Seattle Seahawks add UConn guard Christian Haynes in third round of NFL Draft

<div>KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 04: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Christian Haynes;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Christian Haynes</a> #64 of the Connecticut Huskies goes head to head against Kurott Garland #99 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won the game 59-3.</div> <strong>(Donald Page / Getty Images)</strong>

RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle Seahawks added University of Connecticut guard Christian Haynes with the 81st overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday night.

Haynes was a four-year starter and two-year team captain for the Huskies at right guard and was named a second-team All-American in 2022. He started 49 straight games for UConn after redshirting during the 2018 season and missing the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Seahawks had a lengthy wait to make a selection on Friday as they did not have a second-round pick following last season's acquisition of Leonard Williams from the New York Giants. With the wait, they had to sweat out many selections worried that Haynes would get away from them.

"There was a little run there too, that there was a couple of (guards) starting to go," general manager John Schneider said. "And then Indy went (and traded up) right ahead of us, and then I had somebody in the room that was like 'oh, no! They're going to take him right here.' So we had a little panic there."

Per Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Haynes was the 47th rated prospect in the draft class and the No. 4 graded guard behind Washington's Troy Fautanu, Arizona's Jordan Morgan, and Kansas State's Cooper Beebe.

From Brugler's draft profile on Haynes: "(Haynes) showed consistent development and became just the third player in school history to be named an All-American. Although his athleticism is more solid than great in space, Haynes moves with short-area agility and positions himself with balance in his pass sets. He is an assignment-oriented blocker (both as a run blocker and pass blocker), and his toughness and torque will speak directly to NFL offensive line coaches."

Haynes was also named the top offensive lineman on the American team by defensive players at the Senior Bowl during practices back in February.

Haynes said that while he only played right guard at UConn, he believes he can play multiple spots along the offensive line.

"I’ll play anything they need me to play," Haynes said. "I’m going to go out there and dominate regardless. I played a lot of right guard in college, but I’ll play any position they need me to play."

Right guard is still the most obvious fit for Haynes. Laken Tomlinson is the presumptive starter for the Seahawks at left guard after signing with the team earlier this month. Haynes will come into the team with the chance to push Anthony Bradford for the starting spot on the right side of the line.

"A style of play that no one wants to play, that’s what we’re aiming for," head coach Mike Macdonald said of the players they're seeking. "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."

So what stood out about Haynes' game to the Seahawks' staff?

"Initial quickness, length, he can get under people, he can roll his hips," Schneider said. "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. So experienced. He knows the nuances."

Schneider also noted that Haynes allowed just 48 quarterback pressures on 1,687 total snaps at Connecticut.

Former Seahawks head coach Jim Mora was also Haynes' coach at UConn. Mora joined Sports Radio 93.3 KJR on Friday night and had a glowing review of the player Seattle was getting.

"I'm extremely happy for him and I'm excited for the entire Seahawk organization and that community," Mora said. "You are getting one of the most wonderful people I've ever coached joining that organization. He is just as classy a human being as you can get. He's got great leadership ability. He's an amazing person and he's a straight badass on the field. He's tough, he's mean, he's nasty."

Seattle needed to add depth to their interior offensive line as Damien Lewis, Phil Haynes and Evan Brown are all no longer with the team after being starters last season. Haynes provides the Seahawks with a potential long-term solution at guard.

While the Seahawks had just one pick on Friday, they have five picks scheduled for the final four rounds on Saturday – including the second pick of the day at No. 102 overall.


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