Here’s a quick breakdown of how the Seattle Seahawks defensive depth might look going into training camp, including the 2014 draft choices and rookie free agent signees, and how they might fit it. The rookies are in all caps.
Comment: Marsh, a fourth-round pick from UCLA, will get a chance to move in front of Scruggs and Mayowa as part of the pass-rush rotation. Coaches say Mayowa put on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason.
Comment: Williams missed all of last season as a rookie with a knee injury, but could step up and play a lot. Staten, a fifth-round draft choice, looked promising in rookie camp. Pulu, a rookie free agent from Eastern Washington, could be a surprise. He was a big-time recruit when he signed with Washington out of high school, but was kicked off the team after an off-campus fighting incident.
Comment: Irvin needs to step up here. Smith, the Super Bowl MVP, will continue to get more playing time. Pierre-Louis, a fourth-round pick, likely will be a special-teams contributor this season, but could play at the Will LB. Toomer had an excellent rookie camp, even though he’s technically a third-year player. He spent his first two seasons on IR, but could be a contributor in 2014.
Starter: Bobby Wagner
Backup: Heath Farwell
Comment: Wright also can play inside and probably would start if Wagner was hurt, as he did a few games last season. Farwell is the team’s special-teams captain and a valued veteran.
Comment: Lane likely will be the slot corner in nickel. He also is the best punt coverage gunner in the NFL. Pinkins (6-3, 220) is a sixth-round pick who the Seahawks are moving from safety to cornerback. He struggled at times in rookie camp trying to learn press coverage, but it’s all new for him. Simon was injured last year as a rookie, but another big corner (6-2, 200) that the Seahawks love.
Starter: Kam Chancellor
Comment: Chancellor had hip surgery in early March, but should be ready to go early in training camp. Johnson missed most of last season with hamstring injuries, but he’s a quality backup. Shead also can play corner and will see time at the nickel back. Bailey is a rookie free agent who was physical enough to play some OLB at USC.
Starter: Earl Thomas
Backups: Johnson, Chandler Fenner
Comment: Thomas is the best of the best, but the Seahawks are thin here after losing Chris Maragos to Philadelphia in free agency. Fenner is listed as a corner, but the Seahawks may look at him as Thomas’ backup.