Heaps: Sleeper pick to make Seahawks’ 53-man roster is LB Jon Rhattigan
The Seahawks’ initial 53-man roster for the 2021 season will be revealed soon as the NFL’s 1 p.m. Tuesday deadline approaches, and the team’s three preseason games will certainly play a factor in how it all shakes out.
Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle expects a surprising name to be on that Seahawks 53-man roster, and it’s even more out of left field that the player wasn’t able to see action in the majority of the team’s preseason contests.
“How about Jon Rhattigan, undrafted linebacker out of Army?” Heaps responded when asked for his sleeper pick to make the Seahawks during Monday’s edition of Jake and Stacy. “You may not recognize the name because he was injured all of training camp, but I’m telling you, when I asked scouts within the building (at Seahawks headquarters), ‘Who is a sleeper to make this roster? Who is your favorite undrafted guy?’ the name that popped up multiple times was Jon Rhattigan.”
Rhattigan, 22, recovered from a hamstring injury in time to play in Saturday’s 27-0 Seahawks win over the Chargers, and he made quite the impression, registering five tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed.
A trait of the 6-foot, 236-pound Rhattigan kept coming up while Heaps talked about him: his instincts.
“(The Seahawks) love the instincts that he had coming out of Army,” Heaps said. “It would be an incredible story to hear that he makes the roster after coming back (from injury) for one week of practice and one preseason game. When he got his opportunity late in the game (Saturday), he was a missile. He was fantastic. He was very instinctual.”
Something else that could come into play to allow Rhattigan to make Seattle’s roster is the knee injury in the second preseason game that ended Ben Burr-Kirven’s season. While the loss of Burr-Kirven allows for more potential playing time at linebacker for Nick Bellore, it presents an opportunity for another player on special teams.
“The reason why I think (Rhattigan) has the chance to make this 53-man roster – yes, Nick Bellore is transitioning and he’s going to be a fullback/linebacker/special teams extraordinaire, but he does not take over the role for BBK as a special teams player,” Heaps said. “He might fill in at linebacker, but Nick Bellore was already on special teams. They need somebody to fill in at that BBK role on special teams. I think Jon Rhattigan can find his way onto the roster for that reason alone.
“He showed enough, I believe, from the reason why (the Seahawks) liked him and they signed him in the first place to what he did in the final preseason game. Very impressive to me.”
You can hear Heaps’ full thoughts on Rhattigan in the Four-Down Territory segment of Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.