Seahawks top choice in 2024 draft might not have been Byron Murphy II

Seattle might have wanted a player who played a different position with their first choice.
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One might have assumed that Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider got with new head coach Mike Macdonald and asked him what he needed with Seattle's first pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Macdonald might have said, "Give me something for my defense, please." Then Schneider took defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with pick 16.

While the above conversation may or may not have happened, according to ESPN's Brady Henderson, if the conversation did take place then it occurred closer to when Seattle was set to choose. No offense to Murphy, of course. He looks to be a very disruptive player along the interior of Seattle's defensive line and hopefully will stay that way for many years.

In the majority of mock drafts prior to the real one, NFL pundits had Seattle choosing Washington's Troy Fautanu. Seattle needed offensive line help, especially at guard, and the idea from many was Seattle would take Fautanu and move him to guard. He would conceivably be the Week 1 starter at right guard.

Seattle Seahawks thought they might take JC Latham entering the 2024 NFL draft

Seattle may have still gotten a very good pure guard in round three when they chose UConn's Christian Haynes but he does not have the position flixibility that Fautanu has. Had Fautanu begun at guard, he could have ended up at tackle at some point in his career. Haynes is going to stay a guard.

Fautanu was available for Seattle to take at pick 16 but that passed on him in order to take Murphy. The Washington product was then chosen at pick 20 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He will probably be an excellent player for the Steelers as there would have been no drawback in taking him other than when 16 was up, the Seahawks wanted a defensive player instead.

According to Henderson, though, Schneider had his eye on Alabama's JC Latham, and had Latham been available, the team would have chosen him. Latham was a tackle for the Crimson Tide but like with Fautanu, Latham will probably move to guard in the NFL. Seattle is hopefully set at tackle through the next two seasons with left tackle Charles Cross and right tackle Abe Lucas, but Lucas has a chronic knee issue that may keep him consistently sidelined.

This all circles back to Byron Murphy II, however. The reason he was not Seattle's top choice entering the draft is not because the Seahawks did not think highly of him but because they did not expect Murphy to be available. They assumed Latham would be. Instead, Latham went number 7 to the Tennessee Titans and Murphy was around at 16. John Schneider likely could not have been happier.

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