Why UW’s Troy Fautanu is the right fit for Seahawks

Apr 22, 2024, 1:39 AM | Updated: 10:12 am

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)

If you’ve spent any time sifting through various mock drafts, chances are you’ve seen UW Huskies offensive lineman Troy Fautanu linked to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 16 overall.

UW OL Fautanu shares thoughts on moving to guard in NFL

Fautanu is the trendy choice among analysts to remain in the Pacific Northwest and rejoin new Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and offensive line coach Scott Huff after playing for both in college.

Fautanu joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Friday for a comprehensive conversation ahead of the NFL Draft, which starts this coming Thursday. Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob listened in on what Fautanu had to say and shared their thoughts on what they heard and his fit with Seattle later that afternoon.

“It makes a lot of sense,” said Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker who is now the color analyst on Seahawks Radio Network game broadcasts. “… I think he is really athletic, he’s got great pad level, all that. He’s kind of refined.”

Wyman said a common challenge most offensive linemen face when making the jump to the NFL, among many others, is needing to become even better with their pad level.

“You think you’re low in college – you’re not. You have to get lower,” Wyman said. “There’s all these things you have to do, but he just seems like he’s so dialed that he’ll get that done. I think it would be the safest bet there, but I don’t think that (Seahawks general manager) John (Schneider) would be taking him because of that. I think (if Schneider drafted Fautanu it would be because) he just thinks that he’s absolutely the best football player, he’s a better guard than anybody else is at whatever position that they’re at.”

Guard is where many draft experts think Fautanu will ultimately end up in the NFL, and it seems to be the most likely spot he’d fit with the Seahawks. However, Fautanu played left tackle for the Huskies, and he ultimately views himself as a tackle.

“At the end of the day, I do think I’m a tackle,” Fautanu told Brock and Salk. “I’ve heard that a lot. I’ve heard both, (but) I’ve heard more tackle than anything. But there’s guys in the NFL that have been around for a while, so you’ve gotta be realistic sometimes and get in where you fit in.

Wyman and co-host Bob Stelton found Fautanu’s candid answer refreshing.

“An interesting response there and I appreciate that candor,” Stelton said, “because how many times do we talk to guys who do play multiple positions and we’ve asked them, ‘Hey, where do you prefer?’ … Inevitably they’re like, ‘I’ll play wherever. I don’t care.’ Which is great. That’s what a coach wants to hear, but it’s kind of interesting to hear him say, ‘I kind of think I’m a tackle, but I’ll play guard.’”

Seattle has a pair of strong, young tackles in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, and it reunited with tackle George Fant this offseason. There is some concern with Lucas, though, who battled a nagging knee injury throughout 2023 and played in just six games.

Fautanu’s versatility seems to be the right match with those circumstances. He could slot it at guard initially and perhaps move to tackle if needed.

“I kind of subscribe to what (former Seahawks offensive lineman) Ray (Roberts) talks about,” Wyman said. “He wants somebody there who’s an expert, and that’s what (Fautanu) does the best. He’s so athletic he could pretty much play anywhere on the line.”

Find the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Wyman and Bob weekdays from 2-6 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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