All eyes on the rookies

The Seahawks’ preseason finale against the Raiders on Friday night gives the coaches one last chance to evaluate players before Saturday’s roster cut to 53 – including those remaining from the rookie free agent class.

Maybe it was the fact that he had not been able to sign any players for 136 days during the lockout. Maybe it is the fact that some of the players in this year’s rookie free agent class really can play. Perhaps it was a combination of the two.

Whatever the reason, general manager John Schneider has been pumped about that 18-player class since the Seahawk signed it on July 26.

“We were able to sign some rookie free agents who we’re real excited about,” Schneider said at the time. “We’re really excited about that group.”

The “we” includes coach Pete Carroll, who considers the rookie free agents an extension of the team’s nine-player draft class.

Seven remain, and they’re making things interesting – and even difficult – when it comes to preparing for Friday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field and roster cut to 53 players on Saturday.

And that’s a good thing, for the team and those players – wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette, quarterback Josh Portis, linebacker Mike Morgan, safety Jeron Johnson and even fullback Dorson Boyce, who was released and then re-signed; and defensive lineman Pierre Allen, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

If they don’t figure into the fight for spots on the 53-man roster, they could be in the mix for one of the eight berths on the practice squad that can be compiled on Sunday.

“It has been a really good group of guys,” Carroll said after Thursday’s practice. “We’ve been excited about the quarterback, for sure, in Josh; and Baldwin’s had a great camp; Ricardo Lockette’s done stuff consistently for us; Mike Morgan has played well for us on the defensive side.

“There have been a number of guys. It’s really added to the draft class and made it a very competitive group. And it’s been exciting from the beginning.”

via All eyes on the rookies.