Moore: Tough decisions for Seahawks indicates good depth
After last Thursday’s preseason game against the Broncos, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times posted his latest projection on the 53-man roster, and it featured some surprises.
Among the surprising keepers: Bo Scarbrough at running back, Jazz Ferguson at wide receiver, and Shaquem Griffin at linebacker.
Among the surprising cuts: J.D. McKissic and Travis Homer at running back, John Ursua and maybe even Malik Turner and Keenan Reynolds at wide receiver, Ed Dickson at tight end, Ben Burr-Kirven at linebacker and DeShawn Shead at safety.
At running back, Condotta thinks the Seahawks might be more inclined to use Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny as their first-, second- and third-down backs this year, eliminating the need for McKissic and Homer. I’d still keep McKissic over Scarbrough because he still strikes me as being one of the quickest players on the team and gives you another option as a returner. Homer will be a tough cut, too, based on mostly positive reviews from training camp.
At wide receiver, if I had to guess, I’m not so sure that Ferguson makes the roster. The undrafted free agent has been outstanding thus far with a great scrimmage at Pop Keeney Field and a terrific second half against Denver. But remember when Kasen Williams dazzled in the preseason two years ago? Another big receiver who flashed in August but was cut in early September.
I’ve got a feeling the Seahawks will keep seventh-round draft choice John Ursua. He looks like a poor man’s Doug Baldwin in the slot, or at least he did for one catch anyway last Thursday. Plus think about it, the Seahawks liked what they saw from him at Hawaii so much, they made a late-draft trade to acquire him.
Gary Jennings is a receiver on the bubble if you ask me. I don’t know if I’ve heard or seen his name singled out for much of anything since camp started. And this might not have anything to do with anything, but it seems worth noting – in John Schneider’s nearly 10 years here as GM, he has selected wide receivers twice before in the fourth round. Remember what happened with Kris Durham in 2011 and Chris Harper 2013? Yeah, not much. They never really made it as contributing receivers in the NFL.
How can I draw the same conclusion about Jennings in 2019? I can’t, but I guess I just did. Let’s see how it plays out. If Jennings doesn’t make it, I’ll hope that Schneider never takes a receiver in the fourth round again.
Dickson seems like he’s becoming more of an obvious cut after undergoing knee surgery last week and is expected to be out another month. He was already on the tight-end bubble when healthy. I agree with Condotta on this one, particularly with the $3.5 million in savings against the cap.
Condotta thinks he’ll make it, but I feel like we’ve hit the end of the road for Shaquem Griffin. Coach Pete Carroll wants to use him more in a pass-rushing role, and maybe he’ll pop in the next three preseason games. But it appears that Barkevious Mingo is the better option, and if it comes down to a choice between Griffin and Ben Burr-Kirven, I think the undersized BBK gets the nod.
At safety, Condotta has Shalom Luani and Shead being cut but thinks if 10 defensive backs are kept, one of those two players will make it. That could be an interesting battle down the stretch.
The best part about all of these decisions? They’re tough ones, indicative of a Seahawks’ team that is deeper than it was a year ago.