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Seahawks Draft: Analyst says Texas’ Byron Murphy has best D-tackle tape

Feb 23, 2024, 4:29 PM

Seattle Seahawks draft Byron Murphy...

Michael Penix Jr. under pressure by Byron Murphy II on Dec. 29, 2022. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Who will the Seattle Seahawks take with their first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?

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In his latest mock draft for NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah has the Hawks selecting standout Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II.

“Byron Murphy, you’ll see him at the combine, he’s probably going to run in the 4.8 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) at 305 pounds,” Jeremiah told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Friday.

Murphy, a second-team All-American selection, is seen by many analysts as a first-round pick who could be one of the first defensive tackles selected this year.

“He’s a little bit shorter, but he is very dynamic,” Jeremiah said. “He’s the best defensive tackle on tape in this draft. He’s a really, really disruptive strong, strong kid. So that’s why I kind of worked on that side of the ball. They’ve got some young pieces I like on defense, but just continuing to add up front I think would be a would be a nice fit (for the Seahawks).”

As was the case last year, there’s been plenty of speculation about the Seahawks selecting a quarterback to learn behind Geno Smith or even take over as the team’s new starter.

Is that something the Seahawks should truly look at with the 16th overall pick?

I would look at it and say am I confident this is a clear upgrade over what you’ve had in Geno over the last couple of years? And I would say at this point in time, I couldn’t answer that (and be) very confident this is an upgrade over what we already have,” Jeremiah said. “And I think Geno’s window is still open where you still have some good football you can get out of him. I think I would probably go to the line of scrimmage.”

What kind of draft is this?

The Seahawks have a first-round pick and two third-round selections, but no second-rounder. According to Jeremiah, this is a draft class that is solid early on, but weakens dramatically later on.

“This is a year where if you get to the fourth through seventh (rounds), there’s years where I’m like, ‘Holy crap like this is unbelievable that these guys, that (star Detroit receiver) Amon-Ra St. Brown is still there in the fourth round,’ that type of draft. We’ve had those type of drafts where, like last year, the tight ends, there’s a zillion of them. This year, it’s not like that,” Jeremiah said. “It’s an in-between year because of NIL, right?”

With NIL, many players who were expected to turn pro didn’t and instead returned to school. That’s had a big impact on this class’ depth, Jeremiah said.

“We only have 50-something juniors when we’re used to having double that. So it drops off, man,” he said. “This is the year I’m like if you’re picking four through seven (rounds) and you can spin some of those picks for next year’s picks once everything kind of evens back out, I think I’d be more inclined to do that. I think you’re gonna have to do most your damage in the first three rounds this year.”

This also isn’t a great year if you need inside linebacker help, which the Seahawks do.

“There’s not like a lot of high-end guys at that position this year. It’s pretty much the bulk of them you’re gonna see (go in the) third or fourth round,” Jeremiah said. “I don’t think it’s a super, super deep list of them. That’s going to be where they go, that’s going to be the range of what you see the linebackers come on board.”

Outside of Texas A&M’s Edgerrin Cooper and potentially Junior from Michigan, “You’re going to see the bulk of these linebackers where the third or fourth round is what it’s going to cost you to get a potential starting linebacker in this draft,” Jeremiah said.

Listen to the entire conversation with NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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