Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) during a game against Stanford in on Oct. 28, 2023, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) during a game against Stanford in on Oct. 28, 2023, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Seahawks tabbed to address offensive line in 1st round of draft

Former University of Washington standout Troy Fautanu is a popular pick among mock drafts to head to Seattle at No. 16 overall.

If you’ve watched the Seahawks’ approach to free agency the last week and thought, “They need more offensive linemen,” you’re not alone.

Almost everyone who posted a mock draft over the last few weeks also thinks the Seahawks need to do more to address the offensive line.

Rarely has there been as much consensus on these things as there is that the Seahawks need to go with an offensive lineman with the 16th overall pick in the NFL draft next month.

There’s also some unity in who that offensive lineman should be.

To find that out, you’ll have to read the rest of our roundup of what the more notable mock drafts are predicting the Seahawks might do with their first pick.

As always, I’ve included comments from the mock drafter, as well as some of my own.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

His pick: Guard Troy Fautanu, Washington

His comment: “Former starting guard Damien Lewis got a big deal from Carolina, while the other starting guard spot is going to be an open competition. Seattle has to add O-line reinforcements with this pick. Fautanu, my top-ranked left guard, played mostly as the left tackle in college, starting 28 games. But he played 114 snaps at guard too. And while he has the size to be a tackle in the NFL (6-foot-4, 317 pounds), I see the potential for him to be an All-Pro guard. He is hard-nosed and nasty when he latches on to defenders. The Seahawks offense will look a lot different with new coordinator Ryan Grubb, but they would do well to add Fautanu to build up the interior of their line.”

My comment: The biggest name in mock drafting has the Seahawks going with a popular local choice to fill their biggest need. As Kiper notes, Lewis leaving for Carolina created a hole in the middle of the offensive line. They have second-year player Anthony Bradford to likely take over the right-guard spot, and signed free agent Tremayne Anchrum Jr. That won’t be all that they head into training camp with at guard. Moving players who were tackles in college inside in the NFL is common and something the Seahawks have done a few times with first-round picks, including Germain Ifedi in 2016 (who played guard and tackle) and James Carpenter in 2011 (Carpenter played solely guard).

Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com

His pick: OL Troy Fautanu, Washington

His comment: “Troy Fautanu can play tackle, but he may begin his NFL journey as a guard. And as it turns out, the Seahawks have a huge need at the left guard position.”

My comment: It’s becoming a theme. The Seahawks seem fairly well set at tackle with Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, Stone Forsythe and free-agent signee George Fant. Some have wondered if the signing of Fant might foreshadow Lucas moving inside. Possibly. More likely is he’s a hedge on Lucas either needing more time to recover from offseason knee surgery or as insurance getting through the season.

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus

His pick: OL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

His comment: “The Seahawks would love to get Troy Fautanu here, but with him off the board, they opt for another interior offensive lineman who can play guard and center — and one who dominated at both spots at the Senior Bowl.”

My comment: One issue for the Seahawks in getting Fautanu is whether he lasts to the 16th pick. Some mocks have him going as high as 10. So if he’s gone, would the Seahawks pivot to UW’s rival and take Powers-Johnson? They have taken just one center in the first round — Chris Spencer at 26 in 2005. Center might not be the way they would go here after signing Nick Harris in free agency. They didn’t make a huge commitment to Harris — a one-year deal at $2.51 million. That doesn’t preclude drafting a center. Harris has a history with OL coach Scott Huff, which makes one think there’s a chance Harris could be here for the long haul if things work out this season.

Ben Solak, The Ringer

His pick: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

His comment: “I’m worried about Seahawks right tackle Abraham Lucas, who looked like a good starter as a rookie but lost most of the 2023 season to a knee injury. Even when he came off injured reserve, he was getting subbed out and his play was worrisome. Lucas might walk into camp as the starting right tackle, but Mims represents a high-ceiling investment who isn’t necessarily ready to start in year one anyway.”

