NFL Draft Round 3 Grades: Seahawks steal a long-term gem at guard

Seattle has addressed the defensive and offensive lines with their first two picks in the 2024 NFL draft.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks had seven choices heading into the 2024 NFL draft but the vast majority of those picks were backloaded. Seattle had two combined picks in rounds one through three but five in rounds four through seven. Almost unexpectedly, Seattle did not trade back in the first round in an attempt to gain more Day 2 picks. With their first choice, Seattle chose defensive tackle Byron Murphy II from Texas.

Murphy was a potentially great pick, but general manager John Schneider and his Seahawks still had other needs to address. The interior of the offensive line was thin and did not necessarily have starters at two spots. At linebacker, Seattle had two free-agent signees who were only signed through 2024. The team's next choice after taking Murphy in round one would have made sense to go with a player along the offensive line or linebacker.

This is exactly what Schneider did in round three by taking UConn's Christian Haynes. Haynes only fell to the third round because he is a pure guard and not an offensive tackle. There should be little doubt, though, that Haynes should develop into a long-term starter for Seattle, potentially even taking Anthony Bradford's right guard spot in 2024.

Seattle Seahawks get a gem with third-round pick right guard Christian Haynes

Haynes is 6'3" and 317 pounds and extremely athletic. He also has plenty of experience starting in college so he will not still be learning how to play his spot while being a rookie in the league. This is going to help him acclimate quickly to the league and speed up his ability to start and play at a high level.

The UConn product's strength currently is his ability to pass-block. He is strong enough to move defensive linemen in the run game as well, but that might take a bit more time to reach peak efficiency. Many times, though, rookie offensive linemen have issues in pass protection, which was the case with Bradford in 2023, and that holds them back from being good.

The expectation for Haynes should be he becomes a starter midway through 2024 and stays there for years to come. He is an excellent pick in the third round for the Seahawks. Haynes is capable of being a Pro Bowler in his career.

Grade: B+

Read more from 12th man Rising