Seahawks counting on Germain Ifedi, George Fant to make leap

Germain Ifedi started 15 games at right guard for Seattle. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Pete Carroll had a tough time sizing up the contributions of the Seattle Seahawks' rookie class in 2016 because many of its members had a tough time staying on the field.

"There was a number of those guys that weren’t able to contribute because of the injuries, that I think all have a role, all have an opportunity," he said after the season.

"It’s a really good group of guys. I think they’re going to have a chance to be a big factor. Knowing that the natural growth from one year to two, it should really help us."

Here's a look at how many snaps the Seahawks notable rookies played in 2016:

The first two that stand out are Germain Ifedi and George Fant. Ifedi started and ended the season with an ankle injury but still played more snaps than any other rookie, starting 15 games at right guard.

His season was characterized by inconsistency. Ifedi had snaps that demonstrated why the Seahawks wanted him in the first round, and he had others where he clearly looked like a rookie. Ifedi was originally drafted to play right tackle, but Carroll said the plan right now is to keep him at guard. His development will be crucial going into next season.

Fant was thrown into an impossible situation. He had barely played any football since the eighth grade and was signed as an undrafted free agent project. But when Bradley Sowell went down with an injury, the Seahawks threw Fant into the fire. Because they had no one better to play left tackle, they let him take his lumps, and it definitely got ugly at times. The coaches love Fant's athleticism and mentality, but the smart move would be to bring in competition at tackle this offseason while continuing to work with the former basketball player.

Elsewhere on the offensive line, Rees Odhiambo only played 73 snaps, and it's tough to project where exactly he fits going forward. With Ifedi at one guard spot and Mark Glowinski at the other, Odhiambo might be looking at a backup role in 2017. He struggled big time when he had to fill in for Ifedi in the divisional round.

Running back is a position to watch this offseason. Carroll loves C.J. Prosise, but he struggled to stay healthy. Alex Collins (31 carries, 125 yards) didn't show much, and Carroll indicated that he had work to do on his body physically. Pope spent the summer in Seattle and returned late in the season, but suffered an ankle injury. Prosise and Thomas Rawls are the favorites to lead the backfield in 2017, but the Seahawks could certainly add talent here in the months ahead.

Defensively, Jarran Reed earned back his starting job towards the end of the season and held up well against the run. DeAndre Elliott could get a chance to compete for playing time, given that DeShawn Shead suffered a knee injury in the divisional round. And the Seahawks are hoping Quinton Jefferson can get healthy and provide some interior pass-rush.

Then there are the wild cards. Tanner McEvoy caught a couple touchdowns, looked good as a blocker and had a blocked punt. He'll be competing for one of the final wide receiver spots next summer.

Nick Vannett should have a chance to contribute next season if Luke Willson signs elsewhere, but it's worth noting that Vannett was a healthy scratch the last four games. He clearly has work to do to get on the field.

Joey Hunt is in line to be the backup center, although he could get bumped if the Seahawks find a player with guard/center versatility.

And Trevone Boykin will likely be competing for the backup quarterback job.

It's too early to evaluate the class as a whole, but the Seahawks are counting on several guys to make the second-year leap going into next season.