Before I get too far into this, I do want to point out that Pro Football Focus (subscription required) produced their list of who will be each team's breakout player in 2024 just before the Seattle Seahawks hired Mike Macdonald as their new head coach. If PFF had waited just a little bit longer, they may have switched to choosing a defensive player for Seattle. Just imagine what Macdonald might be able to do with Boye Mafe, Devon Witherspoon, and Riq Woolen, among others.
But the player that Pro Football Focus does expect to be Seattle's most improved next year is a definitely need. The player is left tackle Charles Cross who will be entering his third season in the league in 2024 and has been decent, but probably has not played up to his number 9 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Plus, Cross missed three games in 2023.
PFF points out that Cross improved his pass-blocking grade this season over last, and this helped make his overall grade better. But Cross still only graded as the 32nd-best offensive tackle in the league. Pro Football Focus also points out that Cross did not become a great collegiate player until his third year at Mississippi State.
Seattle Seahawks LT Charles Cross need to be a Pro Bowler
The Seahawks had several issues this season that kept them from the playoffs. One was horrible run defense. Another was that Seattle was forced to use the third-most offensive line alignments in the NFL this year because of all the injuries Seattle suffered. Offensive lines need great coaching, of course, but they also need luck in staying healthy because building cohesion is extremely important.
Cross was Seattle's highest-graded offensive lineman in 2023. Again, he was not perfect, but he also was not bad. With better luck, Seattle's offensive line starters, whoever they end up being, will stay healthier together for longer stretches in 2024. As Seattle hired new head coach Mike Macdonald, Seattle will also have a new offensive coordinator and a new offensive line coach. We can presume that Cross will have better coaching moving forward as well.
Cross might not be a Pro Bowler ever, but that should be the expectation since Cross was a top-ten pick. He allowed 42 total pressures in 2023 and 6 sacks. Those numbers need to improve. At least Pro Football Focus believes they will.