Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Training camp kicks off for the Seattle Seahawks in just over a week. As per usual, Pete Carroll has plenty of new pieces to figure out, courtesy of GM John Schneider. Some of the new arrivals need to be key contributors immediately, while several significant departures mean a familiar face could emerge as a legitimate mainstay.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at the potential impact of the players on the 2021 roster*. In some cases where the roster battle itself is too close to call, the position as a whole might land a spot on this list. But again, this series hopes to reflect the impact these players will have on the success of the team, which is why in many cases it’s not simply in order of individual talent.
*Some may be shocked to find that this list, dealing entirely with how much each player matters, will indeed contain running backs.
Today takes us from 53 through 46, so that future pieces can use normal numbers like 45 and 35.
Most Impactful Seattle Seahawks, 2021-2022
53. Geno Smith, quarterback (or whoever wins the QB2 job)
If things go the way they have – and should – for the past decade, this is where Geno Smith unfortunately will find himself. Over the last two seasons, Smith has played 18 snaps. This is simply a necessary roster spot precaution behind one of the most durable to ever play the position in Russell Wilson. If QB2 is here, it’s good for Seattle.
52. Tyler Ott, long snapper
I promise things will get more interesting after this. Seriously, thanks for being here.
51. Stone Forsythe, offensive tackle
Going to take a stab here that Forsythe even makes the roster. He’s got a far better shot than many sixth-round picks, as he is touted as a draft steal this year. Many projections were fourth round for him, and it’s fantastic that the Seahawks were able to get a talent like that outside the fourth round so he can avoid being cursed.
It’s a potentially beautiful fit for Forsythe’s timing, as Duane Brown will eventually phase out, leaving the next season of development huge if anyone wants to fight for the next job at left tackle. This year, he probably won’t play, but his presence is important. And considering how often backup linemen have seen sporadic yet meaningful snaps on this team, some early experience is not out of the question.
50. Ben Burr-Kirven, linebacker
Don’t know what to do with BBK. It’s still weird that they took two linebackers in a year that K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner were alive, followed by another year and another linebacker. From the bunch, Burr-Kirven is the least skilled of the trio, and my money is that he never truly sees the field as a linebacker.
As a special teams player, Burr-Kirven is a different player entirely. He and Cody Barton seem to be right in somebody’s face on nearly every kick. But if we had to take one special teams-only player from this roster, there’s a few guys I’d keep over Burr-Kirven, including Ugo Amadi.
49. Wide Receiver number five
This will be a battle that may dominate the August conversation, but means very little to the team itself. Russell Wilson’s 2021 target priority will go:
D’Wayne Eskridge and/or Will Dissly
Will Dissly and/or D’Wayne Eskridge
If the next slot does not belong to Colby Parkinson for some strange Shane Waldron reason, this will be the fifth receiver. In other words, very – very – few opportunities to contribute. Sure it’s going to be super interesting, but they could potentially keep both UDFA stars Tamorrion Terry and Cade Johnson, name one of them as WR5, and it will all ultimately mean nothing*. It also could just be Penny Hart.
* For a perfect example of how futile this exercise truly is, I wrote the bolded sentence about five hours before the Seahawks released Tamorrion Terry. Expect another training camp heartbreak this year, but maybe this means it won’t come at wide receiver.
48. Jordan Simmons, offensive line
Simmons has played in far more games than fourth-round pick Phil Haynes, landing him on the list (and probably roster) ahead of Haynes. Carroll has often raved about Simmons’ potential and size.
Jordan Simmons is an intriguing backup in Seattle. Moves really well for 6’4″ 340 and is very powerful and physical. One of the depth pieces in the league that has flashed a lot when studying other guys. pic.twitter.com/dro1ROrAE4
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) June 22, 2021
Simmons was re-signed to a one-year deal in March, and there’s good money you’ll see him on the field some time this season.
47. Rasheem Green, defensive end
Green has very, very little dead cap money at this point, the final year of his rookie deal. He’s been a pretty disappointing third-round pick, and this year might be even harder to make the field (or team).
But primarily what lands Green so far down this list, is that I simply don’t see him doing a better job than anybody ahead of him. As of this moment he still has a decent shot of making the team, with the unknown of Aldon Smith and the rumors of Darrell Taylor playing SAM linebacker.
But who would he have more impact than? There’s five defensive ends that have earned more playtime than Green, including a fifth-round rookie last year, and that is only if Taylor doesn’t end up playing DE as well.
46. Damarious Randall (or Tre Brown) ((or Pierre Desir)), cornerbacks all three
Another couple of spring veteran signings hint at roster occupancy. Randall and Desir were both signed in April, two weeks apart. And if you’ve forgotten since then, this was when the Seahawks went out of their way, prompted by absolutely no one, to announce that Randall will be moving from safety to corner. Who cares? Well we do, because the Seattle cornerback room is question mark city. I wouldn’t bank on anybody in there to be a lock for anything, as the longest-tenured player to this team is Tre Flowers. If Ahkello Witherspoon doesn’t show enough, the coaches must decide if they’re sticking with Flowers or moving down the list to trust in a rookie, a converted safety, or a 30 year old.
Having very little faith in anyone besides D.J. Reed at the moment, I submit that one of these fellas could be meaningful this season. At the very least I expect plenty of conversation and more than a few game-time decisions.
Be sure to include your thoughts, hopes, and snubs in the comments!
Next up, 45 – 36.