2024 NFL Season Preview: Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith

Seattle Seahawks (Last Year: 9-8)



Season Summary:
The Seahawks barely missed out on the playoffs, yet they still felt the need to fire Pete Carroll. They’ll have to begin the rebuilding process, as they are nowhere near good enough to compete with the 49ers in the near future.



2024 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Sam Howell, OT George Fant, G Tremayne Anchrum, C Nick Harris, DT Johnathan Hankins, LB Jerome Baker, LB Tyrel Dodson, S Rayshawn Jenkins, S K’Von Wallace.
Early Draft Picks:
DT Byron Murphy, G Christian Haynes, LB Tyrice Knight, TE A.J. Barner, CB Nehemiah Pritchett. Seahawks Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Drew Lock, TE Colby Parkinson, TE Will Dissly, G Damien Lewis, G Phil Haynes, C Evan Brown, LB Bobby Wagner, LB Jordyn Brooks, LB Devin Bush, S Quandre Diggs, S Jamal Adams.

2024 Seattle Seahawks Offense:
It seems as though everyone is waiting for the carriage to turn into a pumpkin. Geno Smith revived his career beginning in 2022 when he transformed from a journeyman backup to a capable starter in Seattle. Smith was coached up by Dave Canales that year, and then was able to benefit from Greg Olson getting the most out of him in 2023. Smith, however, no longer has an elite quarterbacks coach aiding him, so there’s a chance he could finally regress.

Smith, however, has a terrific trio of receivers at his disposal. D.K. Metcalf is one of the most physically imposing wideouts in the NFL, and he’s entering his prime, so he could potentially have his best season yet. Tyler Lockett has been an exceptional No. 2 option for several years, though his role will be reduced with Jaxon Smith-Njigba emerging. The second-year wideout enjoyed a quality rookie campaign and will be looking to take the next step.

Smith also happens to be surrounded with a couple of talented running backs. Kenneth Walker has rushed for a total of nearly 2,000 yards in his first two seasons despite never receiving more than 228 carries in a single season. He’s also scored 17 touchdowns in that span. Meanwhile, 2023 second-rounder Zach Charbonnet is a gifted receiver out of the backfield.

While the Seahawks have some great talents at the skill positions, there are some glaring concerns with the offensive line. This does not apply to left tackle Charles Cross, who happens to be a terrific blind-side protector. Right tackle Abraham Lucas is also talented, but he has endured a high number of injuries in his young career. The Seahawks were frustrated enough about this that they signed George Fant this spring as an insurance policy.

The interior is much more of an issue because all three starters from last year are gone. The two new guards are former Jet Laken Tomlinson and third-round rookie Christian Haynes. Tomlinson was dreadful in New York last year, so if there’s any good guard play, it will likely have to come from Haynes. Tomlinson and Haynes will sandwich new center Olu Oluwatimi, a fifth-round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft. Oluwatimi started just one game last year, so it remains to be seen how he’ll perform.



2024 Seattle Seahawks Defense:
It’s no surprise that the Seahawks used their initial pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on a defensive player. Their stop unit, after all, ranked 31st in EPA last year and was dead last against the run. That selection was spent on Byron Murphy, an extremely talented defensive tackle. He should have no issues breaking into the starting lineup, as Jarren Reed and Dre’Mont Jones provided mediocre production last year. Reed was able to collect seven sacks, but was a major liability in run support. Leonard Williams, acquired via the Jets at the trade deadline last year, was the only difference-maker on the front.

Murphy will need to help with the pass rush because the Seahawks had just one edge rusher who recorded more than 5.5 sacks. That was Boye Mafe, who produced nine sacks. Uchenna Nwsou, obtained last offseason, was a major disappointment with only two sacks this past season. Perhaps he’ll be able to rebound. There’s also 2023 second-rounder Derick Hall. He made no impact last year, but is young and has potential.