My comment: Mims is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft, measuring 6-foot-7, 340 pounds at the combine, where he ran a 5.07-second 40, in the top 13% of tackles. Would the Seahawks go with an OT with their first pick for the second time in three years, especially after signing Fant to a two-year deal reportedly worth as much as $14 million? That feels less likely than someone who can play inside.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

His pick: OT Troy Fautanu, Washington

His comment: “Fautanu reunites with Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, who was his OC at UW. Fautanu can play tackle, but he would slide in at guard as a rookie with the ‘Hawks.”

My comment: Yep, Fautanu is the heavy betting favorite for the Seahawks right now.

Connor Rogers, NBCSports.com

His pick: IOL Jason Powers-Johnson, Oregon

His comment: “An elite interior offensive line prospect, Powers-Johnson has started at both guard and center. He was arguably the most dominant offensive player during Senior Bowl practices, showing off plus athleticism at 6-3, 328 pounds.”

My comment: And as Rogers notes, Powers-Johnson could be a candidate to play guard — which makes taking him here make a lot more sense. Fun note on Powers-Johnson — he has a hamburger named after him at a Eugene, Ore., brewery called the “Big Jax” burger that consists of a brioche bun, barbecue sauce, queso, mac and cheese, pulled pork, bacon and double patties.

Richie Bradshaw, SI.com

His pick: Edge Laiatu Latu, UCLA, via a trade in which the Seahawks get picks 12 and 136 from Denver in exchange for picks 16, 81 and 118

His comment: “A pick that I have made consistently, I now believe the Seahawks need to move up a few picks to ensure they acquire Latu’s services. It’s not an earth-shattering trade, but the Seahawks are still aggressive to go up and get the shiny new pass rusher for first-year head coach Mike Macdonald’s defense. Latu can line up all over the place and Macdonald will have a field day with the versatility he brings to the pass rush.”

My comment: Now that’s an interesting proposal. The Seahawks have not made an addition to their edge-rushing unit this offseason, so an aggressive move to get one of the top three edge rushers in the draft might make a lot of sense.

Ryan Fowler, The Draft Network

His pick: DT Johnny Newton, Illinois

His comment: “A twitched-up big man in the middle, Johnny Newton will take eyes off of the young pieces Seattle has off the edge. Working within Mike Macdonald’s aggressive defense is a fit I like too.”

My comment: The Seahawks have well-scouted the Illinois defense over the last few years, and they surely know the 6-2, 304-pound Newton well.

Joel Klatt, Fox Sports

His pick: DT Byron Murphy, Texas

His comment: “Mike Macdonald, who I got to know well when he was Michigan’s defensive coordinator, has a simple philosophy, and his first order of business is to build a run wall. You do that by getting multiple defensive tackles. Murphy fits really well here.”

My comment: Murphy measured 6-foot and 1/2 inch and 297 pounds at the combine. The Seahawks signed veteran free agent Johnathan Hankins this week to team with Jarran Reed and Cameron Young inside, with players such as Leonard Williams, Dre’Mont Jones and Mike Morris — all listed as ends — sure to move inside to the tackle spot at times. What they do in the draft may show how confident the Seahawks are with their DT rotation.

Will McFadden, SI.com

His pick: OT JC Latham, OT, Alabama

His comment: “Latham is 6-foot-6 and weighs 360 pounds, and he uses that size to wash away defenders in the run game. For an offense that ranked 28th in rushing yards per game last season despite having Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet that first sentence should be all that matters. Mike Macdonald is a defensive-minded coach, but the Ravens knew the importance of their offensive line and I think he’ll carry that approach to Seattle.”

My comment: Latham did play some right guard in college but seems to project mostly as a tackle in the NFL. And at the risk of getting repetitive, a tackle-only offensive lineman seems a little less likely than an interior one, given the Seahawks’ needs. But they could always just go best player available.

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