RENTON — Following Seattle’s final preseason game Saturday at Green Bay, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team hoped to keep as much of its roster together as possible.
Tuesday, when cutdown day arrived, Seattle mostly did just that.
There were few real surprises in what is the initial 53-man roster for the 2023 season.
Not that it won’t change during the season, and it could as early as Wednesday as Seattle has a few injured players on its current 53-man who could now go on injured reserve and only have to miss four games and not the entire season.
That would allow for some of the waived or released players to return in some capacity.
But in general, the initial 53-man roster was pretty much how the two-deep played out during training camp, if not necessarily in preseason games when many starters played little, if at all.
It’s a roster that has some notable vets, such as 33-year old middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, 32-year-old QB Geno Smith and 30-year-old safety Quandre Diggs, maybe the three strongest leaders on the team.
But it also is filled with youth — ultimately, 12 rookies made it, including all 10 draft picks, while eight of the nine draft picks from 2022 also remain.
Here’s some quick thoughts on each position group:
(2) Geno Smith, Drew Lock.
Comment: There was no competition and no drama at this spot this season. Lock got most of the playing time and renewed the team’s faith in his ability after he did not play a snap last year in the regular season and had a steadier preseason, with just one interception on 55 attempts, that coming on a tipped pass. Seattle will likely try to get waived Holton Ahlers back on the practice squad, though Seattle could also explore some options there.
(5) Kenneth Walker III, DeeJay Dallas, Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh, Nick Bellore.
Comment: No surprises here as the four RBs the team has drafted over the last four years all remain, while Bellore — also listed as a linebacker — is back for another year as special teams leader and depth. Seattle may also try to get waived SaRodorick Thompson Jr., back on the practice squad, especially with it still a little unclear when McIntosh will be available.
(3) Will Dissly, Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson.
Comment: Here’s another position that was pretty much fait accompli from the minute last season ended as the Seahawks are hoping for even more out of a tight end trio that was one of the more productive in the NFL last season. Tyler Mabry, who has been on and off the roster and practice since 2020, was waived. But Seattle would seem likely to try to retain him.
(6) DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jake Bobo, Dareke Young, Cody Thompson.
Comment: The depth at this spot changed a bit during camp due to things like Dee Eskridge’s six-game suspension and injuries to the likes of Young and Thompson. Those allowed Bobo to emerge as maybe the biggest surprise on the opening day roster, making it as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA after leading the Seahawks with seven receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns in three preseason games. Seattle could still make some moves here, specifically in putting one or both of Young and Thompson on IR to re-sign Cade Johnson or Easop Winston Jr., each waived Tuesday. But Seattle could just re-sign those two to the practice squad, as well as maybe rookie Matt Landers.
(9) Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, Evan Brown, Damien Lewis, Phil Haynes, Stone Forsythe, Jake Curhan, Anthony Bradford, Olu Oluwatimi.
Comment: No surprises here at all as these were what appeared to be the top nine on the line in camp all preseason. Cross (LT), Lucas (RT), Brown (center) and guards Lewis and Haynes were the consistent starters through camp. Curhan can back up both guard and tackle, Forsythe can play both tackle spots, and Bradford (a guard) and Oluwatimi (a center) are 2023 draft picks for whom the team has high hopes, even if neither may play much immediately. And expect a few of the waived players to re-sign to the practice squad.
(6) Tackles Jarran Reed, Cameron Young; ends Dre’Mont Jones, Mario Edwards Jr., Mike Morris, Myles Adams.
Comment: No real surprises here in terms of who was kept on the 53. But the tackle spot in particular remains one where the Seahawks figure to explore the waiver wire and maybe add a veteran. Also, both Young and Morris — 2023 draftees — are dealing with injuries and either or both could be candidates to go on IR. But in its base 3-4, Seattle had a consistent starting line of Reed in the middle and Jones and Edwards as the ends.
(9) OLBs Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Derick Hall, Boye Mafe, Tyreke Smith; ILBs Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Devin Bush, Jon Rhattigan,
Comment: No real surprises here. Former UW standout Ben Burr-Kirven, who re-signed early in camp after missing the last two years with a knee injury, was released, but could be back on the practice squad. Same holds with rookie UDFA Patrick O’Connell, who was waived after finishing with 17 tackles in the preseason, second only to Rhattigan’s 25. The return of Brooks helped solidify things inside — if he stays healthy, he figures start at WLB alongside Wagner with Bush capable of backing up either. Nwosu and Mafe ended camp as the starting OLBs with Taylor sidelined with a shoulder injury. The next few days figure to tell if Taylor’s injury is overly worrisome.
(4) Quandre Diggs, Julian Love, Jamal Adams, Jerrick Reed II.
Comment: Two mild surprises here were the team waiving as injured Joey Blount and Jonathan Sutherland. Each will revert to IR if they clear waivers and, with a settlement, could eventually return. Worth noting is that Coby Bryant, listed as a corner, played substantial safety in camp and Seattle could view him as the depth piece behind Diggs and Love until Adams proves he is ready. Reed, a sixth-round pick, was perceived as on the bubble, but six tackles, two for a loss, in the preseason finale showed why the team likes him.
(6) Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon, Michael Jackson, Tre Brown, Coby Bryant, Artie Burns.
Comment: The only mild surprise here was Seattle keeping Burns, a veteran who rejoined the team during the offseason program. But coaches also praised Burns at every turn, and with Witherspoon still dealing with a nagging hamstring issue, he adds depth.
(3) K Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Chris Stoll.
Comment: There was never any competition for any of these spots. Stoll, a UDFA from Penn State, obviously showed the team he is ready during camp.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)