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John Schneider & Mike Macdonald's First Draft Together A 'Tone Setting' One For Seahawks

Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Mike Macdonald discuss their first draft together after selecting eight players over the weekend.


If the Seahawks can fulfill the vision that new head coach Mike Macdonald has for them, they'll not only be a successful team, they'll also be a team that opponents don't like playing again.

"A style of play that no one wants to play (against), that's what we're aiming for," Macdonald said. "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."

Knowing the style of football Macdonald wants to play—"We believe in knocking the crap out of the guy in front of you, and then some," is how he put it earlier this month—it should come as no surprise that the Seahawks used the 2024 NFL Draft to strengthen both their offensive and defensive line.

Of their eight draft picks made over the course of the past three days, the Seahawks selected four linemen, three on offense, and one, first-round pick Byron Murphy II, on defense. Coming out of the draft with four linemen wasn't necessarily the goal heading into the weekend—the draft is too unpredictable to be that specific without reaching—but the Seahawks liked that it turned out that way.

"I don't think you go into the process saying 'we have quota,' but absolutely, that's where the game starts, up front, and it's going to be really important for us to be dominant in that phase," Macdonald said. "If it stops there, then you really don't have a shot the rest of the play. The style of play, we want to be physical, we want to be imposing, we want to create new lines of scrimmage, and I think you're seeing the investment in that. We're going to have awesome competition on both lines of scrimmage, it'll be fun to have iron sharpen iron throughout the process, throughout camp."

Murphy, the 16th overall pick, was a havoc-wreaking force at the University of Texas who described himself as "aggressive, a very dominant player," while all three offensive linemen used the word "nasty" to describe their game while speaking with the media. That type of attitude, as much as physical traits, will help shape the success of the Seahawks' play in the trenches, particularly on the offensive line. That's a message Seahawks Legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson, who works in the player personnel department as a football consultant, has reiterated to Seattle's scouting department.

"Steve Hutchison talked to us the other day about their group that they played with," general manager John Schneider said. "Offensive linemen need to play as a group, they need to tough, nasty, they should be walking around the building together. They should be in their own world. That's what we're trying to get together. We have been blessed to be around a lot of really great offensive line groups. When we were in Green Bay, we had line that was together for ten years and it was a big deal. And those guys all would probably tell you they weren't the most talented guys but they worked together as one. That's what we're trying to accomplish, and tone-setting was definitely something that was a factor in the guys that we wanted to acquire."

In addition to building what they hope will be a tone-setting draft class, Schneider and Macdonald also experienced going through a draft together for the first time since the Seahawks made Macdonald their head coach earlier this offseason.

Describing working with Macdonald throughout the draft, Schneider said, "Confidence, clarity, very well thought out. No panic. Easy."

Macdonald praised the work both the player personnel department and his coaching staff did working together in their first draft together.

"Just having trust and how we operate," he said. "I think we had a lot of conversations throughout the process of how it was going to go and how we wanted it to go, so you're playing that out in your mind as it starts to play out. Like John said, just really thankful for everybody in the room over there and all the work that they put in. There's a lot of people behind the scenes, many of whom you know and many you don't, just thankful for the shared vision they had, and the buy-in coming from our staff. It's not easy to get all that information on the same page. They've been scouting all fall in that whole process, and then all of a sudden, here comes new coaching staff and the language that we're using, and we're trying to merge those worlds. That's easier said than done, so a lot of respect on their end and it was a really awesome process seeing it all unfold."

Go behind the scenes of the Seahawks draft room on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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