Running back Robert Turbin #22 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball during the first quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field on August 15, 2014 in Seattle,Wa. (Photo by Otto Gruele/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - With two preseason games in the books and just over a week remaining until teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 53 players for the start of the regular season, it felt like the right time to take a first crack at projecting the team's final roster.
Teams must cut their rosters down from the preseason maximum of 90 players to just 75 players by 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Then, the rosters must be trimmed again to 53 players by 1 p.m. next Saturday.
There are still two preseason games remaining for players to impress the coaching staff and find a way onto the roster, so this projection is subject to change. We'll publish a final projection after next week's preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders as well.
But for now, here's a guess at what Seattle's roster will look like for Week 1 of the regular season.
Quarterbacks (2): Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Russell Wilson is the unquestioned starter and Tarvaris Jackson seems a solid lock to make the roster as Wilson's backup. The wild card here is Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor is a phenomenal athlete but a marginal passer. He appears to have a strong command of Seattle's offense but lacks the accuracy to make many of the throws required. Nevertheless, he is an intriguing option to keep as a third quarterback and could still find a spot on the roster.
Running Backs (4): Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman
This position group seems to be pretty straightforward. Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael are locks as the team's top three running backs. Derrick Coleman is the best option at fullback and is a solid special teams player.
Seattle could still elect to keep a fifth running back, which would likely be last year's sixth-round pick Spencer Ware. However, with changes to practice squad eligibility rules, Ware could be a guy the team tries to float through waivers to keep there instead.
Tight Ends (3): Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet
The top three tight ends on the roster are fairly clear choices. The question is if the team will keep three tight ends or try to get by with two as they did for final cuts last year.
In 2013, Seattle cut Helfet and Sean McGrath in favor of keeping an extra offensive lineman in Mike Person. However, Person couldn't give them the versatility they wanted as a pseudo tight end and was cut in favor of Kellen Davis.
However, Seattle could elect to go with just two tight ends again and put Helmet, RaShaun Allen or Morrell Presley on their practice squad to save a roster spot for Pryor or Ware.
Wide Receivers (6): Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette
The top four receivers are locks to make the roster. If Kevin Norwood was healthy, he likely would be a lock as well. The only uncertainty over his roster spot is he hasn't been able to practice since the first day of training camp with a foot injury that required surgery.
The final roster spot at this position likely comes down to Ricardo Lockette and Phil Bates. Bates is a pretty similar player to Kearse and Norwood, while Lockette is a bit more unique due to his speed. I give the nod to Lockette as he has proven to be a solid special teams player as well.
Offensive Line (10): Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Justin Britt, Alvin Bailey, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Eric Winston, Caylin Hauptmann, Garry Gilliam
The starting five appears to be set with Justin Britt looking like he's won the right tackle job. Alvin Bailey is a versatile reserve option that can play tackle and guard and Lemuel Jeanpierre is set as the backup center. Eric Winston is a capable veteran backup at right tackle.
Caylin Hauptmann received the majority of first-team reps at left guard in place of an injured James Carpenter early in camp and seems capable. Garry Gilliam is a raw talent but has great potential as a developmental left tackle prospect that may not be able to slide through waivers.
Stephen Schilling also remains an option possibly in place of Hauptmann or Gilliam.
Defensive Line (9): Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Michael Bennett, Kevin Williams, O'Brien Schofield, Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill, Cassius Marsh
O'Brien Schofield makes the roster over Benson Mayowa as he's outplayed him throughout the preseason. D'Anthony Smith has had a decent preseason but the team runs out of roster spots.
Linebackers (7): K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Brock Coyle
Heath Farwell is a capable veteran and special teams captain. However, Farwell no longer appears to have a roster spot. The team can save $1.5 million with his release and rookie Brock Coyle has appeared to clearly surpass Farwell on the team's depth chart.
Korey Toomer has been an offseason star the last two years but hasn't been healthy for training camp. There likely isn't enough time for him to work onto the roster at this stage. He could be a practice squad consideration.
Cornerbacks (5): Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon, A.J. Jefferson
Pretty clear roster decisions here except for the final spot. A.J. Jefferson suffered an ankle injury against the Denver Broncos but should be ready in a couple weeks. He appeared to be a better option than Phillip Adams or Akeem Auguste in the battle for the final cornerback spot.
Safeties (4): Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead
Another fairly simple decision here. The top four options are fairly obvious, especially with Shead's versatility to play cornerback. He's also a core special teams player.
Special Teams (3): Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham
Seattle hasn't had any other specialists in training camp. All three are locks to make the roster.
Reserve Non-Football Injury List (1): CB Eric Pinkins
Pinkins suffered a Lisfranc foot injury prior to training camp and it doesn't appear he'll be ready any time soon. Seattle can keep him on the non-football injury list for the first six weeks of the season.