Mock NFL Draft Roundup: Who will be Seahawks’ top pick?

Jan 23, 2024, 10:18 AM

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft J.J. McCarthy...

J.J. McCarthy of the Michigan Wolverines throws against the Washington Huskies on Jan. 8, 2024. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

While four teams are still gunning for a Super Bowl appearance and title, it’s officially the offseason for the Seattle Seahawks and 27 other teams.

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The Seahawks are in the midst of the team’s first head coaching search since after the 2009 season, but the NFL Draft is just over three months away.

The offseason means it’s mock draft season, and many of the top NFL Draft analysts have already put together their first mock drafts of the offseason.

So who do the experts think the Seahawks will take with the 16th overall pick? Here’s what some of them have to say so far.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Mel Kiper, the godfather of NFL Draft coverage, has the Seahawks going with Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy in his first mock draft of the offseason.

The Wolverines went 27-1 with McCarthy starting at quarterback. In his career at Michigan, McCarthy completed 67.6% of his passes for 6,226 yards and 49 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 632 yards and 10 touchdowns. McCarthy was first-team All-Big Ten in 2023.

“While I don’t have a first-round grade on McCarthy right now – a lot can change before Round 1 on April 25 – he does have first-round arm talent, along with the ability to beat defenses with his legs. He’s the type of quarterback teams will take a shot at in the middle of the first round, especially when you consider he just turned 21 a few days ago,” Kiper wrote. “He rarely turns the ball over – he threw 44 touchdown passes and had nine picks over the past two seasons – and can make every throw. McCarthy just wasn’t asked to beat teams with his arm for the Wolverines, because they so often dominated at the line of scrimmage. As of now, I’m betting on a team seeing his upside and trying to take him somewhere in the teens.”

CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Kiper isn’t the only NFL Draft analyst who thinks McCarthy will land in Seattle, as CBS’ Josh Edwards also has the Seahawks taking the Wolverines standout in his first mock draft of the offseason.

“Seattle has a ceiling with Geno Smith at quarterback,” Edwards wrote. “It has a young roster and doesn’t want to be left holding the bag when it is finally time to move on. It may be time to start fresh with a first-year head coach and a rookie quarterback.”

Edwards has McCarthy as his fifth-rated quarterback and No. 30 overall prospect.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: Washington OL Troy Fautanu

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network also has the Seahawks going with offense, but he has them drafting an offensive lineman in UW Huskies standout left tackle Troy Fautanu.

Fautanu was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2023 while anchoring a Washington offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s best. Fautanu also won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12.

While Fautanu played left tackle in college, Jeremiah says he may slide inside at the NFL level, especially if he stays in Seattle.

“The Seahawks continue to add young talent to their offensive line. Fautanu would slide right in at guard in Seattle and can play tackle in a pinch,” Jeremiah wrote.

Jeremiah also joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday and talked about a number of UW players, including Fautanu.

UW Huskies in Draft: Who stands out to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah?

You can check out what he said in the link above.

NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks: Texas DL Byron Murphy II

Jeremiah’s NFL Network collegue Bucky Brooks also has the Seahawks addressing the trenches with the 16th overall pick, but he chose a defensive lineman in Texas’ Byron Murphy II, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2023.

“Fixing the defense is a must for Seattle after the unit struggled down the stretch,” Brooks wrote. “Murphy is a disruptive interior presence with the speed and quickness to dominate against the run or pass. ”

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: Texas DL Byron Murphy II

Dane Brugler of The Athletic recently wrote a two-round mock draft, and he, like Brooks, has the Seahawks taking Texas’ Murphy 16th overall.

“Disruptive against both run and pass, Murphy had the best pass-rush win percentage (19.6) among all interior linemen in 2023 (no other DT was above 17.0 percent),” Brugler wrote. “He will get dinged by some for a lack of ideal length, but then he’ll run in the mid-4.7s at 300 pounds and provide a reminder that he is different.”

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