What experts are saying about the Seattle Seahawks’ draft class

Apr 27, 2024, 4:18 PM | Updated: 5:24 pm

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Byron Murphy II...

Seattle Seahawks first-round draft pick Byron Murphy at the 2024 NFL combine. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

After much anticipation, the 2024 NFL Draft is officially over. How did the Seattle Seahawks do with their eight selections?

Seahawks Draft Breakdown: All 8 picksSeahawks UDFA Tracker

Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how analysts are grading the Seahawks’ draft.

Byron Murphy II, Texas, DT

When he was picked: First round, No. 16 overall

USA Today‘s grade: B+

What they said: “The Mike Macdonald era is officially underway in the Pacific Northwest. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator lands his version of Justin Madubuike, the defensive tackle who broke out in 2023 with 13 sacks. The Seahawks have tied up a lot of resources in their defensive front after re-signing Leonard Williams and bringing aboard Dre’Mont Jones last offseason, but Murphy is massively disruptive and is poised to be a foundational piece for Macdonald moving forward.”

Walter Football‘s grade: A+

What they said: “You have to love the value. The Bears could have drafted Byron Murphy at No. 9, and there wouldn’t have been any complaints. The Vikings loved Murphy enough to take him at 11 if they didn’t need a quarterback so badly. Murphy is an immense talent, and the Seahawks are definitely upgrading their defensive line, which is something they’ve needed to do for a while.”

Pro Football Network‘s grade: A

What they said: “With Macdonald entering his first year as head coach, it’s no surprise the Seahawks went defense in the first round. Byron Murphy II not only fills a major need on the interior of the defensive line, but he also brings immense pass-rush upside and is a perfect fit for Macdonald system.”

Christian Haynes, OG, Connecticut

When he was picked: Third round, No. 81 overall

USA Today’s grade: A-

What they said: “For all the handwringing about the Seahawks’ outlook on the interior line, the team managed to land a solid starter in the third. Haynes exhibits a fierce finishing touch and is a steady pass protector.”

Walter Football’s grade: A-

What they said: “No one should be surprised that the Seahawks are addressing the interior of the offensive line, given that they lost all three starters from last year. Christian Haynes fits the range here in the middle of the third round, and he fills a big need. There are some size limitations with him, but he’s a tough player.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: A+

What they said: “Christian Haynes fell right into Seattle’s lap. The Seahawks had a giant hole at guard, and the UConn lineman more than fills it, bringing a mauling mentality that new OC Ryan Grubb needed up front. The reasons for his fall aside, few players have the kind of experience that Haynes has in this draft class. Haynes certainly represented the most talented senior offensive lineman to start the season and more than lived up to that hype all throughout the year.”

Tyrice Knight, UTEP, LB

When he was picked: Fourth round, No. 118 overall

USA Today’s grade: C

What they said: “Knight led the country in solo tackles with 84 as a senior for the Miners. His nose for the football shines against the run thanks to his instincts and closing burst. He rarely misses tackles and will at least be an immediate impact starter on special teams. His coverage limitations could be more of a red flag against NFL competition.”

Walter Football’s grade: B+

What they said: “The Seahawks lost so many linebackers this offseason, so it’s not a surprise to see them address the position with this pick. Tyrice Knight was a very productive player out of UTEP, and he’s considered by some as a mid-round sleeper.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: B

What they said: “Seattle revamped its LB room with Jerome Baker and Tyrel Dodson, but Tyrice Knight provides depth and a long-term option.”

AJ Barner, Michigan, TE

When he was picked: Fourth round, No. 121 overall

USA Today’s grade: B

What they said: “Barner’s an ideal in-line tight end that gives the Seahawks another threat in the pass game who can hold his own in most blocking situations. He’s a bit small to be a Y tight end with some of the smallest hands in the class but has the athleticism to be a flex tight end early on.”

