ESPN's Mel Kiper mocks Seahawks to get this Ryan Grubb protege in 2024 NFL draft

Seattle needs some help at certain spots on the offense.

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Part of the excitement surrounding the Seattle Seahawks having a new coach staff is what new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb can do differently than former OC Shane Waldron with the weapons he has. Grubb takes over an offense that has a lot of skill at receiver and running back and his veteran quarterback is not bad either. But what has kept Seattle's offense from reaching peak efficiency is a bad offensive line.

This is especially true along the interior of the offensive line where left guard Damien Lewis had a down year in 2023 and is now a free agent. Plus, center Evan Brown had two good games to begin this past season and then wasn't consistently good again. Right guard was a mess no matter who was playing the position.

In his most recent mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. addresses the problem. At pick number 16 overall in the first round, Kiper mocks Washington's Troy Fautanu to Seattle. Grubb coached Fautanu with the Huskies from 2022 through 2023 when Grubb was the offensive coordinator for Washington. No coach is going to know more in the NFL about Fautanu than Grubb.

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. mocks Troy Fautanu to the Seattle Seahawks in the first round

The same, of course, could be said about quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. who also will be available in the 2024 NFL draft. But the Seahawks need an offensive lineman more than they need a quarterback. Geno Smith is fine and capable of being Seattle's starter for at least one more year. Seattle's holes along the O-line are immediate and need long-term fixes.

Fautanu played a lot of offensive tackle at Washington, but he has the skill set to play guard in the NFL. He is 6'4" and 320 pounds so he already has the size to play in the league. His athleticism and footwork are probably better than most guards in the league, too.

Fautanu also plays with a bit of nasty and finishes blocks well and his first jarring punch to a defensive player. He would be an immediately impactful player and should be a Week 1 starter at either guard spot. As Damien Lewis is a free agent, Fautanu would not only be a cheaper option than Lewis but an upgrade in skill as well.

To make the transition from college to the NFL even easier, Fautanu would also work with Seahawks offensive line coach Scott Huff. Huff was hired this year as well and he was also the offensive line coach with Washington under Ryan Grubb. If Seattle chooses Fautanu in the first round, there is no player better equipped to be successful right away since Fautanu would stay in the city where he played college football and work with the same coaches he had in college.

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