STACY ROST

Rost: 3 things about the Seahawks that stand out after their draft

May 3, 2024, 10:14 AM

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Jaxon Smith-Njigba celebrates a touchdown with Seattle Seahawks teammates on Dec. 31, 2023. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

It’s been a week since the start of the NFL Draft and we’ve had time not just to learn about eight new players for the Seattle Seahawks, but also to look back on the class as a whole and figure out what it means for 2024.

Ex-scout hopes Seahawks open up QB competition between Geno, Howell

Over the last week on Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, we’ve spoken with a number of NFL reporters, draft analysts and college coaches about the Seahawks’ rookies. Here are three things that stick out to us.

NFL insider says Seahawks’ offense has distinct advantage

As part of our conversation with NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal about the Seahawks’ 2024 expectations that was set to air Friday afternoon, he guessed the Hawks would wind up with one more win than they did in ’23. While he thought that would in large part be because of the fresh eyes on the defense and first-rounder Byron Murphy’s addition to the defensive line, it’s also because they’re bringing back a good chunk of their offensive starters.

“They actually have more continuity offensively than most teams out there, and that usually leads to success,” Rosenthal said.

The Seahawks have lost a few pieces along the offensive line and at tight end this offseason. Guard Damien Lewis signed with the Panthers as a free agent, center Evan Brown (and backup running back DeeJay Dallas) signed with the Arizona Cardinals, and tight ends Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson signed with the Chargers and Rams, respectively.

But the Seahawks are otherwise returning all their key offensive weapons – an advantage not afforded this year to the Bills (who traded Stefon Diggs), Giants (now without Saquon Barkley), Cowboys (who lost Tony Pollard), Vikings (now without Kirk Cousins), Raiders (no Josh Jacobs) or the Jags (who lost Calvin Ridley to Tennessee).

Whether or not you think quarterback Geno Smith can lead the Hawks to a Super Bowl, there’s an advantage in having a quarterback familiar with his pass catchers – and having those pass catchers returning alongside two starting running backs (regardless of whether there’s a new offensive coordinator or not).

Jim Mora can’t stop praising the character of one new lineman

In the best way, former Seahawks and current UConn Huskies head coach Jim Mora couldn’t stop gushing over guard Christian Haynes, Seattle’s third-round pick. Haynes was a captain with Connecticut and even had an academic excellence award named after him.

It’s not just his high character that stands out, however. It’s also who he becomes on the field.

“How tough he is,” Mora said when asked what stands out. “He’s consistent but he’s just dog tough. Nothing rattles him. He’s going to fight through the end of every play. He’s going to play with great technique and great fundamentals… but there’s an element of mental and physical toughness to him, a nastiness to him that I think you have to have at that position in order to be successful in the National Football League.”

More: What UConn’s Jim Mora says Haynes brings to Seahawks

A draft expert is high on new Seattle Seahawks corners

The Seahawks added a pair of cornerbacks on Day 3 of the draft, both teammates out of Auburn. New Seattle head coach Mike Macdonald said Nehemiah Pritchett (6 foot 1/190 pounds) is more of an outside corner while the slight smaller D.J. James (6-0/175) can play outside or swap into nickel.

“We only scouted DBs at Auburn,” Seahawks general manager/president of football operations John Schneider joked during Seattle’s post-draft press conference. “It just literally fell that way. We had those guys right together so it was amazing that we ended up selecting both of them.”

Pro Football Focus draft analyst Trevor Sikkema weighed in with us on Tuesday about Seattle’s decision to take two corners when it already had starters Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen, plus Tre Brown and Michael Jackson as depth at the position.

“The position itself is so cyclical,” Sikkema said. “You don’t know who’s going to have a hot year. And to have these corners year in and year out that you can depend on is so, so rare. Both Pritchett and James have a lot of experience playing in the SEC (so) you know they went up against some really great competition over the last few years. Even if they’re just depth players for you, I think they’re guys who might be able to develop into starters.”

More: Trevor Sikkema on Seahawks’ draft grade, best pick, biggest reach

Seahawks coverage from Seattle Sports

• Ranked: Seahawks’ top five position group battles after draft
• Seahawks GM John Schneider explains this year’s draft strategy
• Schneider: Seahawks have plan for ‘tight’ salary cap situation
• Seahawks Draft Grades: Insider on best pick, biggest reach
• There’s a very telling story behind Seattle Seahawks drafting Murphy

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