3 safety prospects the Seattle Seahawks could draft in 2024

The Seahawks will be looking to add to their secondary in this year's draft.
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The Seattle Seahawks have done a nice job of replacing the safeties they cut this off-season (Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams) with K'Von Wallace and Rayshawn Jenkins. Signing both Wallace and Jenkins in free agency to short-term deals. The Seahawks only have one safety under contract beyond the 2024 season (Julian Love's contract ends in 2024, K'Von Wallace's contract ends in 2024, and Rayshawn Jenkins' contract ends in 2025 with an opt-out clause after 2024). This means they will need to add one or two safeties in this draft to provide depth.

Even though the Seahawks did sign K'Von Wallace and Rayshawn Jenkins, their lack of long-term solutions at the position is troubling. This is why the Seahawks need to take a look at the safeties in this draft and find players who complement their roster. Seahawks GM John Schneider has done a good job of finding defensive backs in the last two drafts. Taking CB Devon Witherspoon last year with the fifth pick in the NFL Draft and finding CB Riq Woolen in the fifth round of the 2022 draft.

Fortunately for the Seahawks, they hired Mike Macdonald as their next head coach who has a similar history to Pete Carroll of being able to develop defensive backs. Macdonald did good work with Kyle Hamilton in Baltimore the past two years. Turning Hamilton into a Pro Bowl safety after the Ravens selected him with the 14th overall pick in the 2022 draft. John Schneider could find another safety for Macdonald to coach up in this year's draft.

Here are three safeties the Seahawks should consider taking in this year's draft

Seahawks safety draft target No. 1 - Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Cooper DeJean is the top-rated safety prospect in this draft. He is listed as a corner because he split time between CB and SS positions. DeJean was a versatile player for the Iowa Hawkeyes and had a unique skill set that gave him the opportunity to be effective both on defense and in special teams. Now that DeeJay Dallas is gone, the Seahawks will need a new punt and kick return man. DeJean is certainly capable of doing that having returned a punt for a touchdown last year for the Hawkeyes.

On top of being a specialist on special teams for Iowa, DeJean also made an impact on defense while in college. He had three interception returns for touchdowns in 2022 and finished his career with seven total interceptions. DeJean made the All-America team in 2023, finishing the season with 41 tackles, two interceptions, and five passes defensed. This is why Cooper DeJean is expected to be drafted in the first round of this year's draft.

DeJean could be available at pick #16 when the Seahawks selection comes up. John Schneider has been more open to taking defensive backs early in the draft after selecting Devon Witherspoon with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 draft. Would Schneider be willing to use another early selection on a defensive back in 2024? DeJean is definitely a player to watch in the first round of this year's draft, because of his athleticism and ability to play both defense and special teams.

Seahawks safety draft target No. 2 - Jaden Hicks, Washington State

The Seahawks last took a safety from Washington State back in the 2003 NFL Draft. Selecting Marcus Trufant at 11th overall. Trufant was a solid contributor for the Seahawks, was also a member of the 2005 Super Bowl team, and made the Pro Bowl in 2007. Jaden Hicks has grown into an intriguing prospect in his time with the Washington State Cougars. He could be the next safety to be drafted by the Seahawks from WSU.

Hicks was a strong tackler during his college career, finishing with 155 tackles (94 of which were solos). He also had three interceptions, 10 passes defensed, and a fumble return for a touchdown. Hicks is one of the top five safety prospects in this year's draft. He is expected to go as early as day two of the draft. The Seahawks currently have just one draft selection on day two at 81st overall in the third round.

Seattle also has other draft needs besides safety, which means they could wait until the later rounds to take one. They have two fourth-round picks and might decide to prioritize defense tackle and linebacker positions before taking a safety. When they select a safety depends on how John Schneider values the prospects at each of these defensive positions. Schneider will have the final say on when the Seahawks decide to take a safety such as Jaden Hicks.

Seahawks safety draft target No. 3 - Tykee Smith, Georgia

Tykee Smith is an underrated safety prospect in this year's draft and is a difficult prospect to project which round he will be selected in. Smith could go as early as the third round in this year's draft, but other projections have him as a day-three selection. Considering the Seahawks have two fourth-round selections, John Schneider might use one of those picks on Tykee Smith. This comes down to what teams value in the draft as to when Smith is selected.

As the NFL game has moved more towards passing offense and passing defense, defensive back prospects have become a higher priority for teams. This means even though Tykee Smith has a lower grade among other defensive backs, he could be selected earlier than his projection based on NFL teams' priorities in the draft. If Smith is available, he would be a nice potential steal for the Seahawks on day three.

As mentioned earlier, the Seahawks have other draft priorities than safety. They need to select an interior offensive lineman, defensive lineman, tight end, and linebacker, as well as a safety. How John Schneider and his team of scouts grade each of these prospects will determine how they go about filling each of the Seahawks' positional needs in this year's draft. Should the Seahawks not prioritize taking a safety early in the draft, Tykee Smith is a solid later-round pick.

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