Draft Reaction: Seahawks ‘taking care’ of trenches with Christian Haynes

Apr 26, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2024, 5:32 pm

The Seattle Seahawks continued to bolster the trenches in the first draft of the Mike Macdonald era, selecting Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Haynes in the third round with pick No. 81 of the 2024 NFL Draft on Friday night.

Seahawks ’24 NFL Draft Breakdown: A look at all 8 Seattle picks

The pick of Haynes comes after Seattle took Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II in the first round at No. 16 on Thursday. Haynes was Seattle’s only pick during Friday’s portion of the draft, which featured the second and third rounds.

The Seahawks hope Haynes can bolster the interior of their offensive line, which has long been a problem dating back the team’s reign as one of the top teams in the NFC in the 2010s. Haynes was the fourth guard drafted overall this year and the third to be picked in the third round.

Seattle Sports’ NFL Draft team of former NFL players Dave Wyman and Paul Moyer shared their thoughts during Friday night’s coverage. Ex-Seahawks wide receiver Michael Bumpus weighed in on social media, as well.

“He looks great,” Wyman said. “Look at him, he looks like a big, strong young man.”

Indeed, Haynes is a big guy. The Bowie, Md., native checks in at 6 foot 3 and 317 pounds, but Haynes is more than just a big guy. He was tied for 10th among offensive linemen at the NFL combine with a 5.03-second 40-yard dash and ranked eighth with a vertical jump of 33 inches.

“Love the approach to the draft by the Seahawks thus far,” Bumpus posted on social media. “Taking care of the trenches baby! Haynes reminds me a lot of (former Seahawks lineman) Damien Lewis. Measurables are comparable and has some accolades on his resume.”

What accolades does Haynes hold? He was a two-time Associated Press All-American and started all 49 games at right guard with the Huskies. He also allowed only one sack and two quarterback hits in 786 pass-blocking snaps over the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

How does Haynes fit with Seahawks?

Haynes was projected as a second- or third-round pick by, and his selection addresses what many believed to be the biggest need for the Seahawks entering the draft – the interior of the offensive line. As mentioned above, all of Haynes’ starting time came at right guard at Connecticut.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, recently signed veteran guard Laken Tomlinson has played his entire nine-year NFL career at left guard. That means Haynes could be in direct competition with second-year lineman Anthony Bradford, who started 10 games after being drafted in fourth round last year.

Who is new Seahawks OL Laken Tomlinson? Huard weighs in

So was this a case of Seattle doing what it says it always does – take the best player available? Or was this more of a pick to fill a need? Moyer believes it’s the latter.

“They’re different players right at this point (than in the earlier rounds),” he said. “I’ve got maybe a same grade (elsewhere), but I need a guard, and there is also that point where you go, ‘I gotta fill the roster out.’”

However, Moyer doesn’t believe the Seahawks went reaching just to get an interior offensive lineman.

“I don’t think they would say, ‘Ah, man, this guy’s really a fifth-round pick.’ That’s not what they’re doing,” Moyer said. “They have him rated as a third-round pick or maybe even higher in that situation.”

With Haynes and Murphy now in the fold, the Seahawks have addressed perhaps their two biggest roster needs with their first two picks. Other spots Seattle could be in the mix at are linebacker, tight end and safety, and the team could still add more to either side of the line or take a swing at a late-round quarterback.

The team holds five picks on Saturday’s third and final day of the draft, which features the fourth through seventh rounds. Those picks are two fourth-rounders (Nos. 102 and 118), two sixth-rounders (Nos. 179 and 192) and a seventh-rounder (No. 235).

More Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft coverage

• Seattle Seahawks did what they needed in draft — just with a twist
• Seahawks Draft Reaction: Top pick Byron Murphy a ‘300-lb ball of muscle’
• Seattle Seahawks take Texas DL Byron Murphy II in first round
• Seahawks GM Schneider: Why Seattle hits on late-round draft picks

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