Mike Macdonald is going to make the Seattle Seahawks defense better. There are a few reasons for this. Mainly, Macdonald has made every defense he has been a part of better, for one. Another reason is that Macdonald is likely to add talent to the defense and have a good reason for the players he does bring on. But Macdonald might also remake the entire team with a tinge of maize and blue.
By that, of course, I mean Seattle might have a fairly big Michigan influence. The team already drafted defensive lineman Mike Morris in 2023 and that was long before Macdonald was thought of to be the next coach for the Seahawks. At least, I assume that to be true. But Morris played under Macdonald in 2021 while Morris played for the Wolverines.
Seattle has also reportedly hired Jay Harbaugh, Jim's son, as special teams coordinator. Jay worked with Macdonald at Michigan in 2021 and he has been with the Wolverines since 2015. He was the special teams coordinator from 2019 through 2023. Michigan's special teams were fantastic under the guidance of Jay Harbaugh so Seattle's special teams should continue to be great under him as well.
Expect more Michigan players to join the Seattle Seahawks
But Morris should improve in year two of his career now that Macdonald is the coach. Harbaugh is a very good choice to lead special teams. But does Macdonald's Michigan connections stop there? Unlikely.
While Macdonald did not coach offense ever, that does not mean he doesn't know how to run one. In fact, he knows offenses well enough to know how to stop them. Macdonald will obviously know what makes a great offense work and that obviously starts with the quarterback. He also coached against Michigan's quarterback, J.J. McCarthy in 2021 and would know if McCarthy can perform well in the NFL. If he does, maybe the Seahawks take him in the first round.
More likely, though, Seattle could choose defensive lineman Kris Jenkins in the third round of the NFL and running back Blake Corum in later rounds. Both played with Michigan during Macdonald's time in Ann Arbor and Macdonald would have overseen Jenkins directly. Corum would help fill out the Seahawks' running back room as Seattle might need a fourth if DeeJay Dallas leaves in free agency. Corum is the kind of three-down back that would be versatile if the team needed it.
Jenkins is the real key, though. He might not offer much as far as pass rush and he might not be athletic enough to play over the tackles or outside them, but that does not mean he wouldn't be a perfect fit in Seattle. Jenkins is super strong and stout against the run and would be a good pick in the third round to help stop an opposing team from running the ball. Stopping the run is priority number one for fixing Seattle's defense.
Of course, it helps that Michigan has been very good in the last couple of seasons. Macdonald might want a player or two that he is familiar with from the Wolverines and whatever player he chooses should be good. Jay Harbaugh very likely is not the last of Macdonald's Michigan connections to join Seattle.