For the first time since 2010, the Seattle Seahawks will begin the NFL season without Pete Carroll holding the clipboard on the sidelines, with former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald set to fill his shoes as the team's new head coach.

Will it work? Will Macdonald's creative defensive scheme make Seattle the most feared team to play in the NFL once more, creating a sort of modern-day version of the Legion of Boom built around unique rushing concepts and unpredictable reads right out of the gate? Or will the team instead take some time to find its way, taking a step back in the rankings and missing the playoffs for the second season?

Well, for that to happen, the Seahawks will need big contributions from their rookie class, including a pair of promising prospects in the defensive and offensive trenches.

These rookies could be players for the Seattle Seahawks in 2024.

Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates sacking Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht (3) during the game at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2023 in Ames, Iowa.
© Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

2. Byron Murphy II will push Jarran Reed at Defensive Tackle.

At Texas, Byron Murphy II was such a physical, impressively violent rusher that the team would use him all over the defensive formation, from lined up against tackles to right over the center as a true nose tackle.

Why, you may ask, is this relevant? Well, because despite playing on the same team as a 362-pound force of nature by the name T'Vondre Sweat, Murphy was the more dominant of the duo against interior talents and was able to fight through double teams and still made an impact in a way that his former teammate – who was drafted in the second round by the Tennessee Titans – did far less frequently.

Standing 6-foot-3, 309 pounds, Murphy II is a big, strong force at defensive tackle, with 10-yard split, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump testing numbers that are all in the 82nd or higher percentile, according to Mockdraftable. He can play either defensive tackle position in a 4-3 defensive front, holding things down at the zero spot all the way up to a hybrid tackle/end five-technique on obvious passing downs, and should be able to use his impressive burst to breeze past slower guards on the way to the quarterback with ease.

Now granted, the Seahawks already have a player with a similar set of skills in Jarran Reed, who is in the second year of a two-year, $9 million contract in this his second year with the team, but considering his age, it's worth wondering if he can put together another seven sack season at the age of 31 or if he could shift into more of a rotation role with Murphy the new number one next to Leonard Williams. Unless Reed is the rare defensive tackle who can play deep into his 30s, it feels like Murphy II is the future in Seattle, and fortunately for everyone involved, he appears built for the situation.

1. Christian Haynes will push Anthony Bradford at Right Guard.

Heading into the 2024 offseason, the Seahawks had a desprate need for help on the interior of the offensive line. Sure, they signed Laken Tomlinson in free agency, an experienced performer who can hold things down at one of the spots, but even as one of the bigger guards in the game today, he can't keep Geno Smith upright on his own.

Fortunately for fans of the Seahawks, the board fell pretty well in their favor, landing Christian Haynes from UConn at pick 81, Sataoa Laumea out of Utah at pick 179, and Michael Jerrell out of Findlay with their final pick at 207 overall, with the former having the best chance of the trio to actually earn immediate playing time, in this case, against 2023 fourth-round pick Anthony Bradford.

While Haynes may not be the tallest guard in the game, standing just a shade under 6-foot-3, he more than makes up for it with a speedy 5.03 40-yard dash and a 33-inch vertical, proving that he's a very athletic zone-blocking specialist who can make plays and open up running lanes for the likes of Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet in the open field.

Granted, could Bradford or even one of the other rookies fill a similar role for the Seahawks this fall? Sure, Bradford has 14 games with 10 starts on his resume, and Laumea is another interesting, big-bodied people mover who was part of a pretty darn good run game for the Utes over the past few years, but whoever wins the spot in 2024, it's safe to say they will deserve it via a hard-fought victory camp victory, which is a whole lot better than the team's situation last season.