Mel Kiper mocks Washington OL prospect to Seahawks in first round

The Seahawks haven’t drafted a whole lot of players from Washington, at least not during the Pete Carroll era. That may change this year, as the team has hired former Huskies offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb as their new OC. Grubb’s offense was one of the best in college football in 2023 – and while his playcalling had something to do with it there was a ton of talent on that unit. Fans should expect to see at least one or two Washington players picked when Seattle is on the clock in the 2024 NFL draft.

The highest-ranked prospect for Washington is wide receiver Rome Odunze, who is projected to be a top-10 pick and therefore will be out of Seattle’s range. Next up there’s left tackle Troy Fautanu, who makes a lot of sense to draft given his familiarity with Grubb’s offense and the Seahawks’ desperate need to upgrade every part of their offensive line.

A new mock from Mel Kiper at ESPN has Seattle selecting Fautanu at No. 16 overall and playing him at left guard, replacing soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Damien Lewis.

“OK, so guard might not be the most exciting position for a mock draft, but I can assure you that Seahawks fans should be happy with Fautanu, who could stay near where he went to college. That’s because he’s a fun offensive line prospect to watch on tape. He has excellent feet and plays hard on every snap. Fautanu started 28 games at left tackle for the Huskies, but I see his future on the interior because of his 6-foot-4 frame. With Evan Brown, Damien Lewis and Phil Haynes all free agents, Seattle will have holes to fill along the interior of its line. And Seattle ranked 28th in rushing yards per game (92.9), surely new coordinator Ryan Grubb wants to see upgrades there. Fautanu would give this offense an instant boost.”

Fautanu (6-foot-4, 295 pounds) is the team’s most logical target if they intend to stay at that No. 16 overall spot. However, we’re not crazy about using him at guard. Fautanu may be slightly undersized for a pro tackle but we feel he could succeed on the blindside at the NFL level – better than Charles Cross has thus far, anyway.

While we like Fautanu, there’s also a good case to trade down from No. 16 and recoup the second-round pick the Seahawks lost to the Giants in the Leoanrd Williams trade. It’s unlikely Fautanu will still be available later in the first round, so the target then would most likely be his teammate, Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Here’s the highlight reel for Fautanu.

Other Huskies who will be worth watching throughout draft season include Edge Bralen Trice (who they have already met with), running back Dillon Johnson, wide receivers Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk, tight ends Devin Culp and Jack Westover and right tackle Roger Rosengarten.

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Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire