NFC West: Ryan Seymour

Examining the San Francisco 49ers' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Because of heavy competition elsewhere, the 49ers will likely only carry two quarterbacks. They finished last season that way. The competition will be to see if undrafted rookie Kory Faulkner can take McLeod Bethel-Thompson's spot on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

The fact that the 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round and Lattimore is healthy means some tough decisions will have to be made. Hunter is too valuable to let go. That means 2012 second-round pick LaMichael James will have difficulty making the roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

The 49ers are so much deeper here this year than last. That means they will likely have to keep six receivers. Lloyd may look good and Patton has too much potential to give up on. That means it could be tough for Kassim Osgood to make it even though he is a special teams cog.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

If Davis ends his holdout, I can't see the 49ers keeping more than three tight ends because of the glut at receiver. Unless Garrett Celek has a big camp, he may be in trouble. Carrier intrigues the 49ers because of his size and speed.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Assuming Boone ends his holdout, this is a pretty nice group of eight players. It's improved from last year. A solid veteran like Adam Snyder and a promising youngster like Ryan Seymour will have trouble making the team.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

This is another power spot. It's deep. Players like Jerod-Eddie and Dial are too valuable to cut. Ramsey has looked good and I have a hunch the 49ers may like him too much to expose him to the waiver wire. That means Demarcus Dobbs could be in trouble.

LINEBACKERS (7)

Most teams carry six linebackers but the 49ers are stacked here, especially with NaVorro Bowman out for about half the season. Because fifth-round pick Lynch is promising he should make the roster. Dan Skuta is an excellent player, but there might not be any room for him. I could see him being one of those later-summer Trent Baalke trade specials because he has value.

CORNERBACKS (5)

This unit is in flux, but I see Johnson making it. Don't be surprised if there is some in-camp jockeying as the 49ers look for the best mix.

SAFETIES (5)

Ward, the 49ers' first-round pick, will play nickel cornerback as a rookie, but projects long term as a safety. Ventrone and Spillman should stick because they are great on special teams. Craig Dahl could be in trouble.

SPECIALISTS (3):

This group is set and it's excellent.

What should 49ers do at center?

January, 27, 2014
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One area that may undergo some change in 2014 for the San Francisco 49ers is the offensive line, particularly center.

It is the one position on the line where the team may have a new starter. Jonathan Goodwin, who has been the 49ers' starting center for the past three seasons, is 35 and he is a free agent.

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There is a chance the 49ers could re-sign Goodwin -- though some wonder if he could have interest in playing for Arizona where his brother, Harold, is the offensive coordinator -- for a short-term deal. The 49ers, however, may look at this as an opportunity to develop a youngster. Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney and Ryan Seymour are all interior lineman who could have futures. With Goodwin a free agent and guard Mike Iupati possibility entering his final season with the club, the development of all three are important.

The 49ers also could draft a center this year. A premium usually isn't put on the position in the draft, so the 49ers could potentially get a top center prospect in the second or third round. They have two picks in each round and could get a third third-rounder as a compensatory pick.

ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said he thought the 49ers' offensive line took a step back in 2013 and thinking toward the future may be smart.

“If he wants to take a one-year deal at a very team friendly rate, I say bring him back,” Williamson said. “But I would draft a guy either way reasonably high, which shouldn't be that big of a deal for a team that doesn't have a lot of huge needs.”

Because the 49ers are deep and have so many draft picks, this may be the perfect time to make some moves geared for the future on the offensive line.

Whirlwind days for former Seahawk

December, 13, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Ryan Seymour was on the Candlestick Park sidelines on Sunday.

When he walked back to the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room, he never imagined he’d be back for the Candlestick Park finale Dec. 23 when the 49ers host Atlanta.

“Crazy business,” Seymour said from the 49ers’ locker room Thursday.

As a member of the Seattle practice squad, the guard accompanied the team to San Francisco last weekend. Sunday, after the 49ers’ 19-17 victory, Seymour flew back to Seattle after the game. Early Monday morning, the 49ers began the process of signing him to their 53-man practice.

“I flew back to Seattle with the team,” Seymour said. “And 24 hours later, I made the same flight back.”

As he gets used to being a 49er, Seymour said he is well aware of all of the recent roster poaching the two teams have done.

“I just look at this as an opportunity with a good franchise,” Seymour said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Taking stock of 2013 NFC West picks

September, 3, 2013
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Eighty-six of the first 88 players drafted in 2013 remain on 53-man rosters entering Week 1. The two exceptions play for NFC West teams.