Walter Football’s grade: B

What they said: “The Seahawks lost a couple of tight ends this offseason, as two of them inexplicably signed gargantuan contracts elsewhere. Here’s a cheap replacement. A.J. Barner makes sense as a fourth-round prospect as a solid Y-tight end prospect for the NFL.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: C

What they said: “Selecting a backup TE in the fourth round isn’t exactly excellent value, but AJ Barner can see the field early in 12 personnel and offer reliable snaps.”

Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn, CB

When he was picked: Fifth round, No. 136 overall

USA Today’s grade: B-

What they said: “Pritchett has ideal size at 6 foot and 190 pounds and ran one of the fastest 40-yard dashes at the combine among cornerbacks. His tackling and character make him an ideal developmental cornerback and he could become a rotational starter in Seattle early on.”

Walter Football’s grade: A+

What they said: “Is this the next great Seahawks cornerback to be chosen in the middle rounds? I love the value, as Nehemiah Pritchett easily could have gone in the third round, and maybe even the second. Pritchett can cover tall receivers well, so he fits here for the Seahawks.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: B

What they said: “Outside of Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon, there isn’t much in Seattle’s CB room. Nehemiah Pritchett could push Michael Jackson for starting snaps on the outside with the size/speed/length combo the Seahawks crave.”

Sataoa Laumea, Utah, OG/OT

When he was picked: Sixth round, No. 179 overall

USA Today’s grade: A-

What they said: “Seattle continues to shore up the interior offensive line in Round 6 with Laumea at a great value selection. A four-year starter with the Utes, Laumea is a great presence in the run game with his foot quickness and power. He needs to develop in pass protection but is in no rush to start as a rookie in Seattle.”

Walter Football’s grade: B+

What they said: “Sataoa Laumea spent most of his time at tackle while playing for Utah, but he may have to move to guard in the NFL. This is fine for the Seahawks, who lost several interior blockers in free agency. We had Laumea in the fifth round, so this is a decent value.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: B-

What they said: “Sataoa Laumea’s selection won’t move the needle much, but he has tackle/guard versatility with natural power on the move.”

D.J. James, Auburn, CB

When he was picked: Sixth round, No. 192 overall

USA Today’s grade: A-

What they said: “Seattle gets one of the better SEC corners in Round 6 here. He’s undersized at 175 pounds but has the speed and feet to keep up in coverage. He led Auburn in Pro Football Focus’ defensive grade with an 83.9 in 2023. Many analysts expected him to be gone by Round 4 at the latest, making this a great value pick.”

Walter Football’s grade: B-

What they said: “D.J. James is known for a blown coverage against Alabama that resulted in a loss. He makes sense in this range though, so perhaps he can redeem himself in Seattle. The Seahawks do know what they’re doing with cornerbacks.”

Pro Football Network’s grade: A

What they said: “It’s unclear where D.J. James will factor into Seattle’s secondary puzzle, but his talent is a steal in Round 6. Macdonald has no shortage of options to choose from on the back end.”

Michael Jerrell, Findlay, OT

Where he was picked: Sixth round, No. 207 overall

USA Today’s grade: D-

What they said: “Seattle goes with a player many didn’t see being drafted at all. Jerrell has 40 starts at right tackle with Findlay and has impressive agility for his frame. He’ll need time to adjust to the NFL level but has the length and toughness to potentially develop over time. At this pick, this may be a move to ensure they won’t need to outbid other teams to sign him post-draft.”

Walter Football’s grade: C

What they said: “We didn’t have Mike Jerrell as a draftable prospect, and I heard zero buzz about him throughout the process. This could have been a UDFA signing.

Pro Football Network’s grade: B

What they said: “Jumping from D-II to the NFL won’t be easy, but Mike Jerrell is a developmental tackle with all the physical tools coaches long for.”

More Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft coverage

Seattle Seahawks draft obscure D-II OL Michael Jerrell in 6th round
• Seattle Seahawks draft another Auburn CB in sixth round
• Seahawks target OL again in sixth round with Utah’s Sataoa Laumea
• Seahawks make TE addition in draft with Michigan’s AJ Barner
• Seattle Seahawks drafts UTEP LB Tyrice Knight in fourth round
• Draft Reaction: Seattle Seahawks ‘taking care’ of trenches

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