STACY ROST

Seattle Seahawks did what they needed in draft — just with a twist

Apr 26, 2024, 2:28 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2024, 3:15 pm

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Byron Murphy II...

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Byron Murphy during the 2024 combine. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks did exactly what they needed to do on night one of the NFL Draft – just with a twist.

Seahawks ’24 NFL Draft Breakdown: A look at all 8 Seattle picks

Ask any Seattle fan how the Rams and 49ers have been able to separate themselves from the rest of the NFC West over the last several seasons and you’ll find one common answer: the trenches. Whether it’s the now-retired Aaron Donald, 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, or All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, both Los Angeles and San Francisco have had playmakers.

And that’s exactly what Seattle had to address. There’s a concerning lack of experience on the interior of an offensive line that last year barely saw all five starters play the same game together. It’s why UW Huskies OL Troy Fautanu felt like an obvious fit and was the most commonly mocked player to Seattle.

Instead, they took Byron Murphy II out of Texas, a move that still addresses a major concern: a defense that’s been one of the worst units against the run in each of the last two seasons.

ESPN’s Brady Henderson co-hosted Bump and Stacy with me on Thursday ahead of the first round and described this as a “meat and potatoes” type draft for the Seahawks for that reason. Sure, when we saw one of the top edge rushers (Dallas Turner) still available at No. 16 it was very tempting to go with a splurge – like pizza – but under their new head coach, the Hawks need to get back to basics, and Murphy gets that effort started out the right way.

What’s sticking with me from Round 1

The Falcons’ pick is a head scratcher

Michael Penix Jr. landing in Atlanta has to be the biggest story here. I’m a former Husky. I loved watching Penix play for my alma mater. I also wonder what Atlanta is doing here. I’ve seen it comped to Seattle drafting Russell Wilson after adding Matt Flynn in free agency in 2012, but Wilson was a third-round pick, not No. 8 overall, and they weren’t paying Flynn a deal quite the size of what the Falcons are paying Cousins, who signed a four-year, $160 million contract with $100 million guaranteed during the offseason. The idea of sitting a quarterback of the future behind your quarterback of the present also isn’t a bad idea – it worked for the Chiefs and Packers – but if you’re in win-now mode with a giant hole to fill on defense, why not make a move that helps you win now? I’d love Penix to hit the ground running and prove his doubters wrong, but that still requires the Falcons to have made a mistake in signing Cousins (who has a chance to have a comeback player of the year season with Atlanta’s offensive weapons). And if all goes according to Atlanta’s plan and Penix doesn’t start until he’s developed for two more years, he’ll be 26 years old when he becomes a full-time starter for the first time. It’s not stupid, but it’s certainly strange.

Daniel Jones gets a weapon instead of a successor

The Giants gave Daniel Jones a 4-year, $160 million extension before last season but don’t seem especially committed long-term. Jones didn’t appear likely to be going anywhere in 2024 – he’d carry $69 million in dead cap with a pre-June first designation – but it seemed possible that the Giants could take their quarterback of the future ahead of a weaker 2025 class.

They didn’t. And that was surprising. Instead of drafting Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy as Jones’ eventual replacement, they brought him another weapon in LSU’s Malik Nabers. It was a great choice and without Marvin Harrison Jr in this class, Nabers goes at No. 4 to Arizona, but it’ll also up the stakes and eliminates one or two excuses for Jones to improve in 2024.

Listen to Bump and Stacy weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Seahawks and NFL Draft

Were Hawks’ draft day videos trolling ‘picture gate?’
Breaking down the UW Huskies’ big 1st round
• Details: Live Seahawks NFL Draft coverage from Seattle Sports
• Seattle Seahawks didn’t expect they’d be able to draft Byron Murphy II
• Seahawks Draft Reaction: Top pick Byron Murphy a ‘300-lb ball of muscle’
• Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Tracker: Keep up on every pick and trade

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