The Arizona Cardinals' Jonathan Cooper, chosen seventh overall, suffered a season-ending leg injury during preseason. He is on injured reserve. The San Francisco 49ers' Tank Carradine, chosen 40th overall, remains on the reserve/non-football injury list while recovering from a knee injury.

Twenty-five of 39 NFC West choices this year remain on their original teams' 53-man rosters. That includes all seven picks for the St. Louis Rams and seven of nine for the Cardinals. The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks had a higher number of picks arranged lower within each round, and fewer open roster spots to accommodate them.

Injuries have left six picks from the division on various injured lists. Three of the Seahawks' top five picks will not help the team anytime soon. That includes Harper, defensive tackle Jesse Williams (injured reserve) and cornerback Tharold Simon (reserve/physically unable to perform). Percy Harvin, who cost Seattle its 2013 first-round choice, is also injured.

Five 2013 draft choices from the division landed on their original teams' practice squads. One of them, fourth-round choice Chris Harper, subsequently left his original team (Seattle Seahawks) to sign with the 49ers' 53-man roster.

Three picks from the St. Louis Rams and one from the 49ers are scheduled to start in Week 1. Cooper would have started for the Cardinals if healthy.

Harper wasn't the only NFC West draft choice to land on another team. The 49ers' Marcus Cooper, a seventh-round choice, wound up with Kansas City after the Chiefs claimed him off waivers.
Unfortunate circumstances in New Orleans have helped NFC West teams get value for expendable defensive players.

It happened last summer when the Seattle Seahawks traded linebacker Barrett Ruud to the Saints for a conditional 2013 seventh-round choice. It happened again Monday when the San Francisco 49ers sent outside linebacker Parys Haralson to the Saints for a conditional 2014 pick in the same round.

The Saints wanted Ruud last summer because Jonathan Vilma was facing a suspension, Chris Chamberlain had suffered a torn ACL and David Hawthorne was coming off surgery. The Seahawks had signed Ruud as insurance at the position, but rookie Bobby Wagner had emerged as the clear starter, so Ruud probably wasn't going to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. The 2013 seventh-round pick Seattle got in return wound up being 220th overall. Seattle used that choice for guard Ryan Seymour, who faces a tough fight in earning a roster spot given the improved depth along Seattle's line.

Haralson appealed to the Saints more recently after the team lost starting outside linebacker Will Smith to a season-ending knee injury suffered against Houston over the weekend. Victor Butler is also lost for the season, while Martez Wilson and Junior Galette are unavailable in the short term. The 49ers' young depth at outside linebacker made the 29-year-old Haralson unlikely to earn a roster spot, particularly in light of the $1.3 million Haralson was scheduled to earn in 2013. The 49ers will reportedly get a 2014 seventh-round choice in return, conditional on Haralson earning a spot on the 53-man roster.

The relatively low compensation levels for Ruud and Haralson reflect the likelihood that neither player was going to earn a roster spot with his previous team. The Saints can feel good about plugging holes at low cost. The Seahawks and 49ers can feel good about getting something in return for players they weren't going to keep, anyway.
RENTON, Wash. — Seattle guard John Moffitt was traded, then not traded, then traded again, all within 24 hours.

Moffitt was dealt to the Cleveland Browns on Monday afternoon for defensive lineman Brian Sanford, but Cleveland voided the deal Tuesday afternoon, reportedly due to health concerns over a previous Moffitt knee injury.

Moffitt has been on the field throughout training camp, played in both of Seattle's preseason games and said he was in better shape than any time in his career.

Less than 30 minutes after news broke of the trade being nixed, the Seahawks had traded Moffitt to Denver for Broncos defensive tackle Sealver Siliga.

[+] EnlargeJohn Moffitt
Steven Bisig/USA TODAY SportsAfter his trade to Cleveland was voided over a health issue, Seattle sent guard John Moffitt to Denver for defensive tackle Sealver Siliga.
Maybe both teams liked what they saw from those players in the Seahawks' 40-10 victory over Denver on Saturday night in Seattle.

Siliga, 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds, is in his second season out of Utah. He had two assisted tackles against the Seahawks.

Moffitt still will need to pass a physical with the Broncos, but assuming that gets done with no problems, Seattle’s decision to trade Moffitt clears up some things:

1. Starting battles for the offensive line are over. The only real contest up front was between J.R. Sweezy and Moffitt, but obviously Sweezy won out. The other OL starters are set: Russell Okung at left tackle, Paul McQuistan at left guard, Max Unger at center and Breno Giacomini at right tackle.

Moffitt has more experience than Sweezy and might be a better player from a technique standpoint, but Sweezy has a toughness to him and a hard edge that offensive line coach Tom Cable loves, which is why he wanted to see what he could do when the team moved Sweezy to offense last season.

Sweezy was a seventh-round draft choice last year as a defensive tackle from North Carolina State. He was moved to the offensive line, partially because of an arm injury to Moffitt in training camp last season. Sweezy struggled early on, but improved as the season progressed.

Moffitt hoped to win the starting job at training camp this year, but it didn’t happen.

The only thing that could change the starting lineup on the O-line (other than an injury) is having James Carpenter back on the field and healthy. Carpenter was a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2011, but injuries have plagued his time in the NFL.

A foot injury has sidelined him so far in the preseason. If Carpenter is healthy and gets some time on the field soon, he could eventually return to a starting spot at guard, but that’s a big if at this point.

2. As they’ve shown in the past, the Seahawks aren’t afraid to move an early-round draft choice if they feel other players, not as highly touted, are doing better jobs.

Moffitt was a third-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2010. He played well his rookie season and was viewed as a possible anchor at guard for the long term, but injuries slowed his progress.

He became expendable because the Seahawks are pleased with what they’ve seen from rookies Ryan Seymour (a seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt), Michael Bowie (a seventh-round pick from Northeastern State in Oklahoma) and Alvin Bailey (a free agent from Arkansas).

Seymour now is listed as the backup to Sweezy. Bowie and Bailey are listed at tackle, but they also can play the guard spots.

NFC West rookie review: Snap leaders

August, 18, 2013
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A few notes on playing time for 2013 NFC West draft choices after each team played its second game of the exhibition season:

Seattle Seahawks: Seventh-round choice Michael Bowie played extensively yet again and remains on course to earn a roster spot as one of the backup tackles. He and undrafted free agent Alvin Bailey are combining to give Seattle much greater depth on the line than the team enjoyed in previous seasons. ... Fifth-round tight end Luke Willson blocked effectively against Denver. ... Tharold Simon remains sidelined by injury, making it impossible for him to compete for relevance at cornerback, the position where Seattle might have its greatest depth.

San Francisco 49ers: I was struck by how many special teams snaps third-round outside linebacker Corey Lemonier and sixth-round inside linebacker Nick Moody played. Both figure to contribute in that regard. ... Quarterback B.J. Daniels inserted himself into the conversation with Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien in the race to become the No. 2 quarterback. Having both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick was a luxury last season. Now, the 49ers are like most teams: in big trouble if an injury knocks out their starting quarterback. ... Too bad second-rounder Vance McDonald was hurt. He flashed ability in the preseason opener.

Arizona Cardinals: Second-round inside linebacker Kevin Minter has been overshadowed at times, through no fault of his own. I noticed him right away during camp practices for the hits he was delivering on special teams. The Cardinals are happy with him. ... The starting offense went 10 plays longer than it had in the preseason opener, giving first-round pick Jonathan Cooper welcome reps. Arizona needs Cooper and its offensive line up to speed for quarterback Carson Palmer to connect on the deeper passes coach Bruce Arians favors. ... Running back Andre Ellington had a 24-yard run and a 28-yard kickoff return, a pretty good debut.

St. Louis Rams: I wondered on draft day whether Zac Stacy would factor as the potential starting running back. That obviously isn't going to happen right away. Stacy missed this game to injury and hasn't seriously challenged Daryl Richardson for the starting job. ... The Rams need to develop young offensive line depth, so it was good for Barrett Jones to get 37 snaps. ... Nick Wagoner has the full Rams rookie review for those seeking a deeper look.

Seahawks rookie review: Snap leaders

August, 10, 2013
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A quick look at the Seattle Seahawks' 2013 draft class following the team's exhibition opener against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium:

RB Christine Michael, second round, No. 62 overall. Michael carried 16 times for 89 yards and had a 24-yard run late in the game. His quickness was evident. This performance suggested the rookie could help the Seahawks this season. Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin could make carries scarce for Michael and other backs, however.

DT Jordan Hill, third round, No. 87 overall. Hill seemed close to making plays without finishing consistently. He did apply pressure to the quarterback. Hill finished the game with one tackle. He played more snaps on defense (44) than any of the team's other draft choices. Officials flagged Hill for illegal use of hands.

