The Seahawks have to like what they’re seeing from rookie Phil Haynes. In fact, they love what they see from their fourth-round pick.
It hasn’t exactly been a secret that the Seahawks offensive line needed to improve over the past few years. They made one big step in that direction when they traded with the Texans to get left tackle Duane Brown. The biggest leap forward was hiring offensive line coach Mike Solari to replace the oft-maligned Tom Cable. These moves paid off as the O line was much better in 2018 than in the previous two years. Now it looks like it may take another step forward with the arrival of rookie Phil Haynes.
The Hawks drafted Haynes with their second fourth-round pick, sandwiched between Gary Jennings and Ugo Amadi. That’s some stuffed sandwich, as Haynes is 6’4″ and 322 pounds. Surprise, surprise, he’s another former basketball player that switched to football late. Haynes didn’t played organized football until his senior year in high school. Remind you of anybody?
Haynes isn’t George Fant 2.0, though. Fant had one year of college football experience at Western Kentucky, where he played tight end. Haynes played four years at Wake Forest at both guard and tackle. Fant came into the draft at 270 pounds, fifty pounds lighter than Haynes. While Haynes can still improve his technique, he’s much further along than Fant was out of college.
Speaking of developing, here’s what Duane Brown had to say about Haynes to Andy Patton for the Seahawks Wire:
"“I think Phil Haynes has been a pleasant surprise,” Brown told reporters. “He’s a big, strong guy. He’s catching on pretty quickly. He’s got a great demeanor. A lot of times, this kind of atmosphere can be overwhelming, being given so much information, the speed right now, you’re not used to practicing without pads on so fast and everything’s happening so quickly, but he’s handling everything well. Today he was in there with the ones and played next to me and communicated great.”"
This is great news for the Seahawks. Mike Iupati is expected to be the starter at left guard. As long as he’s healthy, he almost certainly will get the nod. He leads Haynes in experience, 114 games to none, and he’s been one of the league’s better guards throughout his career. But Haynes is making big strides already. All 12s know the Seahawks mantra is Always Compete; Phil Haynes is bringing that motto to life.