Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will Tyrice Knight Make Early Impact as Rookie?

Following a college career where he racked up almost 400 tackles, the Seahawks hope Tyrice Knight will be able to translate such production sooner rather than later to the NFL.
Seahawks rookie linebacker Tyrice Knight prepares to take on a two-man sled during a drill at the team's second OTA practice.
Seahawks rookie linebacker Tyrice Knight prepares to take on a two-man sled during a drill at the team's second OTA practice. / Corbin Smith/All Seahawks
In this story:

With OTAs wrapping up across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in just under two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we’ll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best and worst case scenarios and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

Joining a new-look linebacker group with plenty of question marks, can Tyrice Knight find his way onto the field as a consistent defensive contributor for Seattle in his rookie season?

Background

An All-State talent at Lake Gibson High School in Florida, Knight began his college career at Independence Community College, recording five interceptions with two defensive touchdowns in his time with the program. He jumped up to the FBS level by committing to UTEP, where he became an immediate contributor finishing second on the team in tackles as a redshirt sophomore seeing action both as a weakside and middle linebacker. By his senior season, he ranked among the nation's top defenders with 140 combined tackles and closed out his time with the Miners with nearly 400 stops, 33.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks, earning All-Conference USA honors multiple times and participating in the Senior Bowl. After a strong showing in Mobile and at the NFL combine, the Seahawks selected him in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Scheme Fit

Offering previous experience playing off ball as well as off the edge, Knight logged more than 2,000 snaps in the box along with 149 snaps rushing off tackle, demonstrating the positional flexibility coach Mike Macdonald prefers from his linebackers and hinting at a future where he could play both linebacker roles in Seattle's defense. Aside from blitzing 212 times, he also played 288 snaps in the slot, per Pro Football Focus, with many of those reps coming earlier in his career when he played more extensively as a weakside linebacker.

Best Case Scenario

Taking to Macdonald's coaching quicker than expected, Knight puts on a tackling clinic during the preseason and quickly pushes Jerome Baker and Tyrel Dodson for snaps on defense, eventually taking over as a starter by the middle of the season and finishing with more than 75 tackles and a pair of sacks in a stellar rookie season for the Seahawks.

Worst Case Scenario

Still raw when it comes to deciphering run schemes and shedding blocks, Knight looks out of his element early in training camp and the preseason, failing to earn any snaps with the first-team defense. Though he makes the final roster, he barely sees the field on defense and spends most of his rookie year relegated to special teams.

What to Expect in 2024

Out of Seattle's latest eight-player draft class, Knight may be the biggest enigma heading into training camp. While he has a nose for the football and can make splashy plays as a blitzer and in coverage, he also had a tendency to get caught out of position too often at the college level and he likely will need extensive develop time before he can play more than a situational role on defense with special teams being his main way to make an impact out of the gate. Expecting much more than that may be asking way too much from a player who has a lot of growing to do before he's ready to be more than a sub-package player.

With that said, Knight has all the physical tools Macdonald covets at linebacker and the coach has a long track record of success grooming players at the position. After losing Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks in free agency, the depth chart also has been set up favorably for a rookie to be able to come in and carve out a role early, especially with Baker and Dodson both being unable to participate in the Seahawks offseason program. It would be a stunner if he's ready to play significant defensive snaps early in his rookie year, and at the same time, it wouldn't be near as surprising if he found his way onto the field in the second half and showcases potential long-term starting ability.

Previous 90-Man Roundups

Buddha Jones | Devin Richardson | TaMerik Williams | Rason Williams II | Ro Torrence | Nathan Pickering | Dee Williams | Devere Levelston | Kobe Lewis | Sunny Anderson | Mike Novitsky | Max Pircher | Easton Gibbs | Hayden Hatten | Garret Greenfield | Carlton Johnson | Matt Gotel |George Holani | Cody White | Ty Okada | Drake Thomas | McClendon Curtis | Easop Winston Jr. |Nelson Ceaser | Jonathan Sutherland | Lance Boykin | Joshua Onujiogu | Patrick O'Connell |Jack Westover | Raiqwon O'Neal | Tyler Mabry | Dareke Young | Tremayne Anchrum | DJ James | Artie Burns Kenny McIntosh | Myles Adams | Dee Eskridge | Stone Forsythe


Published |Modified
Corbin K. Smith

CORBIN K. SMITH

Graduating from Manchester College in 2012, Smith began his professional career as a high school Economics teacher in Indianapolis and launched his own NFL website covering the Seahawks as a hobby. After teaching and coaching high school football for five years, he transitioned to a full-time sports reporter in 2017, writing for USA Today's Seahawks Wire while continuing to produce the Legion of 12 podcast. He joined the Arena Group in August 2018 and also currently hosts the daily Locked On Seahawks podcast with Rob Rang and Nick Lee. Away from his coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL, Smith dabbles in standup comedy, is a heavy metal enthusiast and previously performed as lead vocalist for a metal band, and enjoys distance running and weight lifting. A habitual commuter, he resides with his wife Natalia in Colorado and spends extensive time reporting from his second residence in the Pacific Northwest.