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Four Things To Know About Seahawks Fouth-Round Draft Pick, Tight End AJ Barner

The Seahawks selected TE AJ Barner of Michigan with the No. 121 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. And here are a few facts to get to know the new Seahawk.


AJ Barner took some time to answer questions on a conference call with Seahawks media on Saturday.

Michael Penix Jr.'s Former Teammate

Before AJ Barner was at Michigan he was at Indiana for three seasons, and he spent time with Michael Penix Jr. in 2020-21 and although the two haven't been teammates for a few years, Barner says they've stayed close. "Mike's my guy. Super stoked about his success and I know he'll do great things in Atlanta."

Mackey Award Finalist

In his lone season at Michigan, Barner won a national championship, took the Big Ten Conference Title and was a finalist for the John Mackey award, an award for the best college tight end.

When Barner was asked about transferring from Indiana to Michigan, he said, "It was a really tough decision. I'm a very loyal guy. I love my teammates and at the end of the day, I was a college athlete, and your eligibility is only so long. Michigan had an opportunity for me to go there and compete for a national championship. Like I said, I want to win championships. That made it the perfect fit for me."

Blocking Tight End

Despite being at Michigan for just one season, Barner said that he takes, "Great pride. I take pride in everything I do on the football field. And everything I do on the football field, I do at 110%. That's one thing you'll never question with me. I'm going to give my 100% effort on every play."

Former HS Quarterback/Linebacker

Before football players find the one position that fits their body type and skillset, they usually shuffle through different positions. Barner was part of that and has some experience at quarterback. Once he hit his growth spurt things changed.

His former high school coach, Bob Mihalik, of Aurora High School told Indy Star, "He knew he wasn't going to be the starting quarterback his junior year. He said, 'Coach, I want to play both ways. I want to help us.'". Mihalik added, "He was 6-4, 6-5 his senior year and played MIKE linebacker. Not only could he play sideline to sideline as a tackler, when we weren't blitzing, a guy with his height could get into passing lanes."

And coming out of high school most of the colleges recruiting him saw Barner as a defensive player, until he met Indiana's tight ends coach Nick Sheridan, and the rest is history, now that he's a Seahawks tight end.

The Seahawks selected Michigan TE AJ Barner with the 121st pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Check out the best photos of the 4th rounder from his college playing days.

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