The Seattle Seahawks almost ended their August schedule on a high note, but threw away a second-half lead in Dallas last night. Seattle’s 27-26 loss to the Cowboys was their third of the month, bringing a merciful end to an 0-3 preseason.
Now that the exhibitions are over and Geno Smith has been named the starting QB, let’s take a minute to review the team’s top performers. Here are their 10 highest-graded players according to Pro Football Focus.
S Scott Nelson: 72.1
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Seattle had several safeties land on this list, another credit to Pete Carroll’s unrivaled eye for talent at this position. Nelson is one of three undrafted safeties to make the cut. He posted a 79.2 tackling grade, which was the fifth-highest mark on the team. His coverage grade (73.0) ranked third.
OT Stone Forsythe: 73.4
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The Seahawks also got a strong overall performance from their offensive tackle group. Second-year stud Stone Forsythe had the third-highest run blocking grade (75.3) and the seventh-best grade in pass blocking (80.9.) On paper, he appears to be the team’s best option at swing tackle.
S Bubba Bolden: 74.8
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Bolden played well but it’s going to be exceptionally difficult for safeties to make the team given Seattle’s depth at this position. He was one of the cuts when the Seahawks trimmed their roster down to 80 players.
S Josh Jones: 75.8
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One safety who doesn’t have to worry about whether or not he’ll make the cut is Josh Jones, who earned a significant role on this defense. He should be the first option when defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt uses three-safety sets and six-DB personnel in general.
FS Joey Blount: 76.6
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Blount is another safety who had a good grade, posting the second-highest defensive rating overall. Again, it will be tough for any of these undrafted rookies to beat out veterans like Josh Jones, Ryan Neal and Marquise Blair.
RT Abe Lucas: 77.6
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The rockstar of the preseason was rookie right tackle Abe Lucas, who made a habit of pancaking defenders in the run game and holding up well in pass protection. Lucas’ grades in both areas ranked among the top six on the team. Jake Curhan may have redeemed himself in Dallas. However, it’ll be tough for Carroll to deny the starting RT spot to Lucas.
CB Ugo Amadi: 79.3
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Well, this is awkward. Even though Amadi posted the highest defensive grade on the team, he was traded to the Eagles for wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. For an encore, Philadelphia has since traded him to the Titans and Justin Coleman has re-claimed his No. 28 jersey.
RB Travis Homer: 81.6
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Even without their top-two options for all but one half of football, Seattle’s running backs balled out this month. DeeJay Dallas led the way for traditional stats, but his 64.6 overall grade lagged far behind Homer.
G Phil Haynes: 84.5
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Haynes is clearly Seattle’s best backup offensive lineman and should project as the team’s starting left guard while Damien Lewis is out with his ankle injury. He had some issues with holding penalties against Dallas. However, overall his performance was very encouraging. There’s a case to make that Haynes should keep the LG1 spot even after Lewis returns.
QB Geno Smith: 90.6
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In the end, Smith won the QB1 job for the same reason Drew Lock lost it: his ability to take care of the ball. Smith’s command of the offense was smooth all three games and he didn’t have a single turnover-worthy play. Meanwhile Lock had several, including one fumble and three picks. Smith will start Week 1 and likely continue to do so unless he gets injured. Geno’s 88.4 passing grade was the third-highest in the NFL this preseason.