STACY ROST

Who’s the best non-OL pick for Seattle Seahawks at No. 16?

Apr 5, 2024, 10:57 AM

Seattle Seahawks Draft Laiatu Latu...

Laiatu Latu of the UCLA Bruins during a 2023 game. (Harry How/Getty Images)

(Harry How/Getty Images)

If the Seattle Seahawks don’t select an offensive lineman with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, well then it better be a _______.

ESPN’s Matt Miller dives into Seattle Seahawks draft fits and connections

That’s the challenge Bump and Stacy gave themselves and listeners during this week’s show following a number of mock drafts that had Seattle selecting Washington tackle Troy Fautanu at No. 16 overall.

Now, Fautanu would be an excellent choice. Seattle already has two starting tackles, but Fautanu has enough versatility to flex to guard and bolster the interior of Seattle’s offensive line, an area where the Hawks badly need reinforcements.

There’s a chance Fautanu doesn’t even drop to Seattle at 16 – he could be scooped up as early as 10 to a Jets team that needs O-line help, or even at 14 to a Saints roster looking to offer better protection for Derek Carr.

But for the purposes of this piece, let’s assume offensive line is the target for the Seahawks. If their dream candidate is gone or if they don’t actually snag a lineman, well then, they better take …

Bump: The best defensive player available

“I’ll keep saying it,” Bumpus said. “If (edge rusher) Laiatu Latu (out of UCLA) is available, you go ahead and get him. He’s probably going to be gone. I don’t think there are any guards that have a grade that puts them that early in the first round, so you look at defense. You pull up the top 30 players in the draft and you just start crossing guys off the list. I don’t care if my man plays safety. If he’s a corner, then I’ll pump the breaks. But safety, linebacker, edge, interior, whatever it is, you go ahead and get that dude. I’m looking at Latu, I’m looking at Jared Verse (Florida State), I’m looking at Byron Murphy (Texas). You don’t go quarterback. If you can’t get Troy out of UW, you get the best defensive player available who’s not a cornerback.”

Honorable mention: Take Georgia tight end Brock Bowers if, in some crazy world, he falls to you.

“He ain’t gonna be there,” Bumpus said. “If he is, you go ahead and take him.”

Stacy: Defensive line

Keep it simple. In their first draft since the trade of Russell Wilson, taking an offensive lineman at No. 9 seemed like the most obvious choice… and they did it. This wasn’t the Seahawks’ front office of years past that zigged when others thought it should zag. They took a player whom they needed and who could make them a better team.

This is a team that desperately needs to be better on offense. I did love last year’s goal of taking the best player available, mostly because said player (Devon Witherspoon) became a defensive rookie of the year candidate.

But you can’t finish near the bottom of the league against the run, bring in a defensive guru as your head coach, and not make that the focus for improvement in 2024. Texas run stuffer Byron Murphy has enough promise and talent to be a first rounder but just enough questions to be mocked more often in the second half – I don’t care. Take him. He can be impactful immediately.

The most popular answer from listeners? Linebacker.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Huard’s Seahawks Draft Profile: Under-the-radar WR
Seahawks’ Schneider: O-line ‘not an area that’s being ignored’
Brock’s Seahawks Draft Profile: A difference-making guard
• Analyst: How Seahawks’ Sam Howell compares to top QBs in draft
Huard’s Seahawks Draft Profile: A ‘flat-out baller’ at safety

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Who’s the best non-OL pick for Seattle Seahawks at No. 16?