Has training camp started? No. Will football happen this year? Let’s change the subject. Are the Seahawks done making additions? Well, gosh, I sure hope not (and after reviewing this roster, you might end up feeling the same way). Regardless, it’s always a fun game this time of year to dive into our predictions for cutting the roster from 90 down to 55. When speculating like this, it’s especially important to consider what you think each team’s strategic tendencies will be. For example, the Arizona Cardinals will probably keep enough receivers on their roster to populate a small planet, while the Baltimore Ravens and their run-heavy scheme will likely shift towards stockpiling big-bodied linemen and tough-nosed running backs, much like the Seahawks.
Very little, if anything, is clear about this upcoming football season, but I have a few hunches as to some changes coming for the Seahawks in 2020 based on Pete Carroll’s conversations with the media and GM John Schneider’s tendencies during the draft back in April. Given that information, I put this roster together based on two assumptions. First, the offense will rely less on wide receivers and more on getting tight ends open in space, (more two and three tight end sets and TEs in two-point stance). Second, the defense will use less base defense. But, rather than shift to nickel and put all the pressure on young Ugo Amadi, they will employ big nickel or “dime packages” far more often, utilizing an extra safety to get the job done in coverage.
With that said, here it is: my official way-too-early roster projection for the 2020 season as the 90-man roster stands now. Feel free to check out the Seahawks’ current 90-man roster and join me. Let’s get into it as I give my projections and some brief thoughts.
No surprises here; Anthony Gordon can’t make the roster without a full preseason.
Running Back (5):
With all players healthy, this is a top-5 backfield easily.
Wide Receiver (6):
Freddie Swain making the roster isn’t even the biggest surprise here: six receivers would be very low for an NFL team. I believe they have a few receivers who could be worth stashing on the practice squad, though, including 7th-round pick Stephen Sullivan, who is listed on the roster as a WR.
Tight End (5):
We make up for the lack of WR depth here with a robust, diverse group of either current or rising offensive weapons in the TE room, which, along with guard, is preposterously full this season. These guys will be able to help out the pass game significantly if healthy and used properly.
Offensive Line (9):
I couldn’t quite fit all 300 guards on the final roster. This group, while a little thin, has plenty of upside and potential. Expect issues early on, though, as a line with three new starters and a depleted offseason attempts to do something they’ve never been able to do well: protect Russell Wilson.
If there’s going to be another veteran signing, it had better be here. This group badly needs an Al Woods replacement, and if both Christmas and Mone make the final roster, expect to see quite a few gaping holes on inside runs this season. Carroll has mentioned sliding Collier and Green inside on certain occasions, but that doesn’t solve this group’s lack of strength against the run.
My 2020 Seahawks sack projection: somewhere between 3 and 100. There is some real talent and pedigree on this line, but there are some question marks. It’s not crazy to think each of these guys could get 6+ sacks, but it comes down to Seattle’s development of young, home-grown talent on the defensive line. Expect a rotation-heavy, “sacks by committee” mentality, and expect more sacks than 2019, even with Clowney gone.
Another year, another stout Seahawks LB room. Bobby should bounce back after being asked to do a little too much in 2019, and KJ will take another physical step back while holding onto his wizard-like ability to know the opponent’s playbook like a fish knows its bowl. Ideally, Brooks, whose coverage abilities have been grossly underrated, will come in immediately at Will with KJ sliding to SAM backer, but as long as he’s on the field I’ll be happy. Barton, Burr-Kirven, and Shaquem Griffin (who will likely continue to be used more in pass-rushing situations) make for some encouraging depth.
No, I did not include the Dunbar on the roster. With every passing day, it seems the guy is more likely to be watching Seahawks games in a jumpsuit than participating in them. Of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty, and if he is the former, I’ll be plenty excited to have him on the team; this group looks real thin without him. There are quite a few UDFA and practice squad guys with similar builds and testing metrics who you could switch out with Siverand, but I had him winning the battle this time because he screams Seattle corner.
UDFA, human heat-seeking missile, and fearless headhunter Chris Miller makes the roster here for two reasons: first, Lano Hill doesn’t deserve a roster spot this year. Second, in a dime package with three safeties, Miller’s lack of technique and development as a football player could be disguised by the savvy of Diggs and McDougald or Blair and his strengths as a speed demon and wrecking ball could be unleashed upon the NFL.
Special Teams (3):
In Jason Myers we trust?