Normally it is hyperbole to say the following phrase, but it fits for the Seattle Seahawks. A new era has dawned in Seattle. Out is former head coach Pete Carroll who also had the final say in all roster decisions. In is first-time head coach Mike Macdonald and general manager John Schneider will have the final say over roster decisions.
Because of the above, 12s cannot really know what to expect Seattle to do in free agency or the NFL draft in 2024. The team is tight against the salary cap so there is not much money to spend. That makes the draft even more important and Seattle cannot afford to miss on too many choices.
In the following mock draft, I used Pro Football Focus's (subscription required) mock draft simulator. I received a post-mock grade of B+ for the picks. I did not see the point in going back and trying to earn an A because that would be cheating the system and my honest decisions at the time of whom I chose. Still, I did go defense early as that side of the football needs the most help for the Seahawks and because Macdonald is a defensive-minded coach.
Seattle Seahawks draft edge rusher Laiatu Latu with 16th overall pick
The most logical choice in the first round of Mike Macdonald's first draft as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks would seem to be a defensive one. Maybe Seattle goes with the best available interior defensive lineman or am inside linebacker instead, but choosing a versatile and athletic edge rusher makes the most sense. Latu is 6'5" and 260 pounds and fast.
If not for a neck injury when Latu was still at the University of Washington in 2020, Latu would have played more in college and likely be an even higher pick in the 2024 NFL draft. But Latu is healthy and Seattle will get the benefit of him dropping to pick 16. Her had double-digit sack totals in each of his final two seasons in college, both of which were at UCLA, and in 2023 he had 21.5 tackles for loss. He also intercepted 2 passes and forced 2 fumbles. There is nothing that Latu does not do well on the field.
The only issues Latu might have to begin his career are all fixable. Like most rookies, he needs to gain a bit of muscle, specifically for Latu in his legs. He also needs to consistently have better technique when setting the edge. But Macdonald would probably find various ways to make Latu an impact player beginning in his first season.