With training camp underway, the Seattle Seahawks will soon have to whittle down their 90-man roster to just 53 players. That naturally creates a ton of competition during camp, especially for undrafted rookies trying to prove themselves.
At least one undrafted free agent has a good shot at making the final 53-man roster, according to Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton. He gave his picks for each team’s UDFA with the best chance to make their team’s final roster, having linebacker Vi Jones projected to make the cut for the Seahawks.
“Carroll already had his eyes on Jones before he arrived at Seahawks camp, and the North Carolina State product didn’t disappoint him,” Moton said. Seattle has room for the 6’2″, 225-pounder at linebacker…Jones isn’t going up against any established veterans for a back-end spot at the position. Carroll may not be able to leave him off the 53-man roster.”
Approximately 30 percent of all NFL rosters are composed of undrafted free agents, so rookies who didn’t hear their name called during the draft weekend can’t be discouraged if they want to keep their hopes of playing in the league alive. Jones has a great opportunity to do exactly that during training camp.
He may not have heard his name called during the 2022 NFL Draft, but Vi Jones has found his way onto an NFL roster after a strong college career.
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Jones had attracted plenty of national attention coming out of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas as a USA Today All-American. A 4-star recruit, received offers from some of the biggest college football programs in the country including Florida, UCLA, Baylor, LSU, and Oregon. However, Jones ultimately decided to play for the USC Trojans.
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The star linebacker spent two years with the Trojans, but transferred to North Carolina State to play for the Wolfpack. While he was never the star of the defense at either program, Jones finished his college career with 108 combined tackles and nine sacks.
However, Jones’ biggest impact at the college level was on special teams. In 2020, Jones received the team’s Bo Rein Award, given to the player with the biggest impact in an unsung role. He was tied for first with the most blocked field goals in the nation that year with three, adding a fourth his senior year.
Jones isn’t likely to compete for a significant role at linebacker, but plenty of players find a full-time job in the NFL thanks to their contributions on special teams. Given his success in that phase of the game at NC State, that could be where Jones is able to secure a spot on Seattle’s 53-man roster.
Jones has a good shot at making the final 53-man roster, but even with training camp just kicking off, it’s pretty clear who the starting inside linebackers will be.
Jordyn Brooks is expected to have a huge role in Seattle’s defense now that both K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner are gone. The third-year linebacker will be the team’s signal caller this season, and after racking up a league-leading 109 solo tackles in 2021, fans are hoping he can take another step forward this year.
Cody Barton will likely be the other starting inside linebacker. A third-round pick back in 2019, Barton has played sparingly with other linebackers, including Wagner, ahead of him on the roster. Now that the established veterans are gone, Barton will have an opportunity to prove himself during training camp to be the other full-time start opposite of Brooks.
A lot of things could change in the coming weeks, but at this point it looks like Barton and Brooks will be the team’s starting inside linebackers for 2022.