Friday thoughts on the 2024 draft (and the O-line depth)

Troy Fautanu plays a lot like Alijah Vera-Tucker

This isn’t looking like a good 2024 draft

My horizontal board is taking shape with the players I needed to scout. The one position I’ve not spent any serious time on is cornerback but that feels like the position of least need for Seattle. I won’t publish it for a few weeks yet. There seems little point, with plenty of football still to be played and adjustments are inevitable.

I don’t think it’s a very good draft. It’ll be one of the worst I’ve covered. There’s a dearth of top-end talent. The Senior Bowl and combine can change things but as I keep noting, it’s hard to find first round players. It doesn’t help that the pass rush group is seriously underwhelming. There’s depth at some positions as I’ll touch on here. But even then, there are issues.

For example, take the much vaunted QB class. Caleb Williams has lost his last two games. Drake Maye just lost to a one-win Virginia team at home. Michael Penix Jr’s stock took a reality check when, for the first serious time this year when he faced pressure, his performance was really ugly against Arizona. Riley Leonard is trying to play through a high-ankle sprain and Quinn Ewers might be out for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. Tyler Van Dyke missed Miami’s last game through injury while South Carolina’s rancid O-line is giving up more sacks than any other team in college football, making Spencer Rattler’s life miserable.

I feel for the people having to do mock drafts (to an extent). An October projection should really be about highlighting players with the potential to go in round one. You’re not actually ‘guessing’ what will happen. Yet there are so few players deserving of going early, it’s a challenge to even come up with 32 names. I keep seeing players touted as early picks who have no business receiving the hype they’re getting.

I read a report this week suggesting the Panthers have no interest in trading Brian Burns. I understand why. Carolina might have a lack of picks next year but giving a proven player away for picks in the next draft would be beyond stupid. While I’m sure they’d love an opportunity to add Marvin Harrison Jr or Brock Bowers to their offense with their native pick, having a selection in the 20’s (or 30’s) for trading away Burns makes no sense with this class.

What does this all mean for the Seahawks? It’s early. The gauntlet of games on the horizon will reveal how good this team is and where they need to improve.

However, I would suggest a couple of things.

Personally, I think it’s time for the Seahawks to invest in a quarterback. Not a token gesture ‘Alex McGough’ pick either.

The poor overall quality of this draft means they should consider being aggressive to acquire a QB if John Schneider sees a long-term solution within the class. Even if that isn’t viable, there are enough quarterbacks available next year for the Seahawks to identify one they like, draft them and if nothing else — take a chance on developing someone. They’ve successfully acquired talent across the roster in the last two years. They’ve positioned themselves to invest in a young QB — not necessarily to start right away but with an eye to the future.

The defensive tackles in this class are, for me, more day-two and beyond types. It’s a tiny tight end class, albeit with a trio of intriguing early round options. If the Seahawks aren’t going to go quarterback early, which may well be the case, then I think it’s looking increasingly viable they look to the trenches on offense.

O-line could be a strength in the 2024 draft

Is it a brilliant O-line class? We’re not talking about three surefire top-10 talents. We’re not talking about endless depth. Right now though, I’ve got more names in my ‘fringe first’ and ‘second round’ area for the O-line than any other position group.

Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton tops the list for me. Athletic, big, powerful. I think he’s the Darnell Wright of the next draft. Olumuyiwa Fashanu has a lot of physical potential to play left tackle but I think Guyton is a ready-made beast.

Amarius Mims has missed time with injury and the ‘will-he-won’t-he’ transfer stuff at the end of last season — especially when he’s at Georgia — makes you wonder. Nevertheless, he is a crazy physical specimen — enormous size, length, minimal body-fat. You just don’t see many human’s who look like Mims. On appearance alone he screams top-15 pick.

I think Wisconsin left tackle Jack Nelson is seriously underrated and could probably play any tackle or guard position very well. Like Guyton and Mims, JC Latham is another very athletic, huge right tackle prospect. Kingsley Suamataia is an insane athlete who will win the combine. Joe Alt’s a bit overrated for me but could be a Mike McGlinchey-type prospect for someone if he switches over to the right side. Patrick Paul is inconsistent but has remarkable length and size and moves well for his frame.

I have all of those players — all tackles — graded in the first two rounds. None are sure-fire polished, ‘come in and be Andrew Thomas’ players. Yet they all have the potential to be very competent starters at the next level.

