Intriguing position battles for Seattle Seahawks in 2024 OTAs

New Seattle head coach Mike Macdonald has a lot of decisions to make with position battles in 2024.
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Organized team activities (OTAs) might not allow fans to see how hard players hit each other - there is no contact - but when going through the motions and implementing the new Seattle Seahawks coaching staff's schemes, 12s can learn a lot about players. Who picks up the plans the quickest might be those players who start in some situations. This is the case with at least one of the position battles that follow.

While the media is limited in how much they see of practice, what they do see is not going to be Seattle's full scheme. It is what the media doesn't see that matters most. Which players are impressing coaches the most is probably happening away from prying eyes.

That makes position battles even more fun to watch. We might all be surprised by which players earn significant roles. These are some position battles to watch.

Position battles to watch for the Seattle Seahawks in 2024 OTAs

Cornerback - Tre Brown vs. Mike Jackson vs. Nehemiah Pritchett

One might also include Riq Woolen in this battle. Woolen, though, seems to have added some muscle this offseason and that might imply he is ready to re-focus on being good against the run. In 2023, he was a disaster in that area, failing to set a hard edge many times. Overall, Seattle's run defense was awful, and Woolen contributed to that.

Still, Woolen was a Pro Bowler in 2022 and has an abundance of speed. The real battle will likely be opposite him where Brown and Jackson have been with Seattle for a few years but are having to prove themselves to a new coaching staff. Pritchett has good speed and length and the new staff was a part of choosing him in the 2024 draft so they clearly like him.

I don't have rookie cornerback D.J. James here because he projects more as a nickelback. He certainly won't be taking Devon Witherspoon's job there.

Right guard - Christian Haynes vs. Anthony Bradford

Forget about McClendon Curtis taking first-team reps in early OTAs. He is not going to start for the Seahawks in 2024 and he might be lucky to make the team. The real battle will be between second-year pro Bradford and rookie Haynes. Bradford is dealing with an ankle issue currently and is missing valuable reps in front of the new coaches.

Haynes should have the inside track to start and he had a lot of experience in college. Bradford might have a year in the NFL but not playing for the current coaching staff. Right guard might belong to Haynes but how quickly he can acclimate to the speed and strength of the league might determine who starts in Week 1.

Wide receiver - Jake Bobo vs. Dee Eskridge vs. Dareke Young

Seattle is set with their top three receivers. Those players would be DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. After that group, it is a bit of a free-for-all. Bobo was WR4 in 2023 and a fan favorite. He also did not play poorly. He scored a handful of touchdowns and had sure hands. But just because former head coach Pete Carroll fell in love with him does not mean Mike Macdonald will.

Seattle could keep five or six receivers and a lot of that might depend on whether Seattle's kick returner(s) come from the wide receiver group. If the Seahawks want to keep two players on the roster because of their prowess with kick returns, Bobo could be the odd man out. Eskridge would be on the team and either Laviska Shenault, Jr. or rookie Dee Williams.

Young is excellent on special teams and he could be the long-term replacement for Nick Bellore. Young loves to hit and knows his role well, as did Bellore. But he is unlikely to catch many passes.

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Nose guard - Byron Murphy II vs. Jarran Reed

Both Reed and Murphy are going to make the team, but the question is which one starts if Macdonald uses a 3-4 base on the majority of downs. Make no mistake that Macdonald won't mix up his fronts because he will and often, but a 3-4 will get the most looks. Reed can supply an interior pass rush as his 7 sacks in 2023 show, but he is a bit undersized for a nose guard and not as efficient against the run.

Murphy has the potential of being better than Reed in all facets, but his ability to hold his own in run defense might allow him to start between Leonard Williams and Dre'Mont Jones (assuming Jones still plays some end and does not transition fully to being an edge rusher) and then Reed would spell Murphy. The great thing is that Murphy's versatility allows Macdonald to do a lot more to disguise his fronts.

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