With the entire Seattle Seahawks’ 11-man draft class now under contract, we turn our attention toward the impact the 2013 rookie class will have on Seattle’s chances in the coming season.
Offseason depth charts aren’t worth the zeros and ones they’re made of, but they can give us a little insight into the conventional wisdom of where players rank on the team. As of this writing, the Seahawks have yet to release their current 2013 offseason depth chart.
That’s OK. Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider never met a roster they couldn’t tweak. Any day, any time.
Here is the Seahawks 2013 draft class with projections for their roles in the upcoming campaign.
Starter / Major Role
Christine Michael (RB, 2nd round, Texas A&M)
Starter? No. Major role, almost definitely. Marshawn Lynch is the man. Robert Turbin is a bit beastly, himself. Neither is Superman, however. Through the course of the season, there will be plenty of opportunities for this mildly surprising second round pick to tote the rock due to the increasing specialization of the Seahawks offense and the likelihood of RB nicks and dings.
Jordan Hill (DT, 3rd round, Penn State)
Most likely a backup to Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane, the undersized Hill benefits from the departures of Jason Jones and Alan Branch. A bit of a tweener, he figures to play based on need and the ever-present demand for fresh defensive linemen.
Jesse Williams (DT, 5th round, Alabama)
Williams is in the same spot as Hill, in terms of opportunity. A big body (325), he brings the beef that Hill does not. Seattle’s DL rotation is definitely featuring a new look in 2013.
Minimal Impact / Roster Bubble
Chris Harper (WR, 4th round, Kansas St.)
Harper’s size, strength and football smarts are his calling card. A converted QB, he’s a project that will likely find it difficult adjusting to the NFL level right away. He can look forward to studying behind Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. How he fares on special teams will likely determine if he makes the final cut.
Tharold Simon (CB, 5th round, LSU)
Situated behind Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and the newly imported Antoine Winfield, Simon would do well to make it as the team’s dime back. With two stellar safeties in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, of whom the Seahawks loathe to take off the field on any down, regular playing time will be hard to come by for the tall, rangy corner. Still, you can never have too many able-bodied cover guys.
Michael Bowie (OL, 7th round, Northeastern State)
On the offensive line, you play for only two reasons: either you’re a starter or somebody is injured. The ongoing injury problems of former first round pick James Carpenter bode well for Bowie’s chances of sticking. Unfortunately, he’ll have to get past veteran Breno Giacomini to get any playing time at RT. Giacomini’s no world-beater, but he’s earned his NFL stripes. Bowie is vying for a backup role that won’t likely allow him to be active on game day.
Luke Wilson (TE, 5th round, Rice)
The last of Seattle’s three fifth round choices, Wilson plays one of the most disposable positions in the Seahawks hierarchy of offensive roles. The musical chairs have yet to stop at the TE position since Carroll and Schneider arrived. With good size and speed, Wilson is probably the greatest unknown among all the Seahawks’ draft choices: Wilson’s college career was essentially derailed by injury. Based on potential and the sub-mediocre Seahawk TE group, he could easily move into the significant contributor category if he develops as hoped.
Ryan Seymour (G, 7th round, Vanderbilt)
Not too many seventh round guards are ticketed for stardom. However, Seattle’s revolving door of offensive lineman can probably make a stop to let Seymour hop on the rotation. Every offensive line needs a jack-of-all-trades backup to develop. Seymour was drafted with this in mind.
Likely Cut or Practice Squad
Spencer Ware (RB, 6th round, LSU)
Running back is a young man’s position. Ware’s future with the Seahawks will most likely come next year after a season spent on the practice squad. However, if Seattle doesn’t keep 6 WRs, he could stick.
Ty Powell (DE, 7th round, Harding)
Undersized but athletic, Powell has a tough road if trying to steal snaps away from Seattle’s light and lightning-fast second-year DE Bruce Irvin. Don’t forget they brought in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett too. Powell will have to wait his turn. Irvin’s suspension leaves the door open a crack.
Jared Smith (G, 7th round, New Hampshire)
A defensive lineman in college, there is no room at the table for Smith in 2013. Very likely a candidate for the practice squad unless he proves to be an absolute must-have on special teams.