The lackluster pass rush will put more stress on the secondary, which is rather uneven. This is because the Seahawks have a couple of very talented cornerbacks and some major holes at safety. Beginning with the former, Devon Witherspoon enjoyed an exceptional rookie campaign and could be even better in 2024. Michael Jackson and Tariq Woolen, the other two corners, have played extremely well at times over the past couple of seasons. Woolen also had an incredible rookie year, but took a step back in 2023. Jackson more than made up for it.

As for the safeties, both starters from last year are gone. Julian Love has proven to be a capable replacement, but he’s not a great player by any means. The other safety is Rayshawn Jenkins, who struggled in Jacksonville last season.

Speaking of positions in which there were multiple departures, the Seahawks lost their top three linebackers from last year, which includes Bobby Wagner. Granted, Wagner isn’t what he once was, but he was still an effective player for Seattle. The two new projected starters at the position are Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker, though fourth-round rookie Tyrice Knight could push for a starting job. Dodson performed well in Buffalo last year, but doesn’t have much of a track record of success. Baker is a quality player, but has an extensive injury history.



2024 Seattle Seahawks Schedule and Intangibles:
The Seahawks had a tremendous home-field advantage when they were great. The deafening noise at Qwest Field is why they were a ridiculous 49-12 as hosts over the past seven seasons prior to 2019. Oddly enough, the Seahawks have been better on the road (13-12) than at home (12-14) in the past three seasons.

Jason Myers has been a great kicker, but is coming off a bit of a down year. He was 35-of-42 in 2023, including 4-of-8 from 50-plus.

Michael Dickson finished second in net punting in 2022 and fourth in 2023.

Seattle has a mixed schedule. It begins with three of its first five opponents being the Broncos, Patriots, and Giants. Things get much tougher after that, however.



2024 Seattle Seahawks Rookies:
Go here for the Seahawks Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2024 Seattle Seahawks Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Secondary
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Receivers
Linebackers
Coaching


2024 Seattle Seahawks Analysis: The Seahawks won’t bottom out this year, but there’s reason to be pessimistic about their chances. They lost some great quarterbacks coaches, all three interior offensive linemen, both starting safeties, and their top three linebackers. Meanwhile, every team in the division has seemingly improved.

Projection: 5-12 (Tied 3rd in NFC West)

2023 Projection: 8-9. 2023 Actual Result: 9-8.
2022 Projection: 3-14. 2022 Actual Result: 9-8.
2021 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 7-10.
2020 Projection: 12-4. 2020 Actual Result: 12-4.
2019 Projection: 9-7. 2019 Actual Result: 11-5.
2018 Projection: 6-10. 2018 Actual Result: 10-6.
2017 Projection: 11-5. 2017 Actual Result: 9-7.
2016 Projection: 12-4. 2016 Actual Result: 10-5-1.

NFL Draft Team Grade:

A- Grade

Goals Entering the 2024 NFL Draft: The Seahawks don’t have a second-round pick, so I imagine they would want to trade down to accumulate more resources. They really need to address their defensive line once again, but the main issue is the interior of the offensive front, which lost three starters to free agency. The Seahawks also need to find a potential quarterback for the future.

2024 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Seattle didn’t end up trading down, but that’s understandable because a very talented player fell to them at No. 16. Byron Murphy was considered the best defensive player in this class by some, so he was a steal. The Seahawks have maintained a pedestrian defensive line for far too long, and Murphy will certainly improve that area.

While the Seahawks eschewed an offensive lineman at No. 16, and understandably so, given the circumstances, they spent three other picks addressing the interior blocking. Two of them, however, were late-round choices, so only Christian Haynes will likely contribute as a rookie. Haynes, like Murphy, was a tremendous value where he was chosen.

