The Seattle Seahawks have had a lot of success finding offensive linemen in the draft lately. They could potentially send out a Week 1 starting offensive line unit that is comprised entirely of players selected over the last four seasons. Starting with Damien Lewis in 2020, the team has drafted 6 total players listed as offensive linemen, as you can see below.
- Damien Lewis (3.69, 2020)
- Stone Forsythe (6.208, 2021)
- Charles Cross (1.9, 2022)
- Abe Lucas (3.72, 2022)
- Anthony Bradford (4.108, 2023)
- Olusegun Oluwatimi (5.154, 2023)
With the exception of Stone Forsythe, all of these players project either as starters or as competitors at a position that is currently unsettled. The team has options outside of their two newest rookies, as they signed center/guard Evan Brown during the offseason and Phil Haynes remains on the roster. At this point, those two veterans may have the inside track to a starting job given their experience in the league, but that is no guarantee. Especially given that the team drafted a guard who could be a natural fit in a zone-based running scheme and the guy who won both the Rimington and Outland Trophies for best center/interior offensive linemen in college football. Both players have experience starting in Power Five conferences, and as such, both have experience playing against talented defenders. You can see Bradford taking on Jalen Carter below, and following that is a clip of Oluwatimi from when he still played at Virginia.
I’m very excited to watch Olusegun Oluwatimi (C 55) at Michigan this year because his tape from UVA is already really good pic.twitter.com/sWZveLkKli— Draft Guy Jared (@DraftGuyJared) September 4, 2022
Both players have plenty of room for growth. In fact, despite my optimism, both may need to develop a bit before they are ready to step into a starting role. Dane Brugler had tentatively positive things to say about both players. Here is his summary of Oluwatimi:
Overall, Oluwatimi doesn’t have the position versatility, explosiveness or point of attack power that most NFL teams desire, but he is a cerebral, assignment-sound blocker with A-plus character. He is a potential rotational center in the NFL
Brugler’s summary for Bradford:
Overall, Bradford offers tackle experience, but he is at his best in confined quarters, where he can trust his wide frame and move bodies with sheer force. Although he might not be ready from the get-go, he offers intriguing NFL potential that can be cultivated
Ultimately, whether or not either of these players are slated to start by Week 1, the Seahawks made a solid decision to add viable depth along the interior without reaching. If one or both of them do end up growing into a starting role, though, that would be a strong testament to the team’s current approach to drafting offensive linemen. That may be a way too early assessment based on little other than the team’s recent success and some impressive — albeit limited — gamefilm on the two rookies, but I am definitely more optimistic about their ability to identify and develop offensive linemen at this point than I would have been in previous seasons. Hopefully, that sense of optimism is founded and we will get to see a young offensive line gel together in front of Geno Smith in 2023 and beyond.