The Seattle Seahawks’ preseason is over. The roster’s been trimmed from 75 to 53. Numerous unknown players have come and gone, but a few of them made the squad. Some familiar names did not. Some draft picks with high expectations did not survive the cuts.
Taking a look now at the Seattle Seahawks’ 2013 draft, I’m not giving them a good score. Only five of eleven picks made the final team. Four of their picks got cut. Fifth rounders DT Jesse Williams and CB Tharold Simon are on injured reserve. Rumor had it that Williams had bad knees, so he fell in the draft. Rumor was right.
The bright sides are: the team is deep and did a good job grabbing undrafted free-agents. Three new Seahawks were ignored on draft day, but outworked their competition and now have NFL jobs.
So let’s look at the highlights of who did and did not make the final roster:
Just Made It
Benson Mayowa, DE – One of the undrafted superstars. Injuries to Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennet, Tony McDaniel and Jordan Hill kept them out of most or all of the preseason. Mayowa stepped up, with 11 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was a dominant pass rusher in all four games. The defensive line remains Seattle’s weakest point and Mayowa is the brightest new feature.
John Lotulelei, LB – He was undrafted because of his size but made the team because of his motor and nose for the ball. Not only the hair covering his jersey makes him look like Troy Polamalu. His effort and football instincts were evident. He tallied a dozen tackles in three games.
Alvin Bailey, G/T – The third undrafted guy to make the team. His solid play and versatility pushed him past Ryan Seymour, Rishaw Johnson and Jarred Smith. Playing both guard and tackle, Bailey showed he can get the job done wherever he lines up. He made John Moffitt expendable. They guy Moffitt was traded for, Sealver Siliga, didn’t make the squad either.
Stephen Williams, WR – Signed as an undrafted free-agent by the Arizona Cardinals in 2010, Williams made 9 catches for 101 yards. Then he did nothing for the team for the next two years. This preseason, he’s been the Seahawks’ big play guy, using his 6-5 frame to reach over defenders and win the ball. He has five catches of at least 38 yards. Three of them for long touchdowns. If Sidney Rice doesn’t get healthy, Williams will be the jump-ball target for Russell Wilson.
Didn’t Quite Make It
Antoine Winfield, CB – The 36 year old cornerback was going to be the veteran leader and slot defender. But the Seahawks are just too deep at defensive back. The Legion of Boom is no longer inexperienced, with at least two seasons under the belts of the big four. We know Pete Carroll likes his DBs big. At 5-9 and 180 pounds, he doesn’t fit the mold. Better to build guys like Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell than give a roster spot to a guy in his twilight years. Winfield retired after he was cut.
Chris Harper, WR – The fourth round pick has the size (229 pounds) to be a problem for defensive backs. His background as a running back and quarterback gives him intriguing flexibility. But he just didn’t make plays. He failed to distinguish himself in the first three games. When his future was on the line, he cracked in Game Four against the Oakland Raiders. He had two big drops, including one in the end-zone. Meanwhile, Jermaine Kearse and Stephen Williams outperformed him.
Brady Quinn, QB – The signing of Tarvaris Jackson was a bad thing for Quinn, but good for the Seahawks. Relieved of the pressure of the starting role, Jackson returned to the Seahawks looking like a relaxed veteran. He played smart and decisive without any mistakes. If Russell Wilson goes down, this is how I want the backup to play. With a great defense and running game, just don’t lose it for us. I wasn’t happy to see Jackson acquired in 2011, but I’m happy to see him back. I didn’t think he was the QB of the future, but he did lead the squad to a playoff win. (Cue the Marshawn Lynch footage.) Meanwhile, Quinn just didn’t look like a trustworthy #2 quarterback.
Michael Robinson, FB – Perhaps the toughest move was to let go the Seahawks’ Pro-Bowl fullback. He was going to be an expensive lead-blocker this year for $2.5 million. When he was out with a virus for the first half of the preseason, Spencer Ware and Derrick Coleman played very strong. Like the Winfield situation, it was time to let the young guys in and let the 30 year old go. Robinson paved a lot of road for Marshawn Lynch, but fullbacks are like phones plugged into the wall. So what’s the future of the Real Rob Report? Robinson will surely find another NFL job shortly and his career in sports journalism will begin as soon as he retires.