Should The Seattle Seahawks Draft Offense Or Defense In The First Round Of The 2024 NFL Draft?


The 2024-25 Seattle Seahawks are in the unique position of resetting their culture post-franchise icon Pete Carroll and retooling and reloading key positions to make them competitive in arguably one of the toughest divisions in football. In recent years, John Schneider has done an excellent job setting the table for the eventual replacement of Carroll to come in and have success within arms reach. Mike Macdonald and his staff should identify key players at positions that bolster the new coach’s defensive identity, which gained him notoriety this past season in Baltimore. Meanwhile, they should target players on the offensive side of the ball who are dynamic, flexible, and interchangeable to make the transition for new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb as smooth as possible at the professional level. The 2024 draft class, more than any year in recent memory, I can see being a serious jumping-off point for the Seahawks to springboard themselves outside of simply fighting for a Wild Card Spot as the little brother in the NFC West. The fateful question is offense or defense. Will the Mike Macdonald era maintain the previous regime’s early offense selections, or will they bolster the defense for which the new coach is so well known?


To help aid the transition for the rookie head coach and rookie coordinator, John Schneider should be looking for prospects to make things as easy as possible on the field for players and coaching staff alike. Schneider’s draft picks of players like DK Metcalf, Kenneth Walker, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba have laid such a sound foundation offensively that the need to prioritize a skill position player with a pick in the middle of the first round is not essential. Personally, I like the idea of beefing up the offensive line, either interior or exterior. The team struggled multiple times throughout last season, particularly on the right side, to both pass-protect and generate a push in the run game. A couple of stand-out prospects to me are local boys Taliese Fuaga and Troy Fautanau. For posterity’s sake, I’ll refer to them as the TFs. Both TFs fit the mold as they tested off the chart at the combine and in their regular season performance. I anticipate Schneider will be able to choose between both TFs, and Fuaga seems to be the most compelling option. His unique combination of immense power and startling athleticism make investing in his talent more attractive than Fautanau’s polished plug-in and play readiness. That said, if, for some reason, Brock Bowers is sitting there at 16 … you absolutely take him. And if you’re Schneider, why wouldn’t you? You’ve continually shown your willingness to invest in first-round skill position talent, and Bowers was the most dynamic player on some historic Georgia Bulldogs teams. No harm will come from giving Geno (and his eventual replacement) as many high-level weapons as possible. The idea of Grubb implementing clever and unexpected ways to utilize Bowers’s unique open-field talents with DK Metcalf lead blocking is a very exciting idea.


Coach Mike Macdonald has made it clear that his focus will mainly be on the defensive side of the ball, and for good reason. Macdonald was the mind behind Baltimore’s remarkable defense that took the league by storm and led to what, at the time, seemed to be a regime change in the AFC. Macdonald has some excellent young players on his roster, and that should keep him scheming new ways to use them. In particular, the secondary has a new-age legion boom kind of feel to it, not at all really in play style so much as in collective talent. What the defensive personnel needs now is a swiss-army knife on the field who can complement and supplement Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon, and Coby Bryant. Cooper DeJean isn’t necessarily the highest-rated or most talented defensive back prospect, but he does possess the most versatility. He is a pest all over the field, easily able to switch between levels of play while tracking both receiver and ball. At Iowa, DeJean is capable of leading a defense through game-changing plays and a leadership role that I could see him taking up soon once he moves to the pros. If they look away from the secondary and towards the trenches, I like Laiatu Latu out of UCLA as Macdonald’s guy here. Latu possesses many savvy moves and the ability to dominate his opponent athletically. Latu can’t fly across the field like some of the most elite defensive edges, but he’s the best in the class when it comes to chess matches amongst the tackles. If it weren’t for his very real injury concerns, he might’ve been the first defensive player taken off the board in this year’s draft.

Most of the time, picking in the middle of the first round can be disappointing for some franchises. It usually means you’re stuck in a building period, and are somewhere between a rock and a hard place. While that could’ve been said about the Seahawks at the end of last regular season, I think the tenor has shifted in the building since the guard changes between Macdonald and Carroll. Optimism and precipitation fill the air in Seattle as being in the middle of the first round can land the Seahawks a special player on either side of the ball. But who should the Seahawks take? While I would understand an argument for taking Latu or one of the TFs, Cooper DeJean seems to be the missing piece in this secondary that helps ease Mike Macdonald’s first-year transition into being a head coach. A small piece of me is sad thinking about throwing out the Brock Bowers possibility. Still, the idea of watching Bryce Young trying to navigate this secondary alongside Cooper DeJean also makes me chuckle. Who am I to complain to?

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