NFL.com’s Reuter on picks he has Seahawks making, including Penix

Feb 21, 2024, 4:09 PM

NFL Draft Michael Penix Jr...

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. reacts after a first down on Nov. 25, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the NFL season officially wrapped up, we’re now neck deep in the NFL Draft cycle, which means mock drafts galore. And one draft analyst has the Seattle Seahawks with an interesting haul in the first two rounds.

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Chad Reuter of NFL.com has the Seahawks in a familiar situation – trading down in the first round. Seattle currently has the 16th overall pick and no second-rounders.

In his first mock draft of the offseason, Reuter has the Seahawks trading down from 16 to 22 with Philadelphia and picking up a second-round selection along the way.

“It’s not a draft if (Seahawks general manager) John Schneider doesn’t trade down at least once in the first round, right?” Retuter said during a Wednesday visit with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

With that 22nd pick, Reuter has the Seahawks drafting Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton (former known as Jer’Zhan Newton).

“Seattle moves down and gets a defensive tackle that they need in Johnny Newton out of Illinois,” Reuter told Wyman and Bob of this scenario. “Seattle’s traded down twice in the first round a couple of times in the past, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they did that again to accumulate some later picks … I think Seattle will definitely be looking to trade down at 16.”

Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, said when he watched Newton play, it reminded him of Calijah Kancey, a defensive tackle who was Tampa Bay’s first-round pick last year.

“Newton is a little bigger than Kacney, a little stronger point of attack,” Reuter replied. “If Seattle continues to use a lot of multiple fronts, he can move around and play five-technique, he played outside of the tackle at times, and then of course the interior spots. He can really have a good effect on their defense depending on how things go with the new staff.”

Michael Penix to the Seahawks?

With that second-round pick courtesy of the trade with Philadelphia, Reuter had Seattle take UW Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. 50th overall.

Reuter explained why he thinks Penix is such a polarizing prospect.

“When you don’t get to him, he’s clearly an accurate quarterback. And when he was just able to sit in that pocket and throw to some very talented receivers, he was dangerous,” he said. “And in the second half of the year, teams got him off the spot a little bit. He had to make some plays on the run. He made some. And then Michigan, a team finally put some pressure on him.”

Penix also had four season-ending injuries during his time at Indiana before transferring to Washington, including two ACL tears.

“When a guy plays with a brace on his leg full-time, it’s hard to ignore,” he said. “… It wouldn’t be shocking to me if he could go anywhere from late (furst round) to early fourth, depending on how his medicals check out.”

Penix clearly has great arm talent, but because he rarely faced pressure while at UW and threw to three NFL receivers, Reuter said he may be an example of how “college tape can lie or mislead a little bit in terms of how they’re going to project to the next level.”

“But all that said, if a team can really protect this guy, he can get the ball out fast and get it out accurately and he’s worth that Day 2 pick just given the risk,” Reuter said. “And a lot of times a second-round pick isn’t much different than a first-round pick except maybe there’s more risk involved with taking him.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Wyman: Brooks should be a higher priority for Seahawks than Williams
• Huard: Why Seattle Seahawks won’t use franchise tag this offseason
• Big Ray Roberts: Why Seattle Seahawks should keep DK; O-line thoughts
• New OC Ryan Grubb sees Seattle Seahawks’ WR trio similar to UW stars
• Seahawks Offseason: Key NFL dates leading up to training camp
• Seahawks Mock Draft Roundup: Who experts like in 1st round
• Seahawks’ Macdonald ‘not intimidated’ by following Carroll

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NFL.com’s Reuter on picks he has Seahawks making, including Penix