WR Chris Harper, fourth round, No. 123 overall. Harper gained 8 yards on his lone reception. He was open another time, but the Chargers pressured quarterback Tarvaris Jackson into throwing to fullback Derrick Coleman instead.

DT Jesse Williams, fifth round, No. 137 overall. Williams faced double-team blocking more frequently than I would have anticipated. He played 28 percent of the defensive snaps and did not factor on the stat sheet.

CB Tharold Simon, fifth round, No. 138 overall. A foot injury caused Simon to miss the game. He has not practiced with the team during camp to this point. Seattle's quality depth at corner means Simon faces a tough fight upon his return.

TE Luke Willson, fifth round, No. 158 overall. Willson caught two passes for 16 yards, including a 15-yarder to convert on third down. His inability to catch a pass on another third-down play killed a drive. Willson played 16 snaps on offense and 10 on special teams. Only Jameson Konz (11) and Jeremy Lane (11) played more snaps on special teams.

FB Spencer Ware, sixth round, No. 194 overall. Ware matched Michael in offensive snaps with 27. He carried seven times for 32 yards (4.6 per carry) and a touchdown. He had a 20-yard run to go with his 6-yard scoring run.

G Ryan Seymour, seventh round, No. 220 overall. Seymour played 22 snaps (39 percent). That ranked third among the three offensive linemen Seattle drafted in 2013.

LB Ty Powell, seventh round, No. 231 overall. Powell ranked second on the team with six tackles while playing 31 snaps, or 46 percent. He made a tackle for a 2-yard loss in the second quarter, taking down Chargers running back Fozzy Whittaker, a player San Diego claimed off waivers from Arizona.

G Jared Smith, seventh round, No. 241 overall. Smith played 30 snaps. I wasn't watching him closely enough to take note of his contributions.

T Michael Bowie, seventh round, No. 242 overall. Bowie and undrafted free agent Alvin Bailey give the Seahawks a couple of promising young tackles to develop. Both seemed to play well in this game. Bowie played 44 snaps on offense, matching Hill for the most scrimmage snaps for a 2013 Seattle draft choice.
RENTON, Wash. -- A few notes after watching the Seattle Seahawks' rookies practice on a clear, 75-degree day at team headquarters along the Lake Washington shoreline:

  • Veteran presence: Veterans were not allowed on the field, but Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman showed up about 20 yards offshore -- on a personal watercraft. For a few minutes, photographers had their backs to practice while they snapped away, their cameras trained on the Seahawks' brashest player. Not that Sherman likes attracting attention. "Was that Sherm?" head coach Pete Carroll quipped, adding in jest that he thought he'd seen workaholic quarterback Russell Wilson peeking over the hill on the other side of the field, away from the water.
  • [+] EnlargeRichard Sherman
    AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenBarred from attending, veteran corner Richard Sherman watched Seahawks rookies from the water.
    Lots of faces: Seattle had 67 rookies in camp, including 38 players attending on a tryout basis. There were 12 draft choices and 17 players signed as undrafted free agents. Printed rosters have seldom been so helpful.
  • Wilson's legacy: Carroll opened a morning staff meeting by showing video of Wilson struggling with some of the basics, including center exchanges, during the rookie camp last year. Wilson finished the season with a playoff victory and an appearance in the Pro Bowl. Carroll wanted to put into perspective the first day of rookie minicamp so his coaches wouldn't get down on a young player for struggling early.
  • Tight end stands out: The recently released tight end Darren Fells was among those trying out. He caught passes consistently, but fifth-round choice Luke Willson was the tight end standing out most demonstrably. He beat safeties in coverage to make catches on the run and separated from defenders. Carroll singled out Willson as impressing him. Carroll: "Luke stood out today. He has really good speed and it showed. Caught the ball really well. That was probably the brightest spot that you could really see a guy jump out on. That was a really good first impression."
  • Inside job: Third-round choice Jordan Hill and fifth-rounder Jesse Williams worked together at defensive tackle, sometimes with seventh-rounder Ty Powell lining up in what appeared to be the "Leo" position. Hill and Williams are roommates. Hill played at Penn State, Williams at Alabama. Both played in tradition-rich programs led by old-school coaches, at least until Bill O'Brien succeeded Joe Paterno at Penn State. Carroll's new-school approach comes through loud and clear in the music playing over speakers during practice. Hill said that "wasn't going on in my first three years" at Penn State. "I just enjoy, you get to be yourself," he said.
  • Scruggs update: Second-year defensive end Greg Scruggs underwent reconstructive knee surgery Thursday after suffering a non-contact injury while planting awkwardly during a training drill. It's too early to know whether Scruggs could factor at all during the 2013 season.
  • Not much to go on: Players wore helmets, jerseys and shorts for practice. No tackling or hitting was allowed. Coaches encouraged defenders to make a quick attempt at stripping the ball from runners before letting them proceed upfield. This was not football, in other words. However, coaches were able to see players move. Second-round running back Christine Michael stood out for his quickness, balance and for the primal scream he let out after running to the end zone on one play. Michael also stood out for his biceps. He practiced in a No. 33 jersey with no sleeves.
  • No vets around: Years ago, before the current labor agreement went into place, teams held mandatory camps for veterans and rookies at this time of year. Only rookies are allowed under the current agreement. That made it impossible to compare rookies to the players they'll challenge for roster spots and playing time.
  • Smith at center: Seventh-round pick Jared Smith worked at center. He could project at guard, too. The Seahawks are converting him from defensive tackle, a transition J.R. Sweezy made last year. Carroll singled out Smith's quickness. He also praised seventh-round guard Ryan Seymour for having good feet.
  • Harper's hands: Carroll liked what he saw from fourth-round receiver Chris Harper. Carroll: "He caught the ball beautifully. He really has great hands."

