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It’s no secret what Seahawks, Andy Dickerson look for in o-linemen

And why fans can cross John Michael Schmitz off their wish list.

Seattle Seahawks vs Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It has been almost a year since the Seattle Seahawks revamped their offensive line by adding a pair of highly athletic tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft, and now the 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner. With that in mind, tackle is a position at which the Hawks appear set for years to come, as Charles Cross and Abe Lucas are currently just 22 and 24 years of age, respectively.

That said, while tackle is not a worry, the interior of the offensive line is older, but all three projected starters are currently only under contract for the 2023 season. Left guard Damien Lewis, the 26-year old, grizzled veteran of the bunch with 45 career starts, is set to play 2023 on the final year of his rookie contract. Just to Lewis’ right is another 26-year old in Evan Brown, who after bouncing from the Miami Dolphins to the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns finally found some stability with the Detroit Lions, where he started 24 games during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Meanwhile, on the right side, the old man of the offensive line - Phil Haynes who is currently 27 years old - logged just five starts and 622 regular season snaps during the first four years of his career.

Thus, it’s no secret that the interior of the offensive line is an area of concern, not just for 2023, but into the years after as well. And, through the pre-draft process in recent weeks the Seahawks have not shied away from meeting with several prospects who could fit what the team is looking for under offensive line coach Andy Dickerson. Entering his second year in charge of the group up front, Dickerson is putting his own stamp on the line. That started in 2022 with the Cross and Lucas, and with barely a week until the NFL converges on Kansas City for the 2023 draft, a look at the offensive linemen the Hawks have met with in the lead up to the draft shows the trend of athleticism up front likely to continue.

In particular, speed.

From the Field Gulls 2023 pre-draft visits tracker, common themes appear among the linemen with whom the Seahawks have met.

Physical and athletic profiles of offensive linemen Seahawks have met with prior to the draft

OL Dawand Jones Braeden Daniels Jordan McFadden Anthony Bradford Jake Andrews Tyler Steen
OL Dawand Jones Braeden Daniels Jordan McFadden Anthony Bradford Jake Andrews Tyler Steen
Height 6082 6035 6022 6040 6026 6060
Weight 374 307 303 332 305 321
Arm 36.375 33 34 33.5 32.875 32.75
40 5.35 4.99 4.99 5.08 5.15 N/A
20 3.05 2.86 2.92 2.85 2.95 N/A
10 1.85 1.7 1.71 1.66 1.77 N/A
Bench N/A N/A 24 34 29 31
Vertical N/A 30.5 28.5 30 26 29.5
Broad N/A 109 N/A 106 102 109
Shuttle N/A 4.60 4.81 4.80 4.73 4.50
3-cone N/A 7.53 7.70 7.84 7.77 7.78

Dawand Jones is obviously the outlier of the bunch, with most of the rest of the group sporting high end 40 times for offensive linemen. And the trend of looking for linemen with high end 40 times is not exclusive to the pre-draft visits this offseason, as new Seahawks center Evan Brown clocked in at 5.03 in the 40 yard dash at his Pro Day back in 2018. That falls right in line with Cross and Lucas, while Lewis and Haynes who were here when Dickerson arrived, come in just a bit slower.

Physical and athletic profiles of projected Seahawks 2023 starting offensive line

OL Charles Cross Damien Lewis Evan Brown Phil Haynes Abe Lucas
OL Charles Cross Damien Lewis Evan Brown Phil Haynes Abe Lucas
Height 6046 6020 6024 6035 6063
Weight 311 327 302 322 316
Arm 34.5 33 32.5 33.5 34
40 4.95 5.24 5.03 5.20 4.92
20 2.92 3.03 2.91 2.97 2.84
10 1.75 1.83 1.82 1.78 1.69
Bench 20 27 36 33 24
Vertical 26 30 36 31 27
Broad 112 108 113 108 107
Shuttle 4.61 N/A 4.46 4.57 4.40
3-cone 7.88 N/A 7.87 7.76 7.25

Taking things a step further than just who the Seahawks met with, here is a full list of the offensive linemen who ran the 40 in a time of 5.15 or less at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis:

  • Broderick Jones, Georgia (4.97)
  • Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (4.98)
  • Blake Freeland, BYE (4.98)
  • Jordan McFadden, Clemson (4.99)
  • Braeden Daniels, Utah (4.99)
  • Jon Gaines II, UCLA (5.01)
  • Darnell Wright, Tennessee (5.01)
  • Earl Bostick, Kansas (5.05)
  • Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan (5.07)
  • Anthony Bradford, LSU (5.08)
  • Cody Mauch, North Dakota State (5.08)
  • Wanya Morris, Oklahoma (5.10)
  • Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland (5.10 at combine, 4.95 at pro day)
  • Jovaughn Gwyn, South Carolina (5.12)
  • Luke Wypler, Ohio State (5.14)
  • Jake Andrews, Troy (5.15)

In addition, a handful of lineman ran the 40 yard dash under 5.15 seconds at their pro days, including:

  • Trevor Reid, Louisville (4.90 or 5.01, depending on the outlet)
  • Chandler Zavala, NC State (5.23 at combine, 5.01 at pro day)
  • Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, Oregon (5.12)
  • Raiqwon O’Neal, UCLA (5.03)

Obviously, more than a few of those names are tackles who are projected to be early selections in the draft that the Seahawks are unlikely to select given other, more pressing, needs. That said, the idea was not simply to look who the Seahawks might select, but to expand the list of players they may be looking at based on the players it is known they have hosted on a visit.

In addition, it seems it may be noteworthy that absent from the list is John Michael Schmitz (5.35), who has been mocked to the Seahawks by many on either Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft. However, given his speed, or rather his lack thereof, would seem to exclude him from consideration if they are truly as committed to getting fast on the offensive line as Dickerson’s moves so far in his tenure as offensive line coach are also an indication of what is to come.

Of course, this raises the question why the Seahawks have been “all over Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz” as Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported.

Why would a team show interest in a player they don’t intend to draft? Just like 2017 when the Seahawks drafted center Ethan Pocic, they wanted to keep things quiet so never had Pocic meet with Tom Cable. Instead, the Seahawks sent Cable to meet with Garett Bolles, and leaked that to Tony Pauline in the days leading up to the draft. This time around the Seahawks made sure to let it be known that Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson traveled to visit Joe Tippmann, and then that information once again worked its way to Tony Pauline.

Which leaves the big question as who is the speedy center the Seahawks did not meet with and on whom they did not wish to bring attention?