SS Dion Bailey: He's been splitting reps with Seattle's first-team defense during Kam Chancellor's holdout. DeShawn Shead got the first crack but Bailey has emerged after missing the first few days with a hamstring injury. The Seahawks have expressed excitement about Bailey's potential, and while that might seem like a case of an organization talking up a holdout's backup, it seems warranted based on all the plays he's made of late. As a rookie last year, Bailey was injured early in training camp then spent part of the season on the practice squad, which makes Friday's preseason opener his first game of any kind in the NFL. Can he make the type of plays that have elevated him up the depth chart this offseason?
DE Cassius Marsh: He has quietly put together a nice offseason, impressing Seahawks coaches with how active he's been as a pass-rusher. When the Seahawks drafted Marsh in the fourth round last year, their plan was to mold him into a Michael Bennett-type, i.e., an end in base defense who slides inside to rush the passer on third down. A broken foot ended his rookie season early. Now, Marsh is a little leaner, he's strictly playing end and he's performed well enough to make a push for a spot in Seattle's defensive-line rotation this season. He should get a long look.
DL Frank Clark: A second-round pick this year, Clark has the size at 6-foot-3 and 272 pounds as well as the versatility to play multiple spots. The Seahawks are still trying to determine Clark's role, but they're excited about that idea of sliding him inside in nickel situations. "I love the thought of a 4.6 guy rushing on the guards," coach Pete Carroll said. "And he's very active. He's got great hands." Expect to see Clark playing all over the defensive line as the Seahawks try to figure out how best to use him.
CBs Marcus Burley, Tye Smith: They could be the starters Friday -- Burley at left cornerback and the rookie Smith in the slot -- with Richard Sherman and Will Blackmon unlikely to play. Smith, a fifth-round pick, is the latest in a long line of cornerbacks Seattle has drafted in one of the later rounds under general manager John Schneider. The others before him had the benefit of spending time as backups before becoming starters, but injuries at cornerback are pressing Smith into action right away. Is he ready? Burley, meanwhile, is competing with Blackmon to be Seattle's starting nickelback, a role he filled for a time last season.
TEs Anthony McCoy, Cooper Helfet: The top two tight ends on Seattle's depth chart are set with Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson. It will likely come down to either Anthony McCoy and Cooper Helfet for the third spot. McCoy is trying to resume his career after missing the last two seasons with separate Achilles tears. He had battled drops and other injuries prior to that, but his 2012 season showed he could be a capable backup. Meanwhile, Helfet caught two touchdown passes in 10 games last season after an injury to starter Zach Miller left Seattle thin at tight end.