That's it from here. Every team in the NFC West is holding its rookie camp Friday through Sunday. I would expect each team's coaches to come away excited about new players. That's a good thing. Draft choices come as-is, without receipts. There are no refunds.
The NFL's rookie wage scale has diminished the negotiating part of contract negotiations.

As a result, the Seattle Seahawks announced Friday they had signed seven draft choices. The San Francisco 49ers announced they had signed five of theirs. The Arizona Cardinals announced they had signed four of theirs.

Players can participate in rookie minicamps with or without signed contracts. The process is largely a formality at this point. There's less tension between players, agents and teams as training camps approach. Rules prevent players from renegotiating their rookie contracts until they've played three seasons, warding off the issues that can arise when a player outperforms his contract.
The St. Louis Rams have yet to announce signings of draft choices. That is not a big deal.
The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams earned praise around here for maneuvering their way around the 2013 draft.

Both teams entered the draft with considerable capital -- enough to facilitate significant trades up and down the order.

The Arizona Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer from Oakland for late-round draft considerations, a low price for a starting quarterback.

The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, pointed to Percy Harvin's acquisition as the centerpiece of their 2013 draft efforts.

A glance further down the draft order showed Seattle adding two players in the later rounds with picks acquired for long-forgotten veterans. Neither new draft choice projects as an immediate contributor. Both still have to prove they are worthy of spots on the 53-man roster. But for a team that has occasionally found starters in the later rounds -- Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman were fifth-round choices, for example -- those selections also deserve some attention.

So, when we hear about LSU cornerback Tharold Simon and Vanderbilt guard Ryan Seymour at Seattle's rookie minicamp beginning Friday, we should remember how those players made their way onto the Seahawks' roster.

Seattle selected Simon, a 6-foot-2 corner, with the 138th overall choice, acquired from Oakland as part of the Aaron Curry trade. The Seahawks selected Seymour 220th overall with a pick acquired from New Orleans in the Barrett Ruud trade.

Curry and Ruud were players the Seahawks were looking to unload. Both were candidates for release if trades could not be worked out. The value they returned via trade has names and faces now that the 2013 draft class is in place.

Simon in particular appears to be an interesting prospect. Seattle selected him in the fifth round, the same round where the Seahawks drafted Sherman, another tall and rangy corner, back in 2011. Sherman became an All-Pro, which assures nothing for Simon beyond unrealistic expectations. The chart compares combine measurements for both corners, capped by a headline warning against reading too much into the similarities.

As Seahawks general manager John Schneider warned before the draft, "The mistakes that we've made -- or perceived mistakes -- have been things where I’m trying something that I probably shouldn’t have. And then I learn my lesson and don’t do it again -- two in particular. One was comparing a player to another player that we’d had in the past. You never know what’s in somebody’s heart, so you can’t do that. Then the other was just assuming that a player was completely locked away from a football standpoint because he’s been productive, and that he was squared away and confident."

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