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Seahawks Mock Draft Roundup: UW’s Fautanu remains popular pick at 16

Mar 19, 2024, 2:50 PM

Seattle Seahawks NFL draft UW Huskies Troy Fautanu...

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

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have filled out their roster some after free agency started last week, and the team’s NFL Draft needs appear to be getting a bit more clear.

Rich Eisen thinks Michael Penix will be drafted earlier than expected

We’re just over a month away from this year’s draft, and the Seahawks will be on the clock with the 16th overall selection. It will be the first pick of the Mike Macdonald era as he’s the new head coach after the franchise parted ways with Pete Carroll after 14 years in Seattle.

What will they do with that pick? With free agency well underway, here’s who some of the top draft analysts see the Seahawks selecting with the 16th pick in the latest mock drafts.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper – UW Huskies offensive tackle Troy Fautanu

Legendary draft analyst Mel Kiper dropped his third mock draft of the offseason on Tuesday, and his pick for the Seahawks remains the same in standout UW offensive lineman Troy Fautanu, an all-conference left tackle who played under new Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb with the Huskies.

“This is another team whose free agent moves haven’t filled the need I identified in my previous mock draft. Former starting guard Damien Lewis got a big deal from Carolina, while the other guard spot is going to be an open competition. Seattle has to add O-line reinforcements with this pick,” Kiper wrote.

With Lewis gone, Bumpus expects Seattle Seahawks to draft UW lineman

Kiper, like many draft analysts, projects Fautanu as a guard at the NFL level.

“Fautanu, my top-ranked guard, played mostly as the left tackle in college, starting 28 games. But he played 114 snaps at guard too,” Kiper said. “And while he has the size to be a tackle in the NFL (6-foot-4, 317 pounds), I see the potential for him to be an All-Pro guard. He is hard-nosed and nasty when he latches on to defenders. The Seahawks offense will look a lot different with new coordinator Ryan Grubb, but they would do well to add Fautanu to build up the interior of their line.”

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah – UW Huskies offensive tackle Troy Fautanu

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, had the Seahawks selecting Fautanu in his first mock draft of the offseason. He switched to Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy in his second mock draft, but has swapped back to Fautanu in his latest mock, which was published on Tuesday.

“Fautanu reunites with Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, who was his OC at UW,” Jeremiah wrote. “Fautanu can play tackle, but he would slide in at guard as a rookie with the ‘Hawks.”

In addition to reuniting with Grubb, Fautanu in this scenario would reunite with Scott Huff, his offensive line coach at Washington who has taken that same role with the Seahawks.

CBS Ryan Wilson – UW Huskies offensive tackle Troy Fautanu

Trifecta! Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports also likes the idea of Fautanu to the Seahawks 16th overall.

“Troy Fautanu can play tackle but he may begin his NFL journey as a guard,” Wilson wrote. “And as it turns out, the Seahawks have a huge need at the left guard position.”

CBS Sports’ Will Brinson – UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu

How about a defender?

Rather than drafting an offensive lineman, Wilson’s CBS colleague Will Brinson has them taking UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu, who was actually a teammate of Fautanu’s at Washington before transferring to UCLA.

“Very curious to see what Seattle does without Pete Carroll’s influence on the drafting philosophy. I would GUESS the Seahawks are more likely to trade back, but for now they can take Latu here,” Brinson wrote.

Pro Football Focus staff – Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson

From two Pac-12 standouts to another, the staff of Pro Football Focus has the Seahawks going with Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson. Center is a potential need for the Seahawks now as 2023 starter Evan Brown has reportedly gone to Arizona, leaving the current top centers on the roster as 2023 rookie fifth-rounder Olu Oluwatimi and former UW and Cleveland center Nick Harris, a career backup for the Browns.

“The Seahawks would love to get Troy Fautanu here, but with him off the board, they opt for another interior offensive lineman who can play guard and center — and one who dominated at both spots at the Senior Bowl,” reads the PFF mock draft piece.

NBC Sports’ Connor Rogers – Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson

More “JPJ” for the Seahawks, as that’s who NBC’s Connor Rogers has them selecting.

“An elite interior offensive line prospect, Powers-Johnson has started at both guard and center,” Rogers wrote. “He was arguably the most dominant offensive player during Senior Bowl practices, showing off plus athleticism at 6-3, 328 pounds.”

The Ringer Staff – Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims

Someone not from the Pac-12? No way!

But yes, the Seahawks can take players who didn’t play in the Pac-12 last year, both in the real draft and in these mock drafts.

The Ringer also has the Hawks addressing the trenches, but instead of Fautanu, Powers-Johnson or Latu, it’s Amarius Mims, a massive man at 6 foot 8 and 340 pounds with 36 1/8-inch arms. Mims is an interesting prospect as all the tools are there, but he only started a few games last year for Georgia due to injury after being a backup his first two seasons on campus.

The Seahawks appear to have their two starting tackles in left tackle Charles Cross and right tackle Abraham Lucas, but injuries to Lucas has The Ringer staff wondering if the Hawks could go with more insurance at tackle instead.

“(Lucas) looked like a good starter as a rookie but lost most of the 2023 season to a knee injury,” reads The Ringer piece. “Even when he came off injured reserve, he was getting subbed out and his play was worrisome. Lucas might walk into camp as the starting right tackle, but Mims represents a high-ceiling investment who isn’t necessarily ready to start in year one anyway.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL Draft

• Analyst says Georgia TE Bowers ‘makes perfect sense’ for Seattle Seahawks
• Brock & Salk: What Howell trade means for Seattle Seahawks and draft
• This offseason is chance for Seahawks to prioritize the trenches
• Bruce Feldman ‘a believer’ in Michael Penix Jr. as NFL quarterback
• Seattle Sahawks Draft: Versatile players for Mike Macdonald’s defense

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