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MX News Update 2024

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The 3 Best Seahawks Moves in the 2024 NFL Draft

Not many teams have seen as much change and turnover this offseason as the Seattle Seahawks. Their head coach, Pete Carroll, left his post to join the front office. Shane Waldron, who served as offensive coordinator for the past few seasons, was hired in the same capacity by the Chicago Bears.

Seattle hired Mike MacDonald as their new head coach and just completed their first draft in charge. The Seahawks made many moves before and during the 2024 NFL Draft. Three in particular stood out as moves that should help Seattle return to the postseason.

Drafting Byron Murphy II

Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates the sack of Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht (3) during the game at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, November 8, 2023 in Ames, Iowa.
© Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Seahawks used their first-round pick on Texas lineman Byron Murphy II. It was a curious move considering Seattle traded a second-round pick to the New York Giants for Leonard Williams at the trade deadline. But he can play on the edge and Murphy can man the middle of the defensive line.

Murphy really saw action for the Texas Longhorns during the 2023 season. Not only is he a cog in the middle, but he is also an excellent pass rusher for an interior defensive lineman. That much became clear in Texas’ College Football Playoff game against the Washington Huskies.

Murphy led the interior defensive linemen in pass rush winning percentage last season with a mark of 19.6%. That will be music to the ears of the Seahawks’ brass. They ranked 16th in that department and 19th in run block winning percentage a year ago according to ESPN.com. Murphy will help on both fronts.

The Seahawks finished 30th in EPA allowed per play last season. They were 31st in the EPA allowed per rush. Seattle needed to address their run defense and increase their pass rush. They accomplished both with their selection of Murphy. It’s hard to ask for much more than that.

Drafting Christian Haynes

The Seahawks hit two home runs on their offensive line during the 2022 draft with Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. While these two have been huge success stories for Seattle, the interior of their offensive line has needed some work. Improving that position has been a big priority for the Seahawks this season. They hope the signing of Laken Tomlinson and the selection of UConn’s Christian Haynes makes that happen.

Haynes was one of the best guards in the entire draft. Don’t just do his athletic testing the results suggest so, but so does his play on the field. Last season, he was named the 10th-best guard in all of college football, according to PFF.

Tomlinson will likely start at one of the guard spots for the Seahawks this season, but Haynes will compete with Anthony Bradford for the other spot. Haynes starting as a newcomer should not be ruled out. He is someone to keep an eye on before the start of the season.

Drafting AJ Barner

Blocking tight ends aren’t exactly the most glamorous players in the NFL, but they are extremely useful to have. That’s exactly what former Michigan Wolverine AJ Barner is. Barner recorded just 64 receptions for 610 yards and five touchdowns during his three-year college career in the Big Ten with Michigan and the Indiana Hoosiers. He’s not often targeted, but he can do it nail those looks when he complements his ability as a blocker.

Former Seahawk Colby Parkinson signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason. Barner has a similar skill set to Parkinson and will make pennies on the dollar on his rookie contract. Seattle found depth behind Noah Fant without paying the premium the Rams did. Those are good things on their front.