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Seattle Seahawks

Analysis: Ranking the Seahawks roster ahead of training camp, nos. 20-11

Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith takes over in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times)
Bob Condotta Seattle Times

For years, any ranking of Seahawks players was pretty easy at the top — just write in Russell Wilson’s name and work from there.

But our first rankings in the post-Wilson era are more complicated. Where do the quarterbacks rank as we count down every player on the Seahawks’ roster with training camp set to open Wednesday?

Find out as we continue the rankings with players 20-11.

20. LG Damien Lewis

Potential role in 2022: Starting left guard.

Why he’s ranked here: Lewis was judged harsher by Pro Football Focus in his second season in 2021, especially in run blocking, in his first season at left guard after playing on the right his rookie year. There seems no real question about his hold on a starting job heading into year three, and the Seahawks consider him a key piece of an OL they hope can improve and help ease the quarterback transition this year.

19. LB Cody Barton

Potential role in 2022: Starting inside linebacker.

Why he’s ranked here: Barton will play alongside Jordyn Brooks inside in the Seahawks’ 3-4 scheme. Barton played the middle last year when Bobby Wagner was injured, and he’s taking over Wagner’s spot this year as the play-caller in the huddle. The season is a big opportunity for Barton as he enters the final year of his rookie deal. The Seahawks have shown a lot of faith in him to be able to team with Brooks and offset the release of future Hall of Famer Wagner.

18. P Michael Dickson

Potential role in 2022: Starting punter.

Why he’s ranked here: Too high for a punter? Well, the way the Seahawks appear to want to play — emphasizing defense and a running game complemented by timely and big-play passing — means field position will always be a key. And there are few better at shifting the field than Dickson, who led the NFL with a team-record 40 punts downed inside the 20 last year.

17. RG Gabe Jackson

Potential role in 2022: Starting right guard.

Why he’s ranked here: Jackson played the second-most offensive snaps last year (923) behind only the departed Duane Brown. This year, he has the fourth-highest cap hit on the team ($9 million) all of which is dead money. So, Seattle has to hope his knee has recovered from offseason surgery.

16. CB Justin Coleman

Potential role in 2022: Starting nickel corner.

Why he’s ranked here: While the Seahawks have lots of uncertainty with its outside cornerbacks, the one sure thing at that position appears to be Coleman playing in the slot. He worked with the starters throughout the offseason program, and the Seahawks hope he can replicate the success he had playing that spot for them in 2017-18.

15. DE Shelby Harris

Potential role in 2022: A key part of the rotation on the defensive line.

Why he’s ranked here: Harris is an underrated part of the Russell Wilson trade, a player the Seahawks expect to play a big role in revitalizing the defense. He had the second most snaps of any player on Denver’s defensive front last year and the Seahawks are hoping he can add some consistent pass rush. He had seven sacks last season for the Broncos.

14. DT Al Woods

Potential role in 2022: Starting defensive tackle

Why he’s ranked here: The 35-year-old Woods had maybe the best season of his career in 2021, which earned him a two-year deal worth up to $9 million. The Seahawks expect him to team with Poona Ford at the tackle spots and provide a sturdy foundation against the run.

13. LT Charles Cross

Potential role in 2022: Starting left tackle.

Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks’ highest draft pick since 2010 at No. 9 overall will step right in to the starting spot at left tackle, taking over for Duane Brown. That may be a lot to ask of a 21-year-old who played just 22 games in college. But the Seahawks weren’t alone in thinking Cross has what it takes to be a dominant LT for years to come.

12. QB Drew Lock

Potential role in 2022: A contender for the starting quarterback job.

Why he’s ranked here: Quarterback remains the big mystery of this team heading into camp and Lock will battle with Geno Smith for the starting job. Whoever wins it will instantly become one of the most important players on the team. The one who doesn’t? Well, he’ll still be important, too, because who knows what will happen.

11. QB Geno Smith

Potential role in 2022: Heading into camp atop the QB depth chart.

Why he’s ranked here: Smith will be the leader at QB when camp begins because of his experience with the team and one year playing in Shane Waldron’s system, and having played respectably in three starts in 2021.