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John Schneider & Mike Macdonald On Selecting 'Classy and Nasty' Guard Christian Haynes In Third Round Of 2024 NFL Draft

Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald and general manager and president of football operations John Schneider discuss the selection of UConn guard Christian Haynes.

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Without a second-round pick in this year's draft, the Seahawks had a long wait before making their second selection of the 2024 NFL Draft, the 81st overall pick. And as the third round went on, there were some nervous moments in the Seahawks draft room Friday night.

As their pick approached, the Seahawks were hoping to land Christian Haynes, a guard out of the University of Connecticut, but with four offensive linemen going between the 73rd and 79th pick, it was far from a certainty that Haynes would still be around by the time the Seahawks were on the clock.

"There was a little run there too, there were a couple of guys starting to go, and then Indy went right ahead of us, somebody in the room was like, 'Oh no, they're going to take him right here,'' Seahawks general manager and president of football operations John Schneider said. "So we had a little panic there."

With perfect comedic timing, Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald jumped in to add, "It wasn't me."

Ultimately, the Seahawks were able to land Haynes, a four-year starter and two-year captain at UConn who started 49 consecutive games, earning third-team AP All-Pro honors each of the past two seasons.

"Smart, tough reliable, 50 starts, length, explosiveness, great pass protector, plays with some nasty," Schneider said. "Obviously we're really excited."

Schneider later further elaborated on Haynes, praising his, "Initial quickness, length, he can get under people, he can roll his hips. The pass protection stuff is legit, lateral movement, stays in front of people, he's got strong hands, he's got anchor. He's just a really good football player. He's so experienced, he knows the nuances, he had a great zoom interview with (offensive line coach Scott) Huff, they love the football intelligence. Everybody's just really excited. He's played a ton of ball. 50 of 51 starts, he's had 48 pressures in 1,687 snaps. The guy's really, really experienced. This was a full buy-in, coaches, scouting, analytics. Everybody was really excited."

Macdonald added that everyone involved in the process came away impressed with Haynes, including Huff, offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson who serves as a football consultant for the team, and northeast area scout Todd Brunner.

"There was a lot of consensus with Huff and Grubb and Hutch, really everybody, Todd with his area and stuff," Macdonald said. "It's great to have everybody on the same accord. And I think the Senior Bowl was really impressive as well, that might have sealed the deal."

Another advocate for Haynes was UConn head coach and former Seahawks coach Jim Mora, who told Schneider the Seahawks were getting "A classy, highly intelligent, nasty football player."

Schneider then added, "Great combination, if you like that sort of thing. Classy and nasty."

After selecting Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II in the first round on Thursday, the Seahawks have now used each of their first two picks on tough and athletic interior linemen, not to mention the fact that they didn't have a second-round pick because they traded it to the Giants for Leonard Williams, another lineman who fits that description.

"It's huge," Schneider said of bolstering the trenches on both sides of the ball. "We're really wanting to put an emphasis on it, and the board kind of ended up going our way for us."

As Macdonald explained it when asked about addressing the offensive and defensive lines, the goal for his team is to play, "A style of play that no one wants to play (against), that's what we're aiming for. That's our standard of how we play football, and if you want to play here, you're going to have to play a certain way. Those are the types of guys we're bringing in."

Go behind the scenes of the Seahawks draft room on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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