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Seattle Seahawks

Analysis: Breaking down Seahawks roster as offseason program kicks off

By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The first season of the Mike Macdonald era enters new territory next week with the beginning of the Seahawks’ voluntary offseason workout program.

Because Macdonald is a new coach, the Seahawks are allowed to start their program earlier than teams with returning coaches, so they will begin greeting players back to the VMAC on Monday.

The program features three phases.

Phase 1, as defined by the NFL, consists of two weeks and is limited to meetings, strength and conditioning and rehab.

Phase 2 consists of three weeks when teams can conduct on-field drills but only at a walk-through pace with no live contact and no offense vs. defense (offense and defense must work separately).

Phase 3 comprises the last four weeks of the program when teams may conduct up to 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs.” No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Teams with new coaches may hold a voluntary veteran minicamp, which the Seahawks will do April 22-24. All teams can hold a mandatory three-day minicamp, which they will do June 11-13.

In between will fall the NFL draft on April 25-27, during and after which teams will fill out their rosters to 90 players (including undrafted free agents signed afterward).

The Seahawks have 66 players as the offseason program begins.

Here’s a review of their roster, with our guess at the starters at each spot and some thoughts on every position group. And remember that teams must pare their rosters to 53 by the first game of the regular season.


Starter: Geno Smith

Backup: Sam Howell

Comment: Macdonald and president of football operations John Schneider said there is no competition at QB as the season begins. The bigger question may be who they add to this group, with much speculation they will draft a QB.


Starter: Kenneth Walker III.

Backups: Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh, Bryant Koback.

Comment: The top two (Walker/Charbonnet) are set with McIntosh appearing in line to take over the No. 3 role. Expect a few additions to this group by the end of draft weekend.


Starters: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Backups: Dee Eskridge, Jake Bobo, Dareke Young, Laviska Shenault Jr., Cody White, Easop Winston, Jr.

Comment: The top three are set. Who emerges as four, five and six will be one of the more intriguing stories of training camp. Drafting a receiver in the mid- to late rounds probably shouldn’t be discounted.


Starter: Noah Fant.

Backups: Pharaoh Brown, Brady Russell, Tyler Mabry.

Comment: When the Seahawks go with two TE sets, expect the primary grouping to be Fant and Brown. Russell played a lot on special teams last season and could be viewed as a legit contender as the third TE. Drafting a tight end would make some sense.


Starter: Olu Oluwatimi.

Backup: Nick Harris.

Comment: Macdonald, at the league meetings, portrayed this as an open competition between second-year player Oluwatimi and Harris, the former University of Washington star who signed as a free agent. That’s a competition that could go deep into camp – and it’ll be no surprise if they draft someone capable of playing center.


Starters: Anthony Bradford, Tremayne Anchrum Jr.

Backups: McClendon Curtis.

Comment: Bradford played all 659 of his snaps last year at right guard and would be the starter there if the season began today. That leaves figuring out a left guard. The starter probably isn’t on the roster as the Seahawks are sure to add a guard in the draft and probably a veteran along with adding a UDFA or two. They list Curtis as a tackle, but he can also play guard and, until more are added, would figure to line up there.


Starters: Charles Cross (left), Abraham Lucas (right).

Backups: George Fant, Stone Forsythe, Raiqwon O’Neal.

Comment: Assuming that Lucas is indeed back for the start of the regular season, the Seahawks appear in good shape at this spot. If healthy, Cross and Lucas should be able to build off their year one performances, and Fant – who has 72 career starts – will give the team a sturdier backup situation. Forsythe started eight games last year for his first significant playing time.


Starters: Leonard Williams, Dre’Mont Jones.

Backups: Mike Morris, Myles Adams.

Comment: For the sake of clarity, we’re going with the same position designations the Seahawks are using on their roster. When they use a 4-3, Williams and Jones would be the ends in the base. In a 3-4 they would be as well, flanking a tackle. Morris is an easy player to forget after he missed the final 16 games of last season. They had high hopes for him heading into the season and he played for Macdonald for a year at Michigan. They are surely counting on him being past his shoulder injury and able to play a significant role.


Starters: DT Johnathan Hankins, NT Jarran Reed.

Backups: Cameron Young, Matt Gotel, LaTrell Bumphus.

Comment: The Seahawks list Hankins as a defensive tackle, Reed as a nose. More relevant is that each will play substantially in the interior DL rotation. They are counting on Young to make a big leap in year two.


Starters: Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe.

Backups: Darrell Taylor, Derick Hall, Joshua Onujiogu, Levi Bell.

Comment: The Seahawks are counting on a return to full health by Nwosu while hoping for Mafe to continue his emergence of last season and Taylor to finally reach his potential in what is a make-or-break year with the Seahawks. They are expecting Hall to contribute more than he did as a rookie. Adding an edge rusher in the draft makes sense.


Starters: Jerome Baker, Tyrel Dodson.

Backups: Jon Rhattigan, Patrick O’Connell, Drake Thomas.

Comment: Dodson and Baker were signed to one-year deals to take over for Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks. It will be surprising if the Seahawks draft an inside linebacker, especially with none of the backups having any significant defensive playing time.


Starters: Julian Love, Rayshawn Jenkins.

Backups: Coby Bryant, K’Von Wallace, Jerrick Reed II, Ty Okada, Jonathan Sutherland.

Comment: Pencil in Love at strong safety and Jenkins at free. Macdonald also plans to play a lot of two-high, or split safety, formations, meaning one safety covering one side of the field and the other taking the other side. Where they decide to use Bryant – safety, nickel, corner – will be intriguing at training camp. They are listing him as a safety and a corner.


Starters: Devon Witherspoon, Tre Brown, Riq Woolen.

Backups: Artie Burns, Michael Jackson, Lance Boykin, Andrew Whitaker.

Comment: The Seahawks kept this position almost completely intact from 2023. Two things to watch: If Macdonald proves more willing to move cornerbacks around – such as letting Witherspoon cover one receiver throughout a game – and if Woolen can rebound from last season.


Starters: Kicker Jason Myers, punter Michael Dickson, snapper Chris Stoll.

Comment: No muss, no fuss here as the Seahawks return all three starters from last season, with no one else on the roster.