NFL Draft Round 6 grades: Seahawks add another corner in surprising move

Seattle clearly wanted speed in the secondary in the 2024 draft.
Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks addressed depth at another position with their second selection in the sixth round, taking cornerback D.J. James.

I have to say, I'm a bit shocked at this selection. If the Seahawks have depth anywhere, it's at the cornerback position. Yet John Schneider has drafted only one linebacker and no safeties, then added the second cornerback of the 2024 draft with the fifth-year senior from the Auburn Tigers. Yes, they face tough quarterbacks in the SEC, but that many?

Still, I can't knock James too much. At 6'0" and 175 lbs., he has good speed (4.42 40) and elite acceleration (1.50 10-yard split). He played three seasons at Oregon before transferring to the SEC. In his two seasons at Auburn, he tied or led the team in pass breakups with eight in 2022 and ten last year. With five interceptions in the past three seasons, he can't exactly be called a ballhawk. But a career passe4r rating allowed of 78.0 isn't the worst you'd find at the position, either.

Seattle Seahawks add more depth to their deepest position

Lance Zierlein of sees James as equally adept in zone and man coverage. He sees him playing inside more, while cites his explosion and top-end speed as evidence for an outside role. At 175 lbs, that makes a lot more sense to me, rather than expect him to square off against tight ends. That's certainly how Auburn saw him, as he got just 42 snaps in the slot in the past two years versus over 1,300 on the outside.

What does this mean for the Seahawks, other than they really love Auburn corners? For one, I'm pretty nervous if I'm Michael Jackson. He carries a cap hit of $3.0 million this year and will cost absolutely nothing to release. Jones, of course, may not pan out. It's rare for sixth-round players to make the roster other than as practice squad players, after all. But with two established starters and another capable player in Tre Brown in place, Jackson's days in Seattle seem numbered. Numbered at zero.

As for Jones, he can certainly be a solid addition to the Seahawks. I'm surprised John Schneider didn't look for another linebacker or safety here. They could plan to take a look at Nehemiah Pritchett there, but run support isn't his strong suit. I like the player - James, that is - but I think the Hawks had more pressing needs to fill.

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