Sunday the Seattle Seahawks fell to the Green Bay Packers 28-23 in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, ending their season and kicking off what will certainly be a long and interesting offseason for the team. The Hawks will have a lot of questions to address and holes to fill during the offseason, but during the loss to Green Bay the team at least got a glimpse at one of the players who could play a key role on the offensive line in the coming years.
Seattle had two picks in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, using the first on Gary Jennings, who is now with the Miami Dolphins, and the second on Phil Haynes. Haynes is a big, powerful and explosive lineman who brings the size Solari likes, while also bringing eye-opening combine testing numbers. In the lead up to the draft last season I wrote the following about Haynes for SilverandBlackPride.com:
Haynes started 47 games during his time at Wake Forest, including 25 at left guard during his junior and senior seasons (he started 13 at RG as a sophomore and 9 at RT as a freshman). That is consistent with many of the mid to late round draft choices Seattle used on offensive linemen during Cable’s time there, including Mark Glowinski, Ethan Pocic and Joey Hunt.
That said, Haynes started the 2019 season on the PUP list, only getting activated in the middle of the season after missing all of training camp. Even once he was added to the active roster, however, he didn’t earn any playing time during the regular season. That changed in the postseason when he finally made his NFL debut on the field goal attempt by Jason Myers against the Philadelphia Eagles which was blocked.
While many fans have taken their frustration about that play out on right tackle Germain Ifedi believing he was responsible for the block, it appears as though Haynes simply made a rookie mistake which allowed the block to happen.
Phil Haynes first ever NFL snap, #60 at RG.— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) January 9, 2020
Blocks absolutely no one, leaving three guys for Ifedi and Fant to block. Ifedi is basically double teamed - one defender pushes him back, while the other works inside and gets his arm up for the block. pic.twitter.com/T1BlvA6QrE
One can blame Ifedi for being pushed back by two NFL defensive linemen, or one can accept that rookies have a learning curve and Haynes appears to have paid some tuition on this play. In any case, that was his only snap against the Eagles, so we’ll move on to the matchup against the Packers, a game in which he stepped in at left guard for Jamarco Jones when Jones left due to injury.
LG - Phil Haynes vs Packers 1/2 pic.twitter.com/M53ab1Cenu— Tony Blakeley (@Cyoplasm) January 14, 2020
LG - Phil Haynes vs Packers 2/2 pic.twitter.com/AvZI2GwDIr— Tony Blakeley (@Cyoplasm) January 14, 2020
My impressions from watching these clips are the same impressions that I got from his college tape: he has heavy hands that bring pop and it’s fun to watch him generate significant push and movement on initial contact with the defender. That’s in contrast to other guards the team has used in the past, including guys like Ethan Pocic and Jamarco Jones. Haynes knows how to use his size and strength to generate push in both the run game and the passing game, and that shows up on tape.
On the flip side, in spite of his phenomenal testing numbers, he plays with heavy feet that make you question those measurables. In addition, if a defender is able to withstand the heavy initial pop from Haynes, he seems to have trouble holding engagement for whatever reason. With an offseason to work on these and to continue to learn the system, he will certainly be on to watch when training camp opens in July.