Rost: What we’ve learned about Seahawks from draft experts

Mar 22, 2024, 10:35 AM

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Jackson Powers-Johnson...

Jackson Powers-Johnson of Oregon snaps against the UW Huskies on Oct. 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ free agency class can only tell us so much.

Seattle Seahawks’ free agency points to clear direction with 1st-round pick

After trading for Sam Howell (and restructuring Geno Smith’s contract) taking a quarterback in Round 1 feels unlikely. Meanwhile, after seeing Damien Lewis and Evan Brown depart, interior offensive line has become a focus, especially with only short-term deals handed out to free agents.

We used that knowledge and insight from two draft experts this week and had three clear takeaways on Bump and Stacy:

It’s a sneaky deep center class

Which is great news for a Seahawks team that’s had a revolving door at the position.

Last year’s starter, Brown, is departing after one season. Seattle added Olu Oluwatimi in the draft last year and signed former Browns backup Nick Harris, who has four starts under his belt, in free agency. Both will be competing at the spot in camp, but there are some Day 2 names Seattle can throw into the mix in the hopes of finding, for the first time in years, a long-term solution at center.

The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner broke it down.

“We talk a lot about the offensive tackles and that’s the deepest spot maybe in the draft, but center is really good,” he said. “I think there’s two guys – one for sure in Jackson Powers-Johnson from Oregon, who I think is a for sure first-round pick. I would say maybe two (first-rounders) with Zach Frazier from West Virginia depending on maybe (his) medicals. Then you’ve got Sedrick Van Pran (Georgia), Tanor Bortolini (Wisconsin), Dylan McMahon (N.C. State). I think there could be a little run on them somewhere along the line on Day 2 because there are so many teams that need them. It’s a good year to need a center and there are a lot available.”

The Hawks still need linebacker help (go figure) but it’s a weaker group

You don’t need an expert to tell you this. Look at the roster and what their moves in free agency tell us.

Seattle added Jerome Baker to be their WILL (recently released by the Dolphins) and former Bills backup-turned-starter Tyrel Dodson as their MIKE. But both are signed to one-year deals and there’s no depth behind them.

Schneider: What Seattle Seahawks envision for new LBs Dodson and Baker

The problem? ESPN’s Jordan Reid says this is one of the weaker classes there.

“The only one I feel comfortable about going in the first round potentially is Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M),” Reid said. “But there are quite a few guys who could go on Day 2. Junior Colson (Michigan) has some fans in the league. Payton Wilson of N.C. State is another name you hear a lot, Cedric Gray (UNC) and then Jeremiah Trotter Jr (Clemson). So, there’s no bona fide guy like we’ve seen in years past. There’s no Roquan Smith in this class. But there is some value on Day 2 and Day 3.”

Have Troy Fautanu’s name circled at 16

Reid isn’t the only draft expert to tell us this one. It’s a great class for tackles and at 16 Seattle could find versatility in some hometown talent with Fautanu, who was a standout left tackle at Washington.

“It’s a name I’d have circled if I was a Seahawks fan,” Reid said. “I would feel comfortable taking him there just because he has that guard/tackle flexibility that he can come in and be a Day 1 starter.”

Catch Stacy Rost on Seattle Sports’ Bump & Stacy every weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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