Predicting the Last 5 Players to Make the Seahawks' 53-Man Roster
The Seattle Seahawks took several steps toward solidifying their 2012 roster on Sunday. The flurry of activity included roster cuts, a trade and announcing their opening-day starter at quarterback.
The first slide covers the 12 players Seattle cut ties with on Sunday. That summary is followed by five bubble players that could take the final roster spots for the Seahawks this season.
Seahawks' Initial Roster Cut
The Seahawks opted to get a head start on reducing their roster from 90 down to 75 players. The thinner roster size must be achieved by Monday afternoon.
There were a few surprises in the cuts, depending on one's perspective. Seattle is currently sitting at 77 players after making the moves, including the soon-to-be-traded Tarvaris Jackson and two players on the PUP (James Carpenter and Walter Thurmond).
Alex Barron, OT
Deuce Lutui, OG
Terrell Owens, WR
Jameson Konz, DE
Roy Lewis, CB
Pep Levingston, DE
Cameron Morrah, TE
Phil Bates, WR
Edawn Coughman, OL
Donny Lisowski, CB
Ron Parker, CB
Tyrell Sutton, RB
5. Frank Omiyale, OT
This is a difficult player to include on the final 53-man roster. Frank Omiyale struggled with the Chicago Bears last season and has been just marginally better in Seattle, at best.
Seattle has several options for backups on the interior of the line, but the release of Barron leaves them paper-thin at tackle.
Should an injury to Russell Okung or Breno Giacomini force Omiyale into duty, Seattle will be faced with difficult questions. The answer will likely involve moving J.R. Sweezy to left guard and moving Paul McQuistan back to tackle, where he filled in admirably last season.
Omiyale will be the likely target for release when James Carpenter is ready to rejoin the team or when the right prospect hits the waiver wire after final roster cuts.
4. Korey Toomer, LB
The Seattle Seahawks are hoping their fifth-round magic continues with Korey Toomer. Their prior two drafts netted Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman in Round 5.
Toomer's been consistent enough at linebacker and has been a solid addition on special teams.
He had a few great plays against the Kansas City Chiefs, including a hard tackle. He's been effective in pass protection and applying pressure on the quarterback.
Toomer has been running with the third-team in practices, but I expect him to edge out Mike Morgan for the sixth spot at linebacker.
3. Winston Guy, SS
Winston Guy has been hit and miss this summer. He's made some great plays in Seattle's "Bandit" package, proving to be valuable in pass defense and as a pass-rusher.
He's also had some difficult moments and isn't likely to make it as Jon Ryan's personal protector on the punt team. He allowed one punt to be blocked and a second to be tipped, resulting in a hard hit on Ryan.
Fortunately, Seattle has a few other blocking options, and the Seahawks will be able to release Guy to wreak havoc on would-be return men.
2. Jaye Howard, DL
One of the few disappointments in the 2012 rookie class is Jaye Howard. As a fourth-round selection, he was expected to step in and make a name for himself as a potential replacement for Alan Branch or Jason Jones in 2013.
So far Howard has been outplayed by Seattle's seventh-round pick, Greg Scruggs.
Howard has shown the ability to be disruptive in the interior of the line and has been mostly reliable in run defense. However, the Chiefs found more running room than they should have late in their preseason game against the Seahawks.
Seattle's primary need from the reserve defensive tackles is pressuring the quarterback. Howard can do just that and could be groomed into an every-down interior lineman.
Branch and Jones will both be free agents next season, and the Seahawks will likely need to replace at least one of them with a productive starter. Howard may not be routinely active on game day in 2012, but he'll certainly have an opportunity to impact Seattle's defense going forward.
1. Kris Durham, WR
This is perhaps the most puzzling selection for the Seahawks, partly because they may opt to keep seven wide receivers instead of the normal six.
The 25th spot on offense might also go to a fourth tight end or a third quarterback.
Assuming six receivers make the final roster, Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Braylon Edwards are likely the first four to secure spots.
The driving question is whether the team will opt to keep a third 5'10" receiver in Deon Butler or lean toward a slightly larger Charly Martin or Ben Obomanu. One of those figures to be the fifth receiver and Rice's backup; Butler has had the best summer of the three.
This leaves Kris Durham, Jermaine Kearse and Lavasier Tuinei battling for the final roster spot at wide receiver. Ricardo Lockette could also be in the mix as a deep threat if Butler doesn't make the team.
Kearse has shown flashes of decent play, but he may not even be considered for the practice squad. Tuinei has looked very good at times, but he's been inconsistent with his routes and gaining separation.
The release of Terrell Owens likely gives Kris Durham one last opportunity to show that his efforts last season were reflective of his capabilities.
Durham ran solid routes in 2011, gaining separation and catching most everything thrown his direction. He also demonstrated very good body control when going up to catch the ball.
He seems to lack the fire he brought as a rookie, though. He's been inconsistent with his hands and doesn't always show the explosiveness he's capable of providing.
As the sixth receiver, Durham could expect to be inactive on game days. This would give the Seahawks the protection of having another big receiver on the roster while providing Durham a little more time to work out whatever issues are distracting him.