The left guard is one of the few positions on the Seahawks roster that has a bit of uncertainty. The Seahawks still have James Carpenter, who split the duties this year with FA Paul McQuistan. But, the position could use an upgrade from last year. One thing I know for sure is that there will be some serious competition during training camp at the left guard position. Here are the players that will be competing.
James Carpenter: Carpenter is going into the final year of his contract with the Seahawks. This may mean some extra motivation to have a good year. Carpenter has been solid for the Seahawks over the past few years, but not elite. James Carpenter is still only 24 years old and has the potential to become a full time starter. It will be interesting to see if he will step up this coming year and show that the coaches that he can start at left guard.
Michael Bowie: Bowie started in the Seahawks playoff game against the New Orleans Saints and did a very good job. He also started several games at right tackle when the injury bug hit the Seahawks offensive line. Right now the popular pick for replacing Breno Giacomini at right tackle is Michael Bowie. But, Alvin Bailey can also play right tackle. He played in many games for the Seahawks and played 16 snaps in Super Bowl as an extra blocker usually for run plays. If Michael Bowie doesn’t end up filling in at right tackle, then he would compete and have a very good chance to start at left guard.
Greg Van Roten: Van Roten has been on the Green Bay Packers roster for two years. In 2012 he was on the practice roster until week 5, when he was bumped up to the active roster and was the Packers backup center and guard. He also got a few snaps as an extra blocker in the Packers playoff game against Minnesota on Jan. 5 2013. Tom Cable does a great job at getting the best out of his offensive linemen and I believe that Van Roten in his third year in the NFL, will compete for a position at left guard for the Seahawks.
Stephen Schilling: The Seahawks latest FA grew up in Bellevue, Washington and has had some experience playing left guard for the San Diego Chargers. In 2011 during his rookie year he actually started two games. Since then he has gotten action in several games as a backup. Schilling went to the University of Michigan and was projected to go in the 4th-5th round in the draft. He ended up getting picked by the Chargers in the sixth round. Watch for Schilling to stand out during training camp. He is a kid with a lot of potential that hasn’t gotten a full opportunity yet.
Jared Smith: Smith was drafted in the seventh round last year. He played DT in college, but just like JR Sweezy the Seahawks coaching staff decided to change his position to offensive guard. He will provide depth to the position, but I wouldn’t expect Smith to challenge for the starting spot quiet yet. But, who knows… competition will bring the best out of any player and I will never say never to any player on the Seahawks roster as long as Pete Carroll is the coach and John Schneider is the GM.
Draft Pick: The Seahawks could decide to draft a player with their first round pick or maybe one of their mid-round picks. If they do decide to draft an offensive guard, I would expect that player to have the same success that Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey did last year in their first year as a Seahawk. A popular pick for the Seahawks in mock drafts so far is guard out of UCLA Xavier Su’a-Filo.
Here is a good article on Greg Van Roten: http://www.thedp.com/article/2012/11/greg-van-roten-playing-on-packers-first-team