Ranking the Seahawks players before training camp: Nos. 89-81 – The Seattle Times

A season of momentous change for the Seattle Seahawks — the first in a decade without Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner or any member of the 2013 Super Bowl champion team — is now just a little over a week away.
Players report for training camp on July 26 with the first practice the next day and the first preseason game Aug. 13 at Pittsburgh.
And as camp begins, so does the process of cutting the roster from the training camp maximum of 90 to 53 for the start of the regular season Sept. 12 against Wilson and the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field.
As a guide to the roster as the Seahawks begin what is their 47th NFL season we are again ranking the players on the roster heading into camp — Seattle currently has only 89 and due to an exemption for Aaron Donkor, can add two more.
The main purpose of this is to acquaint readers with the players and give a brief overview of their potential role and chances to make the team.
And being ranked at the bottom doesn’t mean a player won’t make the team or have a long NFL career — we’ve been wrong before and will be again.
We’ll start with players 89-81 and work our way to the top.
Potential role in 2022: Fighting for a spot on the roster as a backup linemen, but maybe more realistically to stick on the practice squad.
Why he’s ranked here: Ryan, who started 30 games at tackle and guard in his WSU career, didn’t sign until May 16 after serving as a tryout player in rookie minicamp and then almost immediately suffered a leg/foot injury, sitting out most of the rest of the offseason program. So it’s hard to know where he fits in yet. Seattle currently has just 13 OLs on the roster, though, so all could have a chance of sticking around at least on the practice squad.
Potential role in 2022: As with most of the players in this area of the rankings, the most realistic goal heading into camp may be earning a spot on the 16-player practice squad.
Why he’s ranked here: An undrafted rookie free agent out of Florida International after beginning his career at Iowa, Valentine-Turner is one of 10 cornerbacks on the roster. Ability to play inside and out and on special teams is key for any UDFA corner to earn a spot.
Potential role in 2022: Seattle loaded up on safeties in the offseason as well — Williams is one of 10 on the roster. So he’s likewise looking most logically at getting on the PS.
Why he’s ranked here: Williams showed some ballhawking ability during his senior season last year at Nebraska with four interceptions in just eight games, missing the rest due to injury.
Potential role in 2022: The 6-2, 252-pound Onujiogu will try to make a name for himself as an edge rusher after recording 13.5 sacks last season at Division III Framingham State.
Why he’s ranked here: It’s a tough road to make the roster for any UDFA, and maybe especially so for a player from a D-III school. Onujiogu was one of just two players from a D-III school to sign with an NFL team this year as a UDFA after he caught Seattle’s eye with impressive agility drills at his pro day.
Potential role in 2022: As already noted, Seattle has a lot of corners. But Seattle usually keeps five on its 53-man roster and could keep one or two on the PS, so Jones will be in the competition for those spots.  
Why he’s ranked here: Like Ryan, Jones signed after impressing as a tryout player during rookie minicamp in May. Jones has some impressive traits, standing 6-1 and with a listed wingspan of 81-1/8-inches (Richard Sherman, famed for his length, measured 78 inches).
Potential role in 2022: The Seahawks enter camp with 13 receivers on the roster, and a lot of competition for the last few spots on the 53-man roster. But a listed 4.45 40 time could allow him to stick around awhile.
Why he’s ranked here: Kassis has an interesting back story, having not played since 2019 at Montana State, spending two years working for an eye care company before deciding to give football another shot. Seattle signed him in mid-May following a workout.
Potential role in 2022: Gotel, a native of Tacoma who played at Lakes High and then Division II West Florida, will try to earn is way as a base down run-stuffing tackle.
Why he’s ranked here: Gotel is listed at 341 pounds, making him the second-heaviest player on the roster after Bryan Mone at 345. Seahawks have shown how much they value big, run-stuffing tackles with recent contracts given to Mone, Al Woods and Poona Ford, and Gotel figures to get a long look.
Potential role in 2022: One of a handful of young players looking to earn a spot as a backup behind Jamal Adams.
Why he’s ranked here: Nelson, an undrafted rookie free agent, started all 13 games in 2021 for a Wisconsin team that led the nation in total defense and rushing defense and ran a 4.38 40 and had a 39.5-inch vertical leap at Wisconsin’s pro day.
Potential role in 2022: Blount is one of four players the team lists as a free safety, the others being Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi, but Josh Jones and Ryan Neal can play there, too. So a lot of traffic to pass to make the roster.
Why he’s ranked here: Blount started 32 games at Virginia and regarded as something of a rising star when he helped lead the Cavs to the Orange Bowl in 2019 and he was commonly considered a late-round pick last year before going undrafted and signing with Seattle as a UDFA. He’s regarded as a good run defender and tackler, which could be his entrée to stick around.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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