Bumpus: The Seahawks’ starting center in 2024 is on the roster

Mar 21, 2024, 8:12 AM

Seattle Seahawks Olu Oluwatimi...

Olu Oluwatimi of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during a game at Lumen Field on Sept. 10, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks will have a new starting center for the fourth year in a row in 2024.

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In 2021, it was Ethan Pocic, who has found a home in Cleveland. In 2022, the Seahawks’ starting center was Austin Blythe, who retired the following offseason.

And in 2023, Evan Brown started 16 games for the Seahawks at center, but he has officially left Seattle in free agency for Arizona.

So who will start there for the Seahawks this season? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus thinks that player is on the roster already.

“(Olu) Oluwatimi, it’s going down,” Bumpus said during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports. “And the reason why it’s going down is because Evan Brown just signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal. He is no longer there … That opens up room for Oluwatimi.”

Oluwatimi was a rookie last year after the Seahawks drafted him in the fifth round. With Brown the clear starter, Oluwatimi started just one game and didn’t play much besides that. But he was an All-American selection in college and won the Rimington and Outland Trophies as the best center and interior lineman in the country, respectively.

The Seahawks could draft a center early to start, but Bumpus has a hard time seeing that happening.

“The top three centers in the country right now are Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, West Virginia’s Zach Frazier and Georgia Sedrick Van Pran. I don’t think they’re gonna go with a center with that No. 16 pick,” Bumpus said. “If they move up, they’re definitely not going to go with a center. And I hope they do not make a move out of the first round. You need to use that No. 16 pick because I think if they do go offensive lineman, it’s going to be the young man from the University of Washington (Troy Fautanu). I’m looking Oluwatimi and saying it’s all set up for you now. You had a year to learn under Evan Brown. He’s gone and I don’t think they’re going to draft a center. It’s going to be all up to you.”

“He had (some) snaps to learn and watch that film … The offensive (snap) numbers are gonna go up,” Bumpus later said. “It’s all set up and I like the way that they brought this young man along. If they do get a center, they get him late, there’s gonna be some competition. But I think that they like Olu and that’s why they were OK letting Evan Brown walk.”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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