Pete Carroll is being really vague about Abraham Lucas’ injury situation. The tone he uses to discuss Lucas is troubling. It feels a little bit like we’re just waiting for the day they announce he’s out for the year. I’m sure we all hope it isn’t anything longer term than that given how much of a home-run that pick was a year ago. Even so, some of the names above can play guard or tackle. It wouldn’t be the worst idea, if they choose to go O-line early, to have depth, versatility and insurance.

There are also very attractive interior O-line options. These are not positions the Seahawks have typically drafted early in recent years. They’ve relied on middle-rounders. That said, Troy Fautanu looks a lot like Alijah Vera-Tucker to me. Both played left tackle with frames better suited to inside. Vera-Tucker was a top-15 pick and I wouldn’t bet against Fautanu matching that status. He has been excellent for Washington this year and looks the part of a good tackle or an excellent guard.

Cooper Beebe has been a rock for Kansas State for back-to-back years and looks like a plug-and-play guard. Jordan Morgan and Brandon Coleman, like Fautanu, appear better suited to kicking inside. All three players could provide the same versatility and ability to play multiple positions.

Graham Turner might be the best offensive lineman in the draft next year but the Duke left tackle has just over 32-inch arms. A switch to center is being projected although he’s good enough to play guard too. I think he’s an excellent player. The Seahawks have already invested in the center position with Olu Oluwatimi but Turner — along with Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran and LSU’s Charles Turner — could easily be drafted in the top-50.

This might be where the true depth is in the 2024 draft, especially if the often-discussed quarterback class continues to step on rakes and/or get injured. Teams are always looking for good offensive linemen so don’t be surprised if the first frame is filled with O-liners, making up for the lack of options at other positions.

Quick note on the defensive tackles

I now have only four defensive tackles graded in the first two rounds. Jer’Zhan Newton (who is more of a 3-4 defensive end), McKinley Jackson, Howard Cross and T’Vondre Sweat. I have my doubts about Cross in this range (he’s undersized so has to test well) and Sweat will need to be in good shape for the combine and convince teams he didn’t just switch the light on in his final year at Texas.

There are good athletes eligible for the draft — namely Kris Jenkins and Leonard Taylor. I only have them graded in rounds three and four respectively. I also have Maason Smith currently in round four.

There are a lot of good DT’s set to reach free agency next year. Some might be available via tag-and-trade scenarios. If the Seahawks can create cap space — or want to be aggressive — they might be better off looking to the veteran market.

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  1. cha

    especially if the often-discussed quarterback class continues to step on rakes


    • Rob Staton


      • Peter

        Not to worry. Heard the 2025 QB class is waaaaay better than this year.🙃

        • Rob Staton

          Can’t wait for that to be trotted out soon #everyyear

          • LouCityHawk

            In fairness

            2022< 2023 < 2024

    • Palatypus

      That Stephon Rakes is a helluva prospect.

      • Odium

        Sounds like a baseball prospect

  2. ShowMeYourHawk

    “I don’t think it’s a very good draft. It’ll be one of the worst I’ve covered.“

    Rob, keeping your stated view in mind, can you posit why JS was trying to retain and/or gain additional picks for this coming draft? Is it a matter of anticipating way too far ahead of the 2023 college season? We know the Hawks typically find value in later rounds but what’s the value of selecting (hopefully) later in the first few rounds, when the “earlier round” talent isn’t there?

    • Rob Staton

      The two things I can think of:

      1. He really likes at least one QB in this draft and wants ammunition

      2. He’s had a lot of draft picks the last two years and just wants to keep that going because the team has had success

    • cha

      Some of it is just opportunity and the draft falling their way.

      When the Broncos call and offer their future 3rd just to move from the mid-3rd to the high-4th, and guys you had rated in the 3rd are falling, you don’t say no to that.

  3. Blitzy the Clown

    Not a great LB class it seems either.

    Any opinion of Tommy Eichenberg?

    • Rob Staton

      Just don’t see anything special there

  4. Chavac

    Any spoilers on how many QBs you think will wind up with 1st/2nd round grades?

    • Palatypus

      Whoever balls out at the Senior Bowl.

    • Rob Staton

      On my board I have six but there’s plenty of football still to play

  5. Palatypus

    By the way, we are now at 99 days until the Senior Bowl. Tickets are on sale and the price went back down to $55 for premium seats.