I liked most of what Seattle did otherwise. Only one pick was graded worse than B-, and that happened to be the team’s final selection. My only qualm is that one other early pick wasn’t used on improving the offensive line, but it’s not a surprise that a John Schneider class will be graded favorably.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:


16. Byron Murphy, DT, Texas – A+ Grade

Another A+ defensive grade. You have to love the value. The Bears could have drafted Byron Murphy at No. 9, and there wouldn’t have been any complaints. The Vikings loved Murphy enough to take him at 11 if they didn’t need a quarterback so badly. Murphy is an immense talent, and the Seahawks are definitely upgrading their defensive line, which is something they’ve needed to do for a while.


81. Christian Haynes, G, Connecticut – A- Grade

No one should be surprised that the Seahawks are addressing the interior of the offensive line, given that they lost all three starters from last year. Christian Haynes fits the range here in the middle of the third round, and he fills a big need. There are some size limitations with him, but he’s a tough player.


118. Tyrice Knight, LB, UTEP – B+ Grade

The Seahawks lost so many linebackers this offseason, so it’s not a surprise to see them address the position with this pick. Tyrice Knight was a very productive player out of UTEP,a and he’s considered by some as a mid-round sleeper.


121. A.J. Barner, TE, Michigan – B Grade

The Seahawks lost a couple of tight ends this offseason, as two of them inexplicably signed gargantuan contracts elsewhere. Here’s a cheap replacement. A.J. Barner makes sense as a fourth-round prospect as a solid Y-tight end prospect for the NFL.


136. Nehemiah Pritchett, CB, Auburn – A+ Grade

Is this the next great Seahawks cornerback to be chosen in the middle rounds? I love the value, as Nehemiah Pritchett easily could have gone in the third round, and maybe even the second. Pritchett can cover tall receivers well, so he fits here for the Seahawks.


179. Sataoa Laumea, OT/G, Utah – B+ Grade

Sataoa Laumea spent most of his time at tackle while playing for Utah, but he may have to move to guard in the NFL. This is fine for the Seahawks, who lost several interior blockers in free agency. We had Laumea in the fifth round, so this is a decent value.


192. D.J. James, CB, Auburn – B- Grade

D.J. James is known for a blown coverage against Alabama that resulted in a loss. He makes sense in this range though, so perhaps he can redeem himself in Seattle. The Seahawks do know what they’re doing with cornerbacks.


207. Mike Jerrell, OT, Findlay – C Grade

We didn’t have Mike Jerrell as a draftable prospect, and I heard zero buzz about him throughout the process. This could have been a UDFA signing.


235.



Season Summary:
The Seahawks barely missed out on the playoffs, yet they still felt the need to fire Pete Carroll. They’ll have to begin the rebuilding process, as they are nowhere near good enough to compete with the 49ers in the near future.






Offseason Moves:
  • Seahawks acquire QB Sam Howell from Redskins for swap of 3rd- and 4th-round picks and swap of 5th- and 6th-round picks






    Team Needs:
    1. Defensive End: Seattle’s defense was a mess once again last year. It hurt that the team couldn’t generate much of an edge rush outside of Boye Mafe.

    2. Two Defensive Tackles: The interior of the defensive line must also be addressed. Two defensive tackles will be needed if Leonard Williams leaves via free agency. Re-signed Leonard Williams; signed Johnathan Hankins

    3. Two Linebackers: All of Seattle’s primary linebackers are set to hit free agency. Depending on who leaves, the Seahawks will need to find the appropriate replacements. Signed Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker

    4. Three Interior Offensive Linemen: Seattle’s interior offensive line is a mess. Damien Lewis and Evan Brown are set to hit free agency, while right guard was a huge weakness last year. Signed Nick Harris

    5. Quarterback: The Seahawks need to find a quarterback of the future to groom behind Geno Smith. Traded for Sam Howell

    6. Tight End: Seattle had a bunch of mediocre options at tight end last year. Now, Noah Fant is an impending free agent.




      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.






    2024 NFL Free Agent Signings:





    Seattle Seahawks Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.




    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
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