Early returns positive for Seahawks' newcomers

The Seattle Seahawks have scored seven touchdowns through three games. Six of those have come from players who were not on the roster last season.

General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have done a tremendous job of keeping the team's core together, but in the era of free agency there will always be roster turnover from year to year. Below is a player-by-player look at first-year Seahawks who have had an impact in the early part of the season.

Jimmy Graham: After a big game Sunday, the tight end has 14 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Graham is being used differently than he was in New Orleans. He's been a blocker on 38.3 percent of his snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. That number was 28 percent with the New Orleans Saints. The Green Bay Packers game (two targets) caused panic, but Graham is on pace for 75 catches and 773 yards. The guess here is his role will continue to expand, and Graham will lead the Seahawks in receptions, yards and touchdowns by the end of the season.

Cary Williams: The Philadelphia Eagles and Seahawks essentially swapped cornerbacks in the offseason, with Philadelphia signing Byron Maxwell and Seattle adding Williams. So far, the Seahawks appear to have gotten the better end of that deal.

"He’s been really consistent technique-wise," Carroll said. "This is where we’ve tried to influence him, technique-wise, to play like we play. But he’s done a beautiful job so far. Had a couple big plays; had a big play two weeks ago for the touchdown. He’s doing really well. So I’m hoping that as we get through the start of the season, it will show that you’ve got trouble going either way with our corners, and I’ll expect to see him get better. I think he’s going to do a great job for us."

Williams has avoided giving up big plays, and the only touchdown he's allowed came on an unbelievable play from Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. There's a long way to go and bigger tests ahead, but Williams has looked good in coverage so far.

Ahtyba Rubin: Taking over as the starting three-technique defensive tackle, Rubin has played 55.8 percent of the snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He has been solid against the run. Rubin's 10 tackles are tied for second among Seahawks defensive linemen, and overall the team is allowing just 3.7 YPC on the ground. Rubin often gets replaced in nickel formations but has shown flashes rushing the passer.

Fred Jackson: It seems that the running back will have a pretty specialized role. With Marshawn Lynch hobbled, rookie Thomas Rawls got 16 carries, and Jackson got two against the Chicago Bears. Jackson has 10 touches in three games and has played 19 percent of the snaps. His job is to help in the passing game on third down and provide veteran leadership.

Tyler Lockett: He's been electric as a returner, with two touchdowns in three games. Lockett is averaging 34.3 yards per kickoff return (second in the league) and 13.4 on punt returns (sixth). Offensively, he's played 54.8 percent of the snaps at wide receiver, per Pro Football Focus. Lockett has six catches for 51 yards on seven targets. He ran a beautiful double-move against the Bears, but QB Russell Wilson was pressured and couldn't connect. It's only a matter of time before Lockett gets loose deep.

Thomas Rawls: He's averaging 6.1 yards per carry on 18 attempts. Rawls is a physical running back who seeks out contact, and he has shown good vision in the Seahawks' zone-blocking scheme. It's a small sample size, but Seattle might have something in Rawls, an undrafted free agent. If Lynch misses time, Rawls will carry the load.

Frank Clark: He has played 28.2 percent of the snaps, but the coaches have emphasized that they're looking to get him more playing time. The word "motor" is overused, but Clark plays with high energy and a relentlessness every time he's on the field. The DE has two tackles and is without a sack, but Clark has flashed ability on multiple occasions. Look for his role to continue to increase.