  6. Blitzy the Clown

    These jerseys are raw

    • Rob Staton

      They’re great

  7. Blitzy the Clown

    Sounds like we’ll be pretty healthy vs the Browns

  8. samprassultanofswat

    With both Bobby Wagner and Jordan Brooks free agents that Hawks might look for a Linebacker in this draft.

    I don’t think both Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs will be back next year. The Hawks might also look for a safety.

    • Rob Staton

      With both Bobby Wagner and Jordan Brooks free agents that Hawks might look for a Linebacker in this draft.

      Good luck to them if they’re planning that

      I suspect Wagner will be very willing to do a deal and Brooks is playing well enough to come back too — he won’t be getting big money anywhere

      • geoff u

        I worry we’ll give them big money despite little interest elsewhere

    • Big Mike

      Hope you’re right about Adams and Diggs but considering their contracts I don’t see it.

    • cha

      I pondered when the Seahawks signed Devin Bush if they were giving him a one year tryout for a longer contract.

      If that’s the case it’s not going all that well. He’s been a healthy scratch the last two weeks in favor of Rhattigan and the guy they picked up from LV.

  9. Big Mike

    Thanks for this Rob. Considering how thin it appears the draft will be at the top and the fact that there’s a pretty fair amount of needy teams, it sure looks like John is going to have to move up for a QB if he intends to draft one.

  10. cha

    • Seattle’s one final team I’ve had my eye on. They were open to dealing Darrell Taylor before Uchenna Nwosu was hurt, and have also been sniffing around on adding some depth on the edge. So I’d expect that the Seahawks will be active on the phone over the next four days.

    • Anthony

      Same song and dance every year. Seattle mentioned as a team making a splash and it never happens. Then PC and/or JS are asked about it and they throw in the “We really like our guys, we are in on every deal and it’s something we pride ourselves on.” Lather rinse repeat

      • Peter

        I’ll take that over Harvin, graham, richardson, clowney, and JA.

        • Big Mike

          I just cried Peter. And you’re right.

          • Peter

            Just stay the course. With maybe being a little bolder during FA.

            • Peter

              Broadly…draft capital should be used for the draft unless you’re getting marshawn or diggs.

              Sure it’d be nice get maybe another dtackle now for a fifth but a lot of the brian burns and similar talk has had me shaking my head. Danielle hunter for a 2nd rounder….no thanks

        • Anthony

          Those players were acquired in the offseason or just prior to the start of the regular season. They did acquire Marshawn, Diggs and Duane Brown during the season after all. But I don’t think they’ve made a move during the deadline aside from the trade for Diggs

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting. Taylor just isn’t a fit any more so no surprise there. Assume they want to add another 3-4 OLB type. Might mean there’s something in the Uche possibility.

  11. LouCityHawk

    So my pipe dream of coming out of the 2023 draft with the QBotF, McKinney and Sweat may have been asking a little too much.

    Maybe a realistic draft might be

    1. Riley Leonard
    2. Michael Hall
    3. Erick All
    3. Justin Eboigbe

    • Justaguy

      Michael Hall Jr will not get drafted by the Seahawks.

      • Peter

        I don’t know enough about him. Too short? Short arms? Why do you think that? Legit wondering.

        • Justaguy

          not a defensive tackle they draft in every way

  12. Hunter

    With this draft being incredibly weak, would you be more inclined to trade a higher pick this year for an established player? IE chase young, Brian burns type.

    • Justaguy

      If they do then they are passing on a quarterback in the first round. Maybe you are okay with that

    • BK26

      For what reason? They HAVE to draft a quarterback.

    • Rob Staton


      Next off-season for the right player? Maybe. But not now

      • Peter

        If they could get young or other on a rental with that extra third. Ehh. It’s never worked meaningfully but I wouldn’t care. And hope this time it would be different come contract time.

        But agreed. This is not the year to move anything higher than an extra third on a player. If the offense had been sailing like a lot of us thought it might that’d be one thing.

  13. RomeoA57

    The Seahawks need QB, LB, S, TE, IOL, and DT in the 2024 draft. I am somewhat discouraged reading SDB’s weekly prospect reports that they are going to fill all of those needs. Cheaper alternatives at all of those positions would be immensely helpful for roster building.

