Mike Macdonald clearly driving Seahawks' interest in these Michigan players

Michigan has at least two players Seattle is very interested in.

Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks can talk to as many as 45 players at the NFL Combine this week. General manager John Schneider will probably interview as many players as possible. But while new head coach Mike Macdonald is not at the combine with Schneider, Macdonald's influence is clearly felt when it comes to Seattle's interest in at least two University of Michigan players.

The part that works out best for Seattle and Macdonald is that Macdonald has to fix a struggling Seahawks defense but Michigan's defense was fantastic the last couple of years. According to one Wolverine Seattle is interested in, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, Macdonald was the defensive coach who changed Michigan's defensive mentality and got the group to swarm and play with attitude.

Macdonald was the Michigan defensive coordinator for one season in 2021. But many of the important players from that season's squad are entering the 2024 NFL draft. Along with Jenkins, Schneider has reportedly interviewed linebacker Junior Colson as well. During press interviews at the NFL Combine, Colson spoke about how much he respected and loved playing for Macdonald.

No team will know Michigan's defensive players as well as Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald

While Seattle needs a lot of help defensively, there are also few teams as well-equipped to know what to get out of one of college football's best defenses last year. Macdonald knows Colson and Jenkins extremely well after having worked with them. Even more than Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, Macdonald will know Colson and Jenkins and other potential Michigan defensive draftees better than any scouting unit on any team in the NFL.

That likely has changed any approach Schneider, who for the first time with Seattle has the final say over all roster decisions, had toward the Michigan players. If Macdonald says to draft someone - or not to draft someone - Macdonald should know. And Schneider will listen.

Colson has decent size for an NFL linebacker at 6'3" and nearly 250 pounds, but he is projected to go around the fourth round. Most of any issues he has, such as the angles he takes on run plays and hand placement when being blocked, are correctable and teachable. Macdonald can get those problems fixed.

Jenkins should shine at the combine as athletically he is gifted for a 6'3" and 305-pound defensive tackle. He is more of a power rusher and doesn't seem capable of many finesse moves. But he is more of a run-stopper right now anyway and that is mostly what the Seahawks need. He is projected to go in the third round by many pundits.

Read more from 12th Man Rising