Seahawks GM shares thoughts on this year’s draft strategy

May 2, 2024, 6:21 PM | Updated: May 6, 2024, 8:13 am

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Byron Murphy II Texas...

Seahawks top pick Byron Murphy II makes a tackle in 2022. (Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

(Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t do anything wildly unpredictable in the NFL Draft this past weekend.

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Sure, it was a bit surprising that they drafted a pair of cornerbacks in the fifth and sixth rounds, given that corner already seemed to be one of the stronger position groups on the team. And yes, they took a flier on a little-known Division II offensive tackle in the sixth round.

But overall, it seemed like a very systematic draft for the Seahawks. They had clear needs at a handful of position groups, and for the most part, they appeared to address them.

They used their first-round pick to beef up their interior defensive line, taking Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II at No. 16 overall. They added manpower to their interior offensive line, drafting UConn guard Christian Haynes in the third round and Utah guard Sataoa Laumea in the sixth. And with their fourth-round selections of UTEP linebacker Tyrice Knight and Michigan tight end AJ Barner, they gained depth at two spots that desperately needed it.

During his appearance Thursday on Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob, Seahawks general manager John Schneider shared a similar view on how the draft went.

“We had groupings throughout the board and we had touch points, and we got to them,” Schneider said. “We had a couple of times where we were going to move around, we didn’t. We were going to move up, we didn’t. You know, (at No.) 16, we stayed, waited. It didn’t feel like a draft to be trying to be like the smartest guy in the room and trying to be moving all over the place. It felt like a draft, like, ‘Hey, we have buy-in with a new staff on these areas. Let’s hit these areas and then grow from here.'”

Murphy was ‘primary guy on defense to go get’

The draft began with a record run of 14 consecutive offensive players selected, which ultimately benefited the Seahawks by making the top defensive prospects available to them at No. 16 overall.

The Indianapolis Colts finally broke the streak of offensive picks at No. 15, taking edge rusher Laiatu Latu out of UCLA. That allowed Seattle to take Murphy, who the Seahawks said they viewed as the best defensive player in the draft.

The 6-foot-1, 297-pound Murphy was a game-wreaking force at Texas and gives new Seattle coach Mike Macdonald a potential big-time disruptor at defensive tackle.

“We had several (offensive players) that we just knew weren’t going to be there,” Schneider said. “We were prepared for them to be there if they came, but … I personally think it’s like divine that you’re kind of focused on one individual and he felt like the guy all the time. You know, a couple offensive players just didn’t make it there, and we weren’t in a position to go get somebody either. … (But) he was obviously the primary guy on defense to go get.”

Listen to the full conversation with Seahawks general manager John Schneider at this link or in the audio player near the middle of this story.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• Ranked: Seahawks’ top 5 position group battles after draft
• There’s a very telling story behind Seahawks drafting Murphy
• Are Seahawks going to reunite with polarizing Jamal Adams?
• With draft complete, what is Seahawks’ biggest question mark?
• Huard explains why Seattle Seahawks drafted two cornerbacks

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