    • Peter

      I’m curious on your thoughts about interior oline.

      I don’t rate Haynes. I understand from other sites in his very small sample size he’s apparently been good..?…don’t know, don’t care. He’s always injured.

      Are you thinking they look for a starting left guard to replace Lewis? I do understand there’s a big savings between four million a year ( around what I think he’d get) and 4th round pick money.

      If I was looking to save money next year I’d start at bellore and end by extending dissly. I’m not a Dissly fan and I’m pretty over paying guys for “leadership” at every single level of the team, but the team loves him so just keep him until he’s a coach I suppose. I’m a big believer in offensive line continuity being as great an impact on your oline as talent. Thus pro, keeping Lewis.

      As per safety. On the one hand absolutely. On the other it just feels terrible that if they pick a safety that is hopefully good to great as high as the second round we’ll be crossing the 60 million on safeties threshold. Could you imagine if the BPA at pick 20-22 is safety?

      • Romeo A57

        I doubt they spend any draft capital on Safety. I expect the Seahawks to roll with their current very expensive players. I would like them to be able to cut at least one their expensive Safties and replace with Rookie.

        You are obviously correct that the Seahawks are not breaking the bank on their Offensive Line. Looking at the injuries they have been dealing with, especially Lucas, they need to add more young depth there.

        Their Tight Ends seem to be basically interchangeable and make plays when called upon. None of them seem to make a.big enough of a difference to justify a large free agent contract.

        Bellore- I do not understand what value he brings to this roster?

      • UkAlex6674

        Bellore is the easy target. At least get creative.

  14. Jabroni-DC

    While acknowledging the fashion show competition with the Oregon Duck farts, I request that the Huskies refrain from ever playing in the ‘all Purple’ uniforms ever again. Purple helmets bring back bad memories.

  15. Jabroni-DC

    Question for anyone who has purchased a Seahawks retro jersey this year. Sizing wise, do they fit the same as your tee shirt size?

    • Katal

      I can’t speak to t-shirt sizes, but I found that my throwback (Alexander) was a little tighter than normal, whereas my JSN retro jersey fits in the same manner a regular blue or white modern jersey fits.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Hey Rob do you still have an NFL Shop affiliate code?

      • Palatypus

        Apparently, you do not have Top Secret: Maverick level clearance for that information.

      • Rob Staton

        I do not

  16. Katal

    Presuming the Seahawks opt to say goodbye to Geno & draft a rookie, do you think they offer a pay raise to Lock to play the Matt Flynn role? I wonder what would be fair compensation in that case.

    • Peter

      A pay raise?

      Tyrod taylor is getting paid a bit more and is playing games.

      Pj Walker is getting a good deal less and he’s playing games.

      I assume Dobbs is in a similar position.

      I like Lock just fine but the team doesn’t have buckets of money and if they keep him I think another 4 million and incentives should be just fine for a guy who has been standing around for two years.

    • cha

      They would have to do something like that. Pinning all your hopes on a rookie would be foolish.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      In that instance, retaining Lock at a reasonable amount is obviously preferable to losing both and needing to bring in an outside vet or starting a rookie before he may be ready. That said, if Lock gets a proper opportunity to make more (or, somehow, even compete to start) elsewhere, there are seasoned vets available. I suppose it becomes a matter of which of them can provide enough to keep your team in games WHILE being open to mentoring his obvious replacement.

      Tyrod Taylor?
      Jacoby Brissett?
      Gardner Minshew?
      Josh Dobbs?

      Not very promising but I can’t imagine Lock being offered more on the open market than most of them.

      • Big Mike

        As a Coug fan it’d be fun to see Minshew in Seattle but I’d be shocked if they signed him. He seems much too much of the gambler type for Pete’s taste. Tyrod otoh……

    • Palatypus

      There will never be another Matt Flynn.

  17. Palatypus

    ESPN just asked me to pay $109.00 to watch Bucknell stick it to Colgate.

    I’m sorry, but Eugene Robinson’s hooker didn’t ask for that much.

    • Cambs

      A throwback reference for throwback weekend. We’re on “Vinny Testaverde’s helmet” watch next.

  18. ShowMeYourHawk

    Texas A&M vs South Carolina today? Well, I know which game Rob is making a priority to view. 😂

    Obviously, the combine is the ultimate audition that can make or break draft stock but one has to wonder just how far Rattler could fall due to his team (and OL protection) being the hottest of messes.

