Seahawks Draft Grades: Insider on best pick, biggest reach

May 2, 2024, 2:39 PM

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Christian Haynes...

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Christian Haynes at the 2024 combine. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The NFL Draft came and went last week, and the Seattle Seahawks put together a class that appeared to address some of the team’s biggest needs while giving some sort inkling to what the it’s now looking for under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald.

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After making surprising picks year after year during the Pete Carroll era – some of which turned out to be home runs and others quite the opposite – Seattle’s draft approach came off as very practical.

The Seahawks needed help stopping the run. They took the player many believe to be the top defensive tackle in the draft. They needed help on the offensive line and selected three O-linemen among their eight picks. Other positions of need like linebacker and tight end were tackled, as well.

How are experts viewing what the team did? Pro Football Focus draft analyst Trevor Sikkema joined Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Tuesday for a conversation about how he graded the Seahawks’ 2024 draft class.

“I think it’s a B-plus because they drafted what they wanted to draft,” Sikkema said. “… Overall, they took a lot of guys that were higher in their picks than where I had them on my big board, but really what you want to focus on the most for Seattle are (the first two) selections that they had: (defensive tackle) Byron Murphy II and then (guard) Christian Haynes. I absolutely love both of these picks from them, so … a B-plus, honestly, is nitpicking a little bit for the Seahawks, and it’s more of just based off of where I had these guys ranked on my big board. But ultimately, those first two picks, that’s what you highlight the most with Seattle’s draft, they needed those two types of players and they got both of them.”

The best pick

Sikkema was very high on Seattle’s third-round selection at No. 81 overall of Haynes, a mauling, 6-foot-2, 318-pounder out of Connecticut.

“I think the Christian Haynes pick to me is just an absolute home run,” he said. “I had him ranked 60th overall on my big board. I thought he was for sure going to be a second-round pick. I got to watch him first hand at the Senior Bowl and he was awesome. This is somebody who I think could start at both center and guard for you. … So for them to be able to get a player who I think has potential and the talent level to be able to start right away I think is really, really important.”

The biggest reach

One of the most criticized picks for Seattle was taking Michigan tight end AJ Barner in the fourth round with the 121st overall pick. Sikkema also thought the Seahawks reached on Barner, who’s considered a blocking tight end.

“There were a lot of great talent that was still left on the board just overall in the draft class at No. 121,” Sikkema said, “and he’s a guy who I feel as though you could have gotten a little bit later in the draft. So that’s one where I just kind of questioned exactly how high they took him.”

A sleeper

Sikkema’s praise of Seattle’s offensive line picks didn’t end with Haynes. He was also a fan of taking 6-4, 319-pound Utah offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea in the sixth round at pick No. 179.

“The feet are a little bit heavy to play at tackle at the next level, but he is powerful,” Sikkema said. “I really do think he could be a really good interior offensive lineman, a potential guy who can switch from tackle at the college level to guard at the NFL level and be able to be a really valuable depth piece for them on the interior.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Bump and Stacy weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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