SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks Mock Draft Roundup: Who experts like in 1st round

Feb 17, 2024, 11:13 AM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 4:01 pm

Seattle Seahawks mock draft Troy Fautanu...

Troy Fautanu of the Washington Huskies in action on Sept. 23, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

We’re just over two months away from the 2024 NFL Draft, which will be the first draft for the Seattle Seahawks under new head coach Mike Macdonald.

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Barring a trade up or down, the Hawks hold the No. 16 overall selection this year.

So who will be the first draft pick of the Mike Macdonald era? Many top NFL Draft analysts have the Seattle Seahawks targeting the trenches in their latest mock drafts, which we dive into below.

• ESPN’s Field Yates: Georgia tight end Brock Bowers

Field Yates joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob recently and made the case for the Seahawks building around quarterback Geno Smith. In his first mock draft of the offseason, he gives Smith an intriguing weapon in the passing game in standout Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

“It doesn’t sit right with me that Bowers (a top-10 prospect) would have to wait until No. 16 to hear his name called, but man do I love this pick for Seattle,” Yates writes. “The Seahawks have a pair of free agents at tight end in Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson, while Will Dissly carries a $10.1 million cap charge in 2024 that might need to be addressed. Bowers is a remarkable pass-catcher who chews up yards after the catch and has vacuum-like hands to snare any throw in his vicinity. Yes, defense needs to be a massive priority for Seattle all offseason, but Bowers would crush in this offense.”

• ESPN’s Matt Miller: Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II

Yates’ ESPN colleague Matt Miller thinks the Seahawks will address the other side of the ball to give Macdonald, a defensive-minded head coach, a new weapon in the trenches in Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II.

“New coach Mike Macdonald comes from the Ravens, where he molded defensive tackle Justin Madubuike into an All-Pro-caliber player. Now Macdonald can get another standout 3-technique in Seattle,” Miller writes. “Murphy was asked to play over the tackle in Texas’ 3-3-5 scheme, but his power and burst allowed him to routinely make an impact as a pass-rusher. The 6-foot-1 308-pounder had five sacks in 2023 while rarely being put into true gaps as a pass-rusher. Murphy’s ceiling is incredibly high, and he’d be awesome in Macdonald’s defense.”

• NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner

Lance Zierlein, who was recently a guest on Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, also has the Seahawks drafting a defensive lineman for Macdonald’s defense. But he went with an edge rusher in Alabama’s Dallas Turner.

“I would love to give the Seahawks a tackle/guard with good toughness and above-average run-blocking ability in Troy Fautanu, but I can’t see them passing on a pass-rush talent like Turner here,” he said.

• NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton (after trading down to No. 22 with Philadelphia)

Chad Reuter has the Seahawks doing something familiar: Trading down.

In his three-round mock draft, Reuter has the Seahawks trading the 16th overall pick and a third-round selection to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 22nd overall pick as well as second- and fifth-round draft picks. It should be noted that Seattle does not own a second-round pick this year, but does have two third-rounders.

The reason the Seahawks don’t have a second-round pick? A midseason trade for defensive tackle Leonard Williams, a pending free agent. Reuter thinks the Seahawks could draft Williams’ replacement should he sign elsewhere in the form of Illinois’ D-tackle Jer’Zhan Newton.

“The Seahawks gave up second- and fifth-round picks for Leonard Williams but have not yet signed him for 2024 and beyond. If that never comes to pass, Newton slides into new head coach Mike Macdonald’s scheme,” Reuter writes.

• NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund: Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II

Cynthia Frelund’s mock drafts are always interesting to check out as she uses a more analytical model while also taking free agency into account. That often means her selections are different than what others see happening.

For instance, she has the Chicago Bears keeping the No. 1 pick, but using it on Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt rather than taking a quarterback.

When it comes to the Seahawks, she thinks they’ll address the trenches with Texas’ Murphy.

“Do I love trying to decipher how the college trend of the 3-3-5 defense translates to the NFL? Yes, I do,” Frelund writes. “Murphy is an explosive player who recorded five sacks that weren’t from the spots that players in that configuration most often earn sacks. I feel like the Seahawks, with new head coach Mike Macdonald as the architect, will help turn Murphy into a really scary problem for offenses.”

• NFL.com’s Eric Edholm and Dan Parr: UW offensive lineman Troy Fautanu

Both Eric Edholm and Dan Parr of NFL.com have the Seahawks taking a local product in UW offensive lineman Troy Fautanu in their mock drafts.

Fautanu, a left tackle for the Huskies, is seen by many as a guard at the NFL level. What makes this pick interesting – and popular – is that two of his coaches at Washington are now with the Seahawks.

Former UW offensive play-caller Ryan Grubb is the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator while Scott Huff, Fautanu’s position coach at UW, is Seattle’s new offensive line coach. This pick could both fill a big need for the Hawks while utilizing familiarity.

“New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald might want to upgrade his defensive personnel, but the offensive line can’t be overlooked,” Edholm writes. “Fautanu was a college left tackle and could play there in the NFL, but he also has excellent potential inside, where the Hawks could use the upgrade. And Seattle should be pretty familiar with the University of Washington product’s game.”

And Parr wrote in his mock draft, “New OC Ryan Grubb grabs his former pupil at UW. Fautanu can line up anywhere on the offensive line, but the Seahawks might be best served playing him at guard.”

• The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner: Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse

Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic has the Seahawks drafting Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse 16th overall. You can read what he wrote in his mock draft below, and also check out what he told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob at this link here.

“Seattle has needs along the offensive interior and might be in position to trade back. But Mike Macdonald could get his regime started with an athletic, explosive three-down edge like Verse, who likely would’ve been a first-rounder last year had he declared,” Baumgardner writes. “Though pressure packages are a big part of Macdonald’s system, so are twitchy edge defenders who can rush, cover and stop the run.”

• CBS Sports’ Kyle Stackpole: Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson

CBS’ Kyle Stackpole also has the Seahawks addressing the trenches, but rather than a defensive lineman or Fautanu, he goes with another Pac-12 star in Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, a standout from this year’s Senior Bowl week.

“The Seahawks just fully guaranteed Geno Smith $12.7 million for 2024, and while that doesn’t mean he’ll definitely be on the roster – he could still be traded – it seems as though new head coach Mike Macdonald will be rolling with the veteran QB,” Stackpole writes. “Now he needs better protection, as the Seattle offensive line was among the worst in the NFL last season in quarterback pressure percentage and pass-blocking grade. Plus, all three of the team’s interior offensive linemen are set to become free agents. Seattle addresses one of those needs with another Senior Bowl standout in Oregon center Jackson-Powers Johnson.”

• Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings: Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson

Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network also likes the idea of Powers-Johnson going up north from Oregon to Seattle.

“There’s little doubt now that Jackson Powers-Johnson will be the first interior offensive line off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft. And he could go as early as No. 16 to the Seahawks,” Cummings says. “The 6 foot-3, 330-pound Powers-Johnson immediately fills a void in Seattle’s offense and has the athletic traits, physicality, and age-defying veteran savvy to be an instant stud.”

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