    • Palatypus

      The hottest of messes will always be Debra Messing.

  19. JimQ

    LB-Payton Wilson, N.C. State has very nice stats for the season so far and just had a pick-6 in the first quarter of the Clemson game. I did a bit of research, and he seems to be ranked as a Rd-7 prospect. Might be a good one to monitor considering the need at LB.

    • MarkinSeattle

      I really like Wilson. He is a former top 60 recruit, good size at 6’4” 238 lbs, great athlete with a 40 that is supposed to be in the high 4.4’s which checks a box for PC and JS. Heart of the team as the team captain. I think he is going to be a good candidate for the Seahawks and will be a good NFL LB.

  20. Palatypus

    Riley Leonard not lookimg good against Louisville.

    Michael Pratt looking really good against JT Daniels and Rice.

    • Rob Staton

      Riley Leonard shouldn’t be playing

      He has a high ankle sprain

      Ridiculous from Duke

      • Palatypus

        And their two top offensive linemen are out.

  21. Jabroni-DC

    Tulane QB Michael Pratt might be another name to monitor at the position. Anyone familiar?

    • Palatypus

      I would bet Pratt will be at the Senior Bowl. Especially after Tulane RB Tyjae Spears was named the best player last year.

      Damn he looked the practices.

      • Palatypus

        And it’s only a 144-mile drive from New Orleans to Mobile.

  22. Anthony

    I’ve seen so many people today saying Caleb Williams is the fourth best QB in this class because USC is struggling so bad. They list Maye as the surefire #1 pick and put Penix and Bo Nix above Caleb Williams. Are we in peak college football season now?

    • Rob Staton

      Peak talking bollocks season

  23. Rob Staton

    South Carolina:

    — Gave up four more sacks today

    — Also gave up 10 TFL’s

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Rattler made the 2nd half mildly interesting

    • BK26

      Hopefully the tape is so bad for the team that no one else watches it 🤞🤞

  24. Palatypus

    Huskies look asleep again.

    • Rob Staton

      Penix has been awful the last two games

    • Big Mike

      Not even close to a playoff team

      • Palatypus

        I don’t want them in the playoffs. I want a bowl game with Florida State so we can slap them around. They are completely overrated.

  25. Big Mike

    Hey Rob, a question about a favorite college WR of mine. Is Lincoln Victor going to get drafted and if so what grade do you have on him?
    He’s from a high school in the city I live in, the “other” Vancouver (Washington).

    • Rob Staton

      Will study him properly soon so I can answer

      • Big Mike

        Thanks man

  26. ShowMeYourHawk

    The more I see of Penix, the more I’m out on drafting him. Health history, body type and age aside, the way he twists his entire body to gain velocity on his throws doesn’t seem like a sustainable quality at the next level. He’s going to be pressured way more often than UW allows and this full body throw is going to make him more susceptible to taking sacks, IMO. Not to mention that many of his deep throws are merely “vicinity” throws that rely on his receivers to recover from their routes to where the ball ends up.

    • Big Mike

      Just threw a critical interception after a wide receiver had a critical fumble on the possession before that when they had a chance to put the game away. I believe there about to lose this game. The defense on this team is not good. What a joke

      • Big Mike

        Well they are going to survive but what an absolutely unimpressive victory for the 2nd week in a row.

    • Rob Staton

      A fair review

  27. Thomas

    Washington survives.

    Everyone else is fragile too. I don’t think there’s much separation between teams 3-9 (sorry Oklahoma). 1-3 are also fragile but Washington does not have the depth.

    But they can still make it. Good coach. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.

    Also… no on Penix for the Hawks for now. But don’t pay Geno.

  28. Palatypus

    College Football final just said that Riley Leonard was under pressure on 47% of his snaps.

  29. neil

    For two and a half qtrs it was pretty ugly, but a win is a win. What ticked me off was the short yardage play calling. First two drives of the third qtr the Hawks had 3rd and 1 and 3rd and 2 on the second drive, both times they chose to put Geno in shotgun and signal pass to the good Browns pass rush, both times they failed to convert. I thought we drafted Charbonet to be the new ” beast mode ” and short yardage guy. The Browns didn’t have any quams about running on third down. We lost time of possession big time.

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