5 realistic Seahawks first-round targets ranked from worst to best

Who should Seattle choose with their first pick in the 2024 NFL draft?
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The Seattle Seahawks most likely will make their first pick in the 2024 NFL draft on Thursday. Seattle could trade back, of course, and maybe completely out of the first round. Is that likely? No, but it is possible.

Most of the players below should be around at pick 16 where Seattle is currently slated to choose. That said, literally anything can happen in a draft and maybe all the players are available or all are gone. Maybe general manager John Schneider wants to take a quarterback.

Assuming Schneider realizes he does not need a QB this year and grabs a potentially high-end talent at a position of need, the five players that follow would be realistic choices. Even the number five player would still be a good pick, but not the perfect choice.

Ranking the realistic choices for the Seattle Seahawks' first pick in the 2024 NFL draft

5. Terrion Arnold, cornerback, Alabama

Arnold is the kind of ball-hawk that any NFL head coach would love to have, but he would be a perfect fit in Mike Macdonald's defense as well as playing opposite Riq Woolen (who had 6 interceptions as a rookie two seasons ago) and next to Devon Witherspoon (who is very capable of creating more turnovers than he did as a rookie last year). Arnold had 5 interceptions for Alabama in 2023 as well as 17 passes defended.

One of the questions Arnold would somewhat answer is whether the vision of the team over the last 14 years was as much John Schneider's as it was Pete Carroll's. Carroll seemingly wanted to build his early Seattle teams from back to front and with a strong secondary. Maybe this is what Schneider wanted as well. If Arnold is the first-round choice, 12s will get the answer.

4. Jackson Powers-Johnson, offensive lineman, Oregon

Some have JPJ as playing guard in the NFL, though he seems like a truer center and a very good one. Seattle took Olu Oluwatimi in last year's draft and he is the presumed starter at center, but Powers-Johnson is likely an upgrade and could give the Seahawks the kind of center they have not had since the team traded Max Unger after the 2014 season.

The 6'3" and 330-pound Powers-Johnson is smart and bullish. He was a stand-out during Senior Bowl week and should be able to step in immediately and be a very good center. Seattle also might be able to trade back into the early 20s of the first round, add a second-round choice, and still take Powers-Johnson.

3. Jared Verse, edge rusher, Florida State

Seattle has two edge rushers capable of excellence in the persons of Boye Mafe and Uchenna Nwosu and both could be even better in 2024 playing under Macdonald. After that, though, there is a precipitous drop-off. Darrell Taylor is a wretch against the run and Derick Hall didn't prove he could literally do anything in his rookie season of 2023.

The 6'4" and 254-pound Verse is going to be good against the run and is strong enough to play right away. His pass-rush skills are solid and still needs to develop some, but he will get there. Verse is going to make the run defense better immediately and less Taylor on the field is a good thing.

2. Byron Murphy II, defensive lineman, Texas

The above three picks would all be good choices, but the best selections would be the final two players on this list. Murphy is Aaron Donald-lite and resembles the future Hall of Famer in size and quickness. Murphy is also strong enough to hold his own in defending the run.

Adding the nearly 6'1" and nearly 300-pound Murphy to a line that includes Leonard Williams, Jarran Reed, and Dre'Mont Jones is not only going to allow Murphy to transition smoothly to the NFL but his presence is also going to help the other three increase their productivity as well. Bringing Murphy to Seattle makes Seattle's starting four on their defensive front among the better groups in the league.

1. Troy Fautanu, offensive lineman, Washington

Even after the Seahawks signed free agent left guard Laken Tomlinson recently, the worst position group on Seattle's team is still the offensive line. The hope is that Tomlinson can regain something close to his 2021 form while having Oluwatimi and right guard Anthony Bradford be solid as well. Those are all unproven and iffy hopes.

Fautanu could be a starter anywhere other than left tackle for the Seahawks. He was a very athletic 6'4" and 317-pound left tackle at Washington playing under new Seattle coaches Ryan Grubb and Scott Huff. He would know exactly what the coaches expect and the coaches would know how best to use Fautanu.

The likelihood that should Seattle choose Fautanu is that he would flip to the right side and play right guard. An offensive line that has Charles Cross, Tomlinson, Oluwatimi, Fautanu, and (hopefully) Abe Lucas looks a lot better than the one that was projected just a month ago. Or Fautanu could displace Lucas. Anything is possible for Fautanu, except center and left tackle.

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