Ranking the Seahawks’ roster: Who stands just outside the top 10 on our list?

Bob Condotta

The Seattle Times

We are counting down to the start of Seahawks training camp, which begins Thursday. The countdown enters the top third of the roster, with positions 20-11, all of whom loom as potential starters this season.

20. Barkevious Mingo

Position: Strongside linebacker, rush end.

Potential role in 2018: Starting strongside linebacker.

Main competition: Marcus Smith, Joshua Perry.

Why he’s ranked here: A first-round pick in 2013 of the Browns, Mingo was one of the Seahawks’ key offseason free agent signees and projected to play strongside linebacker in the base defense and rush on passing downs (a role similar to that of Bruce Irvin in past years) and also contribute on special teams. Pass rushing may be the most important of those duties, though, given the team’s needs in that area.

19. Tom Johnson

Position: Defensive line.

Potential role in 2018: Starter at the three-technique defensive tackle position.

Main competition: Nazair Jones.

Why he’s ranked here: Another of the key’s team defensive free agent signees, the 33-year-old veteran of seven NFL seasons will be counted on to step into the spot Sheldon Richardson held for Seattle last season. Jones, a second-year player, will also play significantly there. But Johnson could earn the starting role to start the season.

18. Ethan Pocic

Position: Offensive line.

Potential role in 2018: Starting left guard.

Main competition: Rees Odhiambo.

Why he’s ranked here: A second-round pick a year ago out of LSU, Pocic can play anywhere on the line and is listed by the Seahawks as a guard and center. But he settled into a spot at left guard late last season and Seattle plans to keep him there for now. He’s gained 20-plus pounds in the offseason to better handle playing in the interior.

17. Byron Maxwell

Position: Cornerback.

Potential role in 2018: Starting right cornerback.

Main competition: Dontae Johnson, Neiko Thorpe.

Why he’s ranked here: After returning in November last season to replace the injured Richard Sherman at left cornerback, Maxwell is moving back to the right side this season, where he had success in his previous incarnation with the Seahawks from 2011-14. Johnson, a starter at RCB for the 49ers last season, could push Maxwell. But Maxwell ran with the starting unit at RCB in minicamp and is the leader there heading into training camp.

16. Ed Dickson

Position: Tight end.

Potential role in 2018: Starting tight end.

Main competition: Nick Vannett, Will Dissly.

Why he’s ranked here: Dickson, who turns 31 on Wednesday, was signed to help replace Jimmy Graham, if not necessarily act as an exact replica. The Seahawks envision the eight-year veteran as a better blocker than Graham (admittedly, a somewhat low bar) and capable of more production receiving than his stats might suggest (his targets were understandably limited playing alongside Gre Olsen in Carolina). Seattle has young tight ends it likes. But for this year Dickson figures to be the main man at that position.

15. Dion Jordan

Position: Defensive end.

Potential role in 2018: Starting left defensive end.

Main competition: Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson.

Why he’s ranked here: One of the biggest pleasant surprises of last season when he recovered from knee surgery and two years of inactivity to make 18 tackles and four sacks in five games in the second half of the year, Jordan is being counted on in 2018 to be a significant factor from the start. Specifically, Jordan is targeted to help replace Michael Bennett at left defensive end. But he needs to stay healthy — he missed minicamp after having had another cleanup surgery on his knee.

14. Jarran Reed

Position: Defensive tackle.

Potential role in 2018: Starting nose tackle.

Main competition: Shamar Stephen.

Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks are expecting big things from Reed in his third season with coach Pete Carroll having several times in the offseason referred to him as a player who can replace some of the defensive leadership that the likes of the departed Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor provided in the past. Reed quietly put together a solid campaign last season with 44 tackles. The Seahawks hope he can continue to evolve as a pass rusher as the interior pass rush looms as one of the biggest question marks facing the Seahawks this season.

13. Tyler Lockett

Position: Wide receiver, kickoff and punt returner.

Potential role in 2018: Starting receiver alongside Doug Baldwin in base offense.

Main competition: Brandon Marshall, Amara Darboh, Jaron Brown.

Why he’s ranked here: Lockett’s third NFL season in 2017 might have been his toughest as he was still battling to overcome a gruesome broken leg suffered the previous season and seemed to lack the same burst and explosiveness of his first two seasons — he was held to just 19 catches in the last nine games of the season and is averages per catch, punt return and kick return were all the lowest of his career. But the Seahawks anticipate a return-to-healthy by Lockett — who said in the spring he was only 75 or 80 percent last season — meaning he will be more of a big-playmaker this season, something the team needs with the loss of Paul Richardson. This season is especially critical for Lockett as he enters the final year of his initial four-year rookie deal.

12. Chris Carson

Position: Running back.

Potential role in 2018: Starting tailback.

Main competition: Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis, C.J. Prosise.

Why he’s ranked here: Carson was the surprise of training camp in 2017, a seventh-round pick whose emergence helped lead to the decision to waive Alex Collins, and who then became the opening-day starter at tailback. But his season mirrored that of the team in mostly eliciting the question of “what might have been” after he suffered an ankle injury in week four and was done for the year. Before he was hurt he put up numbers (in an admittedly small sample size) that justified the Seahawks’ faith in him, gaining 208 yards and averaging 4.2 per career. Carson was healthy in the spring and about 10 pounds bigger than the 218 he was listed last season and will enter training camp atop the depth chart at tailback.

11. Justin Coleman

Position: Cornerback.

Potential role in 2018: Starting nickelback.

Main competition: DeAndre Elliott.

Why he’s ranked here: Coleman was an even bigger pleasant surprise than Jordan, acquired from the Patriots for a seventh-round pick the week before the season began and emerging as the team’s starting nickelback, unseating Jeremy Lane, who the Seahawks waived in Mach and remains unsigned. Coleman won’t be a surprise this season, brought back on a second-round tender as a restricted free agent and the unquestioned starter at nickel heading into the season. Coleman also got some looks at right cornerback in the spring when Byron Maxwell was out and the Seahawks might continue to experiment with him some there in training camp.