Best moves the Seattle Seahawks made in the 2024 NFL Draft

All the right moves.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Not to get all zen on you, 12s, but sometimes the best move is no move at all. The Seattle Seahawks gave a perfect demonstration of this in the 2024 draft.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider bucked his own tradition in this draft. Not only did he refrain from trading what draft capital he had - remember all those Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf trade rumors - but he even stayed with his first pick. He could have moved back, as it was reported that the Seahawks had at least four trade offers from teams looking to move up. But instead, things fell Schneider's way.

The draft often takes crazy turns, and the 2024 edition was no different. How else do you explain the Falcons' bizarre draft? Six weeks ago they signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal with $100 million guaranteed. Then with the eighth pick, Atlanta took the 24-year-old Michael Penix Jr. The selection certainly has its defenders, but their GM suggested Penix could sit for "four or five years." Last I checked, you don't spend the eighth pick and wait five years to get him on the field. That insanity helped the Seahawks tremendously.

The Seattle Seahawks made all the right moves

The Penix selection was just part of the madness that overtook the NFL GMs this year. Six quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 selections. There was some prime talent at other offensive positions too, but not to the extent that the first 14 picks should have all been on that side of the ball. We see that herd mentality every year in the draft. Once the top player at say, wide receiver goes, it starts a stampede among the less disciplined GMs. Just look at last year. After the Seahawks made Jaxon Smith-Njigba the first receiver off the board, the next three picks were all wideouts.

You'd think these guys would be smarter than that, but there's a reason that in the past five years, the average career of an NFL general manager is just 2.1 years. Most of them simply aren't that smart. Execs like John Schneider and Brett Veach of the Chiefs are the rare exceptions. This year, Schneider proved his acumen again. When the entire league went on a panic run for offense, he sat back and looked at all the defensive talent falling his way and smiled.

Byron Murphy II was a phenomenal value pick, even at the 16th spot. In a draft full of players that make Stetson Bennett look like an undergrad, Murphy won't turn 22 until after the first game of the season. Mike Morris and Cam Young are the only defensive linemen on Seattle's roster signed past 2026. Murphy will not only be an immediate impact player, but he can be the foundation of the next great Seahawks defense for years to come.

After that, the Hawks waited patiently to fill the next big piece of the roster puzzle. While some top offensive tackles went early, Seattle had its sights set on a true guard. When Christian Haynes was there in the third round, the Seahawks snapped him up. He projects to be every bit as effective at guard as any player taken before him. It's been noted that his draft stock fell because he can only player guard. Again, Schneider exploited the other teams' trends and landed exactly what Seattle needed.

Seattle then added a tackling machine in the fourth round with linebacker Tyrice Knight. More depth arrived with AJ Barner, viewed as a blocking-first tight end. And his quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, was viewed as a game manager, yet was the 10th overall pick in the draft. Barner's receiving skills are underrated. The Hawks took a pair of ballhawks - sorry, I couldn't help it - with Auburn corners Nehemiah Pritchett and D.J. James. Okay, so neither are really ballhawks, but they certainly don't allow many completions, either.

Interwoven with those two are a pair of offensive linemen who are mainly noted for their mean streaks. Well, Sataoa Laumea and Mike Jerrell can both play ball, of course. Laumea gave up zero sacks last year at Utah, while Jerrell is a bit of a physical freak - a 32.5" vertical at 309 lbs - who can provide the Hawks with much-needed depth in the future.

When most teams stampeded for offense, the Seahawks took defensive players. That promises to be the hallmark of a team now coached by the best defensive coordinator in the game, after all. Other teams drafted tackles and centers early, seeing them as conversion projects to guards. Meanwhile, John Schneider bided his time and took one of the draft's best centers, ready to step in on day one. Edge rushers were in heavy play, but the Hawks addressed their need for a pure linebacker who could stuff the run dead in its tracks. Virtually every move the Hawks made was the right one for this draft and this team.

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