ESPN sticks with Seattle Seahawks making smartest choice in 2024 NFL draft

Seattle currently is set to pick at number 16 in the draft.
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In two weeks, Seattle Seahawks fans will be getting ready to watch the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. Anything is possible in a John Schneider draft, of course. Seattle could trade back and get more picks or Seattle could stay at pick 16 and choose a quarterback. Almost nothing would be surprising though Seattle choosing a kicker in the first round would be highly disappointing, of course.

Seattle's most glaring need in the draft is along the offensive line. Between the tackles, there is no proven quality. 2023 rookies Olu Oluwatimi might start at center and Anthony Bradford could start at right guard, but neither played much or very well last season. If they start in 2024, it will be with the hope that we can forget what we have seen in the past and hope for a better future.

No matter what the best-case scenario for Oluwatimi and Bradford is, the Seahawks still have a hole at left guard. This is one reason that ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. continues to mock University of Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu to Seattle. Kiper's first mock had Seattle taking Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, but since Kiper, like many other NFL experts, has Fautanu to Seattle.

Most mocks seem set on Troy Fautanu going to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2024 NFL draft

This would be a huge win for Seattle as Fautanu has NFL-ready size and athleticism. The 6'4" and 317-pound lineman played mostly left tackle at Washington recently, but his ability to move well would certainly translate to him moving inside to guard. This would give Seattle a left side of Fautanu at guard and Charles Cross at left tackle and that would potentially be Seattle's best left side since the early 2000s when Walter Jones played left tackle and Steve Hutchinson played left guard.

At the NFL Combine, Fautanu ran a 5.01 40 (which is extremely good for a lineman). He chose not to lift at the combine, but his game film speaks for itself. He has solid technique and recovery skills which should help him be immediately efficient in the NFL.

Fautanu will also be helped by the fact that his offensive line coach at Washington, Scott Huff, and his offensive coordinator, Ryan Grubb, were both hired by the Seahawks this offseason to take the same jobs in Seattle. There could be no smoother transition for the league for any player than the one Fautanu would have with Seattle.

Kiper says of the player, "Fautanu is an ideal fit if he makes it to this pick. He started 28 games at left tackle in college, but I see a higher ceiling for him if he moves inside at the next level. At 6-foot-4, 317 pounds, he could develop into an elite guard."

There are two keys there. One is if Fautanu lasts until pick 16 as another team could easily choose him before Seattle has a chance. Plus, one team might see Fautanu as a tackle and not a guard and that could make him more ideal for a team before 16 as well. But 12s can hope he is available for Seattle and Schneider and Schneider actually drafts him.

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