The Seahawks trimmed their roster to 53 players Saturday, a process that included a pair of trades to add safety Shalom Luani and tight end Darrell Daniels. As of now, Seattle has 25 offensive players and 25 defensive players on the roster, plus the three specialists. In all, eight rookies made the team, including seven of nine 2018 draft picks—tackle Jamarco Jones was placed on injured reserve and quarterback Alex McGough was waived—as well as undrafted defensive tackle Poona Ford.
As always this time of year, it’s worth remembering that this version of the 53-man roster very likely isn’t the same as the one that will travel to Denver for the season opener. With hundreds of players hitting the waiver wire, the Seahawks, like every other team, will look at other team’s cuts to see if there’s someone they think would be a fit.
With that being said, here’s a position-by-position look at where the Seahawks roster stands following Saturday’s roster moves:
Quarterback (2): Russell Wilson, Brett Hundley
Thursday’s trade with Green Bay made it clear that Hundley was in the team’s plans, and he’ll now need to quickly get caught up with Seattle’s offense to serve as Wilson’s backup. McGough, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, showed flashes in the preseason and it would not be surprising to see him back on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Running Back/Fullback (6): Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis, J.D. McKissic, Tre Madden
The Seahawks liked the depth and talent of their running back group, and it shows in them keeping five running backs, though J.D. McKissic will be out for a bit with a foot injury. The new kickoff rules, which have teams using more skill players and fewer big men on kick returns, also could be a factor in going a bit heavy on running backs. For example, in the first preseason game, the two up-backs on returns were C.J. Prosise and Rashaad Penny, whereas in the past teams would have linemen or tight ends in that role.
Madden gives the Seahawks a true fullback, something they didn’t have most of last season. He’s also a key contributor on special teams.
Receiver (5): Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall, Jaron Brown, David Moore
No real surprises in this group, as Moore used a strong camp and preseason to pretty firmly establish his place in the top five. The biggest question was whether or not the Seahawks might keep a sixth receiver, but at least for now they’re going into the season with five. Marcus Johnson would have been a consideration had the Seahawks kept six, but instead he was traded to Indianapolis for tight end Darrell Daniels.
Tight end (3): Nick Vannett, Will Dissly, Darrell Daniels
Ed Dickson, an offseason free-agent addition, staying on the non-football injury list might have played into the decision to trade for Daniels. With Dickson unable to make it back, Vannett will be counted on to have a big role in his third season with the Seahawks.
Offensive Line (9): Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, J.R. Sweezy, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt
The Seahawks went with the same starting five of Brown, Pocic, Britt, Fluker and Ifedi, throughout training camp and the preseason, so no surprises in terms of the front-line players, but the competition was too close to call for some of the backup spots. Fant has been playing both tackle spots of late, so he’ll likely be the top backup at both spots. Sweezy, a right guard throughout his career, has been working at left guard in practice, flexibility that makes him valuable. Odhiambo’s versatility to play guard and tackle likely helped him beat out Jordan Roos for a spot. Hunt sticks around as the backup center after earning praise from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after he played center, guard and tackle in Thursday’s preseason finale.
Defensive Line (10): Frank Clark, Tom Johnson, Jarran Reed, Dion Jordan, Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson, Poona Ford, Shamar Stephen, Quinton Jefferson, Nazair Jones
The big news here is that Dion Jordan is off the physically unable to perform list and on the roster. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be on the field next week, but it does indicate he is close to being back, which is obviously good news for the Seahawks pass rush. For the most part this group seemed fairly set, though there was some question whether or not there was room on the roster for undrafted rookie Poona Ford, who has been a preseason standout.
Linebacker (6): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Barkevious Mingo, Shaquem Griffin, Austin Calitro, Jacob Martin
Not a ton of surprises in this group, though if he had been healthy throughout the summer, special teams standout D.J. Alexander would have been in the mix for a spot. With Wright recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, Shaquem Griffin could be in line to start the season opener at strongside linebacker. In addition to playing strongside linebacker, Mingo and Martin will both also contribute to the pass rush.
Cornerbacks (5): Shaquill Griffin, Dontae Johnson, Tre Flowers, Justin Coleman, Neiko Thorpe
Byron Maxwell was placed in injured reserve after missing the entire preseason, which means Dontae Johnson is likely the Week 1 starter at right cornerback, though rookie Tre Flowers is still pushing for that spot. Thorpe has been out for a while with a wrist injury, but when healthy he’s one of Seattle’s best special teams players.
Safeties (4): Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Shalom Luani, Delano Hill
The Seahawks added former Washington State standout Shalom Luani in a trade with the Raiders, likely contributing to Maurice Alexander not making the team. The most common starting lineup for the Seahawks has seen Tedric Thompson at free safety and Bradley McDougald at strong safety, but Hill will continue to compete to crack the lineup.
Earl Thomas, meanwhile, remains on the reserve/did-not-report list.
Specialists (3): Sebastian Janikowski, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
With Janikowski and Dickson winning the kicking and punting jobs earlier in the preseason, these spots have been set for a while. The hope is that the veteran Janikowksi can bring stability to the kicking spot after struggles there proved costly last season. Dickson, a rookie out of the University of Texas, has quickly become a fan favorite this preseason with his booming kicks and uncanny placement.
The 2018 Seahawks 53-Man Roster
Take a look at the Seattle Seahawks initial 53-man roster in photos heading into the 2018 regular season.