BROCK AND SALK

Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy shares what to know about NFL Draft, a Seahawks fit

Feb 6, 2024, 10:16 AM | Updated: 10:57 am

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Jackson Powers-Johnson...

Jackson Powers-Johnson of Oregon snaps against the UW Huskies on Oct. 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

One of the biggest parts of the NFL Draft process just wrapped up as former Seattle Seahawks scout Jim Nagy’s Senior Bowl is officially in the books.

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Nagy was an NFL scout for nearly 20 years and was with the Seahawks for five years before becoming executive director of the Senior Bowl.

Because of his work at the Senior Bowl and his connections across the NFL, Nagy has unique insight into the NFL Draft.

He joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk to break down his thoughts on this year’s draft class, as well as his thoughts on the Seahawks and a potential draft fit.

“I really do feel like the first four rounds of this draft are really, really strong,” Nagy said. “… But I think Day 3 got completely wiped out.”

The NFL Draft is divided into three days, with Day 1 being just the first round, Day 2 being the second and third rounds and Day 3 being rounds four through seven.

Nagy said there are far more underclassmen returning to school than is usually the case, and that’s dramatically impacted the depth of this year’s draft class.

“What happened was when juniors went back to school or if we end up not getting a couple juniors that we wanted to get … then we had to circle back down to the next-graded seniors,” Nagy said of the Senior Bowl. ” … And by the time we circled back, our Day 3 board, the guys that we were circling back to hit, they either pushed the panic button that they didn’t get an invite and jumped in the portal and transferred, or they signed an NIL deal and went back to school.”

Nagy said that’s something he heard across the board from college coaches as well as agents.

“Like, ‘Man, this kid didn’t get an invite, and he just kind of got shook by it and he said he wanted to come back,'” Nagy said.

Perhaps no position better embodies that than running back.

“There are some running backs that are going back to college football next year that are going to be fifth- and sixth-year running backs that we would have wanted to have at the Senior Bowl and they really have no business being back in college football,” Nagy said. ” … The running back position, we all know where it’s at. I mean, you shouldn’t be going back for a fifth year. There’s just a lot of different dynamics at play. And we’re just talking about the Day 3 stuff.”

Nagy thinks we may see teams make a lot of trades using those later-round draft picks, either to get future picks for the 2025 NFL Draft or to try and move up in this year’s draft.

“If you’re a team that is loaded with a bunch of Day 3 picks, I’m looking to either move those for next year … or maneuver around in those first four rounds and try to trade up for some guys that you really want to target,” he said. “It’ll be interesting once we get to April where teams strategically land and what they want to do when we get to April.”

What will the Seattle Seahawks do?

Nagy knows the Seahawks’ general manager very well.

Nagy’s relationship with John Schneider dates back to the 1990s when both were scouts with the Green Bay Packers. Nagy later scouted for Schneider with the Seahawks.

What makes this year’s draft so interesting for Seattle, though, is that the Seahawks have a new head coach in Mike Macdonald.

Nagy doesn’t have much of a relationship with Macdonald, but he said people he knows with the Baltimore Ravens “speak the world of him.”

“So it makes sense that he’s getting that opportunity,” Nagy said. “I’m just excited to see what he does with that personnel because I know John mentioned that they underachieved this year. And I don’t get to watch a ton of NFL, but when I do, I watch the Hawks … I’m excited about what Mike Macdonald can do with those guys.”

Nagy said it’s going to be “so different” for the Seahawks without Pete Carroll, but ultimately, he thinks the Hawks’ draft philosophy will stay the same.

“I don’t think even with the new head coach that they’re going to want to change the type of player they look for,” Nagy said. “I still think they’re going to look for really highly-competitive guys that love football. And that’s really what they’re focused on the last couple of drafts. That’s why I think their last couple drafts have been great. I know that when I was there, we strayed from that a little bit. We got enticed by talent a couple of times and took a couple risky picks and they didn’t pan out. I think they’ve really done a nice job kind of sticking to their guns and what they say they believe in over the last two or three drafts, and it’s paid off for them.”

Nagy brought up one player that would fill a key position of need for Seattle.

“I know the two (offensive) tackles (Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas) are good players up there, but I know interior offensive line might be an area of need,” he said. “I think (that position group is) loaded. Jackson Powers-Johnson, (the center) from Oregon up your way, had two really good days of practice down here. I think he would be an immediate starter for those guys and really upgrade them on the interior.”

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