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NFL.com mock draft has Seahawks taking former Huskies star at No. 16

...Not the player you think it is, though!

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

We’re past the Senior Bowl and a few more weeks away from the NFL Combine, so the mock drafts are ramping up as we speak!

NFL.com’s Eric Edholm has a particularly interesting mock for the Seattle Seahawks at No. 16 overall. If I were to tell you that he’d project a former Washington Huskies offensive star to stay local and go to Seattle, you’d assume quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Maybe he’s adventurous and thinks wide receiver Rome Odunze will somehow fall to the Seahawks and they’ll bolster their receiving group even more. Wrong-o!

Here’s more on Washington Huskies left tackle Troy Fautanu.

New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald might want to upgrade his defensive personnel, but the offensive line can’t be overlooked. Fautanu was a college left tackle and could play there in the NFL, but he also has excellent potential inside, where the ‘Hawks could use the upgrade. And Seattle should be pretty familiar with the University of Washington product’s game.

Fautanu was All-Pac-12 First-Team in 2023 and the Morris Trophy winner as the best offensive lineman in the conference.

Here’s a brief scouting report on Fautanu from our SB Nation friends at Big Blue View:

Fautanu projects as a starting offensive lineman at the NFL level, though where is a lingering question.

He has the movement skills, feet, and technique to compete for a job as an offensive tackle at the next level. However, he might not have the requisite length to deal with NFL caliber edge defenders. On the flip side, he might struggle with NFL defensive tackles’ strength – at least at first.

Considering how well he played the position at the NFL level, Fautanu should at least be given the opportunity to compete at offensive tackle. However, whatever team drafts him should have a plan to move him inside if his frame proves to be an issue. He would likely be one of the most athletic guards in the NFL, and he certainly has the mentality for the interior. Teams might even consider looking at him as a convert to center, given his football IQ and overall athleticism.

Fautanu is considered undersized at tackle (6’4, 320 lbs), and the Seahawks already have Charles Cross, so the thinking here is he could be a guard. Damien Lewis is a free agent, and Fautanu has experience at left guard, so I think I understand Edholm’s reasoning, and I am not opposed to more early-round offensive line investment. I’m just not sure if Fautanu is the wisest option at No. 16.

If you want some real fun, Edholm projects quarterback J.J. McCarthy to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 19, and neither Bo Nix nor Michael Penix Jr is taken in Round 1. Pass-rushing standout Bralen Trice, another ex-Husky, goes to Arizona at No. 27. I’d personally rather have Trice than Fautanu.