Seahawks pick for Seattle's most underrated player might surprise you

One of Seattle's most concerning groups in 2024 might be bolstered by this underrated player.
Seattle Seahawks offensive line
Seattle Seahawks offensive line / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

In 2023, the Seattle Seahawks offensive line ranked 31st in pass protection and a solid 15th in run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The issue was that former offensive coordinator Shane Waldron wanted to force the pass so much and his O-line was so bad in that respect, that the offensive efficiency was hurt. 2024 should be different for a few reasons.

To be fair to Waldron, some of the players he had working on his offensive line were not good. Evan Brown was one season and done at center. After Week 2, he was a turnstile for rushing defensive linemen. Right guard Phil Haynes was not much better. Left guard Damien Lewis was not as good as in previous seasons and he was too expensive to keep for this year.

Seattle decided to rebuild the line by keeping left tackle Charles Cross in place, hoping Abe Lucas could stay healthy at right tackle, elevating center Olu Oluwatimi to starter, and then signed veteran free agent left guard Laken Tomlinson. Here is the good part about Tomlinson, though. He has been consistently healthy and mostly good.

Laken Tomlinson might be the Seahawks' most underrated player

In fact, in a recent Sports Illustrated article, the new Seahawk was rated as the team's most underrated player and a necessary addition to make the rest of the offensive line better. SI didn't even mind that Tomlinson seemed to have a dip in play in the last two years, his only two seasons with the New York Jets. Maybe the overall porous play of the Jets O-line caused Tomlinson to look worse.

In 733 pass-block snaps, Tomlinson allowed 51 total pressures, including seven sacks. That last number was three higher than his previous career-worst, the last time coming in 2018. In 713 pass-block snaps in 2022, Tomlinson allowed just one sack and 32 total pressures. While the veteran guard might greatly improve Seattle's pass protection, which was the biggest concern heading into this year, he hasn't always been great at run blocking.

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Still, if new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb as well as new offensive line coach Scott Huff - Grubb and Huff worked together just last season at the University of Washington - can get the line to improve a bit in pass protection, the Seahawks have the skill position players to expose an offense.

Plus, if Tomlinson can supply some veteran leadership that should see every other starter being drafted by Seattle between 2022 and this year (assuming 2024 draft pick Christian Haynes eventually starts at right guard), then Seattle's line should have better preparation before a game and better communication within the game.

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