Monday round-up: Russell Wilson in Wisconsin; ESPN lays out bright future

Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy made it’s stop in Madison, Wis. over the weekend, as the Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback instructed hundreds of youth players looking to improve both on and off the field

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, July 1, about your Seattle Seahawks, as well as a look back at what you may have missed last week, June 25-28, when I was a little under the weather:

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune notes offensive guard James Carpenter’s health is a key component for the ‘Hawks in 2013, and offers a detailed look at the competition along the O-line.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com delves into the uncertainty – and upside – present along the interior of the Seahawks’ offensive line.

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com highlights rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams in his Finding the Fits series, which identifies one unheralded player per team who appears to be a good fit schematically, and in turn could be a surprise contributor early on.

We have the podcast from Dave “Softy” Mahler’s Friday conversation with cornerback Richard Sherman, who spent the weekend down in Orange, Texas at free safety Earl Thomas’ football camp for youth. Sherman previews his Celebrity Softball Game next weekend at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium:

Avi Zaleon of the Beaumont Enterprise recaps Thomas’ aforementioned weekend youth camp.

Matt Williamson of ESPN.com says Thomas is the player the Seahawks can least afford to lose.

Tom Mulhern of SportsMadison.com recaps quarterback Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy in Madison, Wis.

Adam Rank of NFL.com has his list of 12 must-see stadiums throughout the League, and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field pops up at No.2.

In a bit of obscure off-the-field news, wide receiver Sidney Rice has signed on with Wingstop to open five new franchises in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

In case you missed it last week over at ESPN.com, a slew of their NFL Insiders projected the Top 10 players at each position group for the 2016 season. We already told you where Russell Wilson projects among 2016 quarterbacks last week, courtesy of NFC West blogger Mike Sando. As a refresher, the site’s positional projections were exercises that followed their Future Power Rankings, which evaluated the core of each franchise as they project in 2016 –¬† the Seahawks ranked at No. 3.

Each positional piece is an ESPN Insider feature, but I’ve pulled the Seahawks mentions and what ESPN’s panel of experts had to say about each player in several snippets below:

Top 10 running backs in 2016No. 5, Christine Michael – ESPN’s Matt Williamson writes: “The selection of Michael seemed like an odd one, but Marshawn Lynch, with his extremely violent running style, probably isn’t going to last long in this league. Michael is a first-round caliber talent, but has a lot of questions off the field. Expect Pete Carroll and company to harness Michael’s great talent by bringing him along slowly. By 2016, he will be a total stud and a true every-down running back. Ignoring their extenuating circumstances, Lattimore and Michael are the most talented all-around running backs from this latest draft class.”

Top 10 wide receivers in 2016 No. 6, Percy Harvin – ESPN’s Field Yates writes: “There have been some injury and attitude concerns for Harvin during his first four seasons in Minnesota, but a change of scenery has him ready to explode in Seattle in 2013. His rare open-field elusiveness, coupled with great strength for a player of his stature, makes him a rare breed. He can take carries from the backfield, too, and he’ll now play with a quarterback who can deliver the ball on a rope; that will only help the electric Harvin.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016No. 1, Earl Thomas – Williamson writes: “Thomas is an essential member of the league’s best secondary and what I expect to be an elite defense overall. He has outstanding range and is best as a center fielder, but he truly excels in all facets of safety play. Thomas will only be 27 years old when the 2016 season begins, which could be the peak of an outstanding career.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016 – No. 9, Kam Chancellor – Williamson writes: “Chancellor recently turned 25 and his best football should be ahead of him. A punishing hitter, his career might not be as long as some of the others on this list. But Chancellor already has established himself as one of the best safeties in the league, and he paired with Thomas to be a foundational unit for the Seahawks to build around.”

Top 10 cornerbacks in 2016No. 2, Richard Sherman – ESPN’s Herm Edwards writes: “Another corner with very good length, it’s really hard to beat Sherman deep. Seattle’s system is perfect for him, because he can press receivers and disrupt them at the line of scrimmage — which plays right into his confidence. With eight interceptions last season, he’s only going to improve moving forward.” (And because I know you’re dying to know, the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson is the only player that ranks ahead of Sherman on this list).

Top 10 linebackers in 2016No. 3, Bobby Wagner – Yates writes: “Kuechly took home NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last year, but you wouldn’t have heard any complaints from me if Wagner was the recipient instead. Relatively unknown out of Utah State, all Wagner did was lead one of the NFL’s best defenses in tackles with 147, while also recording a pair of sacks and picking off three passes. The 22-year old has already shown he can do it all.”