practice squad). Also, no Jahri Evans: I think he came a little too late to the party, and I think the team likes the guards it has. That having been said, not all the veterans are set for dispatch. I think Sowell and Webb both stick, as this team is pretty thin at Tackle and needs all the quality depth it can get (I also think the younger tackles just aren’t ready yet, and have a higher likelihood of making the practice squad since they suck so bad). I think Odhiambo will prove he’s able to play multiple spots on the line, as a rookie, which gives him HUGE value. And, I think Pericak is one of those developmental guys the team keeps on the 53-man roster all year, but never plays. Seems like there’s always one – too valuable to sneak onto the practice squad, but not quite ready to even be a 2nd stringer just yet – and this year, my money is on Pericak (just don’t ask me to pronounce his name … W-ill?).
That puts us at an even 25 for the offense, which is about what you should expect. Save a wide receiver spot by having Graham (who is already a quasi-receiver), and hope at least one of those young running backs makes it onto the practice squad.
This part is tough sledding, because 3/4 of these guys play multiple spots (Bennett as end & tackle; Clark as end, tackle, and linebacker; Marsh as end & linebacker), but I’m going to put them here and call them “primary pass rushers”, and if you don’t like it, tough titty.
Reed and Rubin are both locks, barring injury. Jefferson sure looks like a guy who can fit into our rotation right away. Which leaves newly-signed McDaniel, who looks as good as ever, providing that veteran leadership. If I’m off-base anywhere in this list, the number one spot is probably leaving off Jordan Hill. As you’ll see, I ended up keeping 6 linebackers, which is probably a mistake. But, I haven’t seen anything from Hill this pre-season, or at any point last year for that matter, that would justify he HAS to be a guy this team keeps. I think Jefferson takes over his role, and he’s left either stashed on the IR-to-return list, or he’s just cut and replaced.
Again, if I’m off-base, it’s here. Pinkins feels like a stretch. I think it’s going to take a monster final couple of games for him to win a spot, but I also think he has it in him. He provides value on special teams and as a backup to Mike Morgan. It just feels like it’s time to give him a shot and see what he can do in certain situations.
If there’s anyone I’m not sold on, it’s Tye Smith. Now, maybe we haven’t seen his name called much in the pre-season because he’s being quietly effective in pass coverage. All I know is, he hasn’t stood out like you’d expect a young member of the L.O.B. to do. Who HAS stood out is Marcus Burley. He looked as good as I’ve ever seen him last week! I know, I might be making too much out of a 2nd pre-season game, but he’s been with us a long time, he knows the system, and he’s probably the second-best nickel corner on the team (if we just keep Sherm on the outside and don’t have him following around the other team’s best receiver).
Is 11 DBs too many? Feels like it’s too many. Feels like I’m short 1 DE and 1 DT. Anyway, Kam, Earl, and McCray are all locks. I’m hopeful Browner makes the team, but could easily see the Seahawks walking away if it comes to a numbers game (injuries at other positions might dictate we need to keep extra resources elsewhere). Powell has been the hotshot of camp and pre-season so far; I think the team figures out a way to keep him. Since both he and Browner can play CB, maybe the team skimps there? Or, maybe it comes down to Browner vs. Powell, at which point I bet the team goes younger and cheaper. We’ll see.
That puts us at 25 defenders. Again, I’m not married to this, but it’s just my feeling for today. Obviously, a lot is going to change. Up to and including:
Special Teams (3)
You’re damn right! I think Nolan Frese’s days are numbered! I think the flaws in his young career become too many to overcome in these last couple pre-season games, when the pressure is increased. I think the Seahawks figure out a way to find the money to pay a pro like Gresh, and I think we move on from this nightmare once and for all.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.