Updated linebacker rankings for the Seahawks after the NFL Combine

Seattle will need to take at least one off-ball linebacker in the 2024 NFL draft.

Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Even if the Seattle Seahawks are able to re-sign linebacker Jordyn Brooks, the team is going to need a couple of more in the 2024 NFL draft most likely. The dream, of course, would be for Seattle to bring back Brooks and also sign Patrick Queen in free agency. Seattle is probably unable to do that financially, though.

Bobby Wagner is an all-time both in terms of Seattle football and the league at large. But he also might be too old for what new head coach Mike Macdonald wants to do long-term. Macdonald probably doesn't want to build his defense year-by-year but come in with a plan to remake the defense now and keep the core intact for several seasons.

The worst-case scenario is that Brooks leaves in free agency, Wagner either does the same or retires, and Seattle is forced to draft almost all of the starters at linebacker. That, of course, would affect the entire defense and make Macdonald's job much tougher. But if Seattle does take an off-ball (read: non-edge rusher) in the 2024 NFL draft, this is how their draft board should currently rank.

Top 5 draft targets for Seahawks at linebacker after NFL Combine

One player I do not have on this list is Ohio State's Steele Chambers. Due to his size (he is 6'1" and just 226 pounds), he was already facing an uphill battle to be taken very high, but at least he played at a high level of college so that might make his transition a little easier to the NFL. Instead, he had a terrible combine and might not be drafted at all.

Some of the players below, however, should rise up draft boards. This is especially true for the Seahawks who must take a linebacker at some point.





Edgerrin Cooper

Texas A&M


Payton Wilson

North Carolina State


Junior Colson



Marist Liufau

Notre Dame


Cedric Gray

North Carolina

1. Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

Cooper at this point is easily the highest-rated off-ball linebacker. He had a solid combine if not exactly explosive. Still, he ran a 4.51 40 which is definitely fast enough to play in the NFL. He has good size, too, at 6'2" and 230 pounds. He loves to attack the line of scrimmage and his only potential weakness is in coverage. He can be taught that by Mike Macdonald, however.

2. Payton Wilson, North Carolina State

Wilson probably made the biggest jump boards up draft boards. There has been little question about his potential and he can play all facets of the game, and any scheme, well. But the 6'4" and 234-pound linebacker suffered a knee injury in high school and had a shoulder issue in college so that might hurt his draft stock. Likely not, though, after he ran a sizzling 4.43 40 and a 1.54-second 10-yard split. He has the size and athleticism to be an impact linebacker for many years.

3. Junior Colson, Michigan

Colson's biggest strength personally might be his tie to Mike Macdonald as Macdonald coached Colson at Michigan when Macdonald was the Wolverines' defensive coordinator in 2021. That does not mean Colson is a bad player because he isn't. He should go within the first two rounds because he is a high-character person with good size for an NFL linebacker at 6'3" and 247 pounds.

4. Marist Liufau, Notre Dame

Liufau posted a 4.64 40 at the combine which is not awful but not great, either. He is a little bigger player at 6'2" and 234 pounds. He isn't a great tackler in the open field but is more likely to kind of help in gang tackles. Liufau probably will be more of a help on special teams than immediately as a three-down linebacker.

5. Cedric Gray, North Carolina

Gray loves to crash the line and be aggressive. His main issue might give 12s some PTSD, though. He can be an iffy tackler at times. His gifts are that he has a high football IQ and has good speed. The 6'1" and 234-pound Tar Heel ran a decent 4.64 40 at the combine.

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