With the 2022 NFL Draft and the subsequent rookie minicamp in the books, the Seahawks have a full 90-man roster heading towards organized team activities and next month’s mandatory minicamp.
As the offseason slows to a crawl in the aftermath of the draft, while general manager John Schneider always has his eyes out looking for ways to improve his team and there will undoubtedly be a few transactions along the way, Seattle probably won’t make any other significant additions before the start of training camp in July. Keeping that in mind, it’s never too early to start breaking down the roster and projecting which 53 players will suit up when Week 1 arrives in September.
Continuing on the defensive side of football, who will make the Seahawks final roster out of camp? Here’s a breakdown of each position group divided into four categories: Locks, last player in, first player out, and wild card to watch.
* Check out offensive 53-man roster projections here.
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EDGE / Outside Linebackers
Locks: Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe, Alton Robinson
Last In: Tyreke Smith
First Out: Aaron Donkor
Wild Card: Joshua Onujiogu
Undergoing a substantial overhaul at the EDGE positions to cater personnel more effectively to a 3-4 defense, the Seahawks swapped out Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa for Nwosu and Mafe, adding two athletic, versatile defenders to mix to rotate with Taylor and Robinson. Those four players will all be on the roster, while Smith’s ability to play defensive end in a pinch should help him stick around in a rotational role. There’s a significant drop-off in terms of talent after Robinson and Smith, but Donkor and Onujiogu may be two sleepers to monitor early in training camp if they contribute to special teams and flash as rushers.
Locks: Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson
Last In: LJ Collier
First Out: Jarrod Hewitt
Wild Card: Hewitt
There shouldn’t be much drama in the trenches with the underrated Harris and Jefferson joining forces as versatile defensive ends who can slide up and down the line of scrimmage in three and four-man fronts. While Collier has failed to live up to his first-round draft status and endured a miserable 2021 season, he may actually fare better in a 3-4 scheme as a reduced defensive tackle and could be plugged in during pass rushing downs. After spending last season on the practice squad, Hewitt will likely have the same fate in 2022, but it’s possible he could push Collier for a spot due to his motor and aggressive style of play.
Locks: Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone
First Out: Myles Adams
Wild Card: Matt Hotel
While Seattle underwent a plenty of turnover on defense, the depth chart looks near-identical at defensive tackle to this time a year ago. The trio of Ford, Woods, and Mone should see action both as nose tackles and 3-tech defensive ends out of 3-4 fronts, while Jefferson and Harris will have the ability to play both spots as well. With five quality veterans in a rotation, there won’t be much of a need to carry an extra defensive tackle on the roster, but Adams should be retained on the practice squad after playing well in two games last year. The 341-pound Hotel will be a long-shot to hang around, but could play into a practice squad spot as well.
Locks: Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
Last In: Ben Burr-Kirven
First Out: You Jones
Wild Card: Jon Rhattigan
Seattle didn’t make any splashy signings or pick a replacement for Bobby Wagner in a deep draft at the linebacker position, so Barton should be the starter alongside Brooks from the outset. Iyiegbuniwe, who signed as a free agent in March, previously played for associate head coach Sean Desai in Chicago and will at least be a quality asset on special teams. Returning from an ACL tear, Burr-Kirven’s tackling ability and football smarts should lock up the last spot, though the athletic Jones shouldn’t be counted out either. The undrafted rookie drew praise from Carroll at minicamp, has traits that pop off the charts, and stood out as one of college football’s best special teams at North Carolina State. Rhattigan will likely open the year on the PUP list returning from a torn ACL and could contribute later in the season.
Locks: Sidney Jones, Coby Bryant, Tre Brown, Justin Coleman
Last In: Tariq Woolen
First Out: Artie Burns
Wild Card: John Reid
The decision to select two cornerbacks in the draft last month sets up an intriguing positional battle on numerous fronts. While Jones should be locked into the starting lineup, Bryant enters the league with a polished game and outstanding instincts, which should give him a chance to vie for the other starting role on the outside right away. Depending on if Brown is healthy or not coming off a patellar tendon injury, there could be a four-way battle that ensues between Bryant, Browns, Burns, and Woolen. Coleman should be the front-runner to win the slot cornerback job and given Woolen’s immense upside and the likelihood he couldn’t be slipped to the practice squad off waivers, Burns ends up as the odd-man out in this projection. If Brown isn’t ready to play, Reid could also be an unexpected factor in this competition.
Locks: Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Ryan Neal, Marquise Blair
Last In: Ugo Amadi
First Out: Bubba Bolden
Wild Card: Joey Blount
Assuming Adams and Diggs report to camp close to 100 percent healthy and Blair has recovered from his own knee injury, the Seahawks shouldn’t have much drama to worry about at safety. Neal, Blair, and Amadi all have ample experience on defense and special teams, giving the team top-notch depth behind their two Pro Bowl starters. If there’s a name to watch closely, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Bolden could give Neal and Amadi a run for their money. The former All-ACC selection brings the wood as a hitter and has an adequate range for his size, so keeping him on a cheap undrafted rookie deal over a veteran isn’t out of the question. For this projection, he and Blount are stashed on the practice squad for development.