Preseason Preview: Which Seahawks players can boost their stock vs. Broncos?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The NFL preseason is upon us. The Seattle Seahawks open their exhibition slate on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field. Pete Carroll announced on Wednesday that Russell Wilson and a bulk of Seattle's starters will have the night off.

Still, there are plenty of storylines to keep tabs on. For the sake of this preview, let's forget about the players who are locks to be with the club in 2019. Instead, here's a look at which names can boost their case for a spot on the Seahawks 53-man roster.

Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch

Seattle's most notable position battle of the summer will be on full display against the Broncos. Smith will start and likely play the first half with Lynch running the show the final two quarters.

Pete Carroll has vowed time and again that he won't make a decision on Wilson's backup until the bitter end of August. Smith has been more impressive in practice, but he'll have to be the better man in a game situation as well.

Every WR not named Tyler Lockett, David Moore, Jaron Brown, DK Metcalf and Gary Jennings

Those five should be locks for the 53, which means there's only one (two at most) spot for the other six names at the position. Part of this equation depends on what the Seahawks decide they need the most – a traditional slot receiver (John Ursua or Keenan Reynolds) or a bigger body who could provide depth outside (Malik Turner or Jazz Ferguson).

The wildcard here is whether or not Seattle worries it can't get Turner, Ursua or Ferguson to the practice squad. All three are prime candidates to remain with the Seahawks even if they don't make the active roster out of the gate. Ferguson, in particular, has been impressive of late. A standout preseason could get the 6-foot-5 undrafted rookie on the radar of other teams around the league.

Terry Wright and Amara Darboh seem to be on the outside looking in.

Marquise Blair

Seattle's 2019 second-round pick just recently returned to the practice field after missing the bulk of the offseason program as well as the beginning of camp. Blair remains a bit of a mystery to everyone – Carroll and the Seahawks front office included. That's why Carroll tabbed the hard-hitting safety as a player he's as excited to see as anybody on the roster.

"I'm excited to see him – see him run and hit because he hasn't had the chance to show what he's so unique at, he was really a physical football player (in college)," Carroll said. "We'd love to see how that fits in, he'll get a chance on special teams and he'll play a lot of plays in this game."

Blair's primary competition on the depth chart is Lano Hill, who is set to return from injury at practice next week. That makes Thursday's game a huge opportunity for Blair to separate himself before Hill is back in action.

Everyone involved in the battle at nickel corner

Slot corner might be the only starting job up for grabs throughout the entire roster. Ugo Amadi, Akeem King, Kalan Reed and Jamar Taylor are the primary candidates in the running. Everyone will be keeping tabs on how reps are split up among the four and if anyone emerges from the group as a frontrunner.

Ben Burr-Kirven and Shaquem Griffin

Barring several injuries, I don't see how there's room for both on the roster. Both are undersized. Burr-Kirven 6-foot, 230 pounds and Griffin 6-foot, 227 pounds. Griffin's biggest problem is that he hasn't found a position he can call home yet. Is he a strongside linebacker? Is he a pass rusher? I'm not sure the Seahawks even know yet. Burr-Kirven has the misfortune of being at one of the deepest position groups on the roster with Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Cody Barton and Austin Calitro.

Special teams contributions may end up being the tiebreaker in this race.

Bonus: DK Metcalf

Even though Metcalf's spot on the roster is safe, it would be neglegent to not mention him. Metcalf has been a stuf throughout camp and many fans will surely be in attendance solely to watch the talented rookie. A touchdown from Metcalf would send the hype train off the rails, both in Seattle and in fantasy football circles around the country.

Preseason Preview: Which Seahawks players can boost their stock vs. Broncos? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest