BROCK AND SALK

‘Speed and violence’: Why Huard gives Seahawks’ draft high marks

May 1, 2023, 11:01 AM

Seattle Seahawks draft Derick Hall...

Derick Hall of the Auburn Tigers tackles KJ Jefferson of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Oct. 16, 2021. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks had an elite amount capital in the NFL Draft. And for the second year in a row, they have one of the better draft classes in the NFL, at least according to several sites and analysts.

Seattle Seahawks Draft Breakdown: A look at every 2023 NFL Draft pick

The Seahawks are regularly getting top marks for their draft haul, with NFL.com’s Chad Reuter giving them an A-minus and Pro Football Network’s Ryan Gosling giving them an A.

That’s in line with what former NFL quarterback Brock Huard thinks of Seattle’s 2023 class.

“I give them that, right in that range – A to A-minus,” he said during Monday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports, later adding, “You needed to add some impact difference making athletes, they did that at the top. And then they went to the beef in the middle.”

The Seahawks kicked off the draft with Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon at No. 5 overall. Later in the first round at No. 20, they went with a receiver in Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Seattle then made two picks on Day 2 in speedy Auburn edge rusher Derick Hall and UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet.

Day 3 was different, though, with the Seahawks loading up on big guys on both sides of the ball.

In the fourth round, the Hawks took LSU guard Anthony Bradford and Mississippi State defensive tackle Cameron Young, the latter of whom Huard thinks has similar traits to former Seattle D-tackle Ahtyba Rubin.

In Round 5, Seattle double-dipped with Michigan players, selecting defensive lineman Mike Morris and center Olusegun Oluwatimi. Morris weighed 275 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, but the Seahawks said he’s now at 295 and is expected to play 3-4 defensive end rather than out on the edge as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

The Hawks finished up the draft with New Mexico defensive back Jerrick Reed in the sixth round and Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh, who Huard called “a talented player,” in the seventh.

“All the way through, they got a lot of talent,” Huard said. “And guys are gonna come in here and challenge for starting spots right away – big roles at a minimum, starting spots at a maximum, which is a pretty good thing when you come out of the draft in that way with a playoff team still in place.”

What was Huard’s favorite part of the Seahawks’ draft class?

First, that they took one of his favorite college players in Charbonnet.

But overall?

“Speed and violence,” he said. ” … They’re tough suckers, man. They got a bunch of guys that if you cut off an arm, they’re still going to play … It’s a physical crew.”

Huard personally liking the Seahawks’ class is one thing, but why does he think everyone else seems to love it, too?

“I think it’s getting very positive reviews and very positive grades because of those impact players at the top, because they didn’t just settle and trade down,” he said. “Because they took guys at those spots and I think found some pretty good value. I don’t think your fourth-round D-tackle or center are going to come in right away and make huge splashes, but they’re not going to be overrun, and I think that was critical.”

Who is new Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Derick Hall?

The first-round picks of Witherspoon and Smith-Njigba are obviously dominating a lot of the conversation around the Seahawks, but Hall was the 37th overall pick and perhaps the biggest surprise of Seattle’s selections in this year’s draft. What should we know about him?

Huard said that in Hall’s time at Auburn there was a lot of turnover and that the program was “a mess” at times.

While Huard didn’t see Hall in person in his work covering college football for FOX Sports, but he did reach out to some people in SEC country to get insight into Seattle’s newest edge rusher.

“Everything I’m hearing is he sounds like a little less bendy Darrell Taylor, but a more productive Darrell Taylor,” Huard said.

Taylor, a second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2020, has been one of their top pass rushers over the past two seasons and tied for the team lead in sacks with 9.5 in 2022.

“So (Hall) is going to come in right away and those two SEC guys are going to go at it for playing time,” Huard said.

Listen to Huard’s full breakdown of the 2023 Seattle Seahawks draft class in the podcast below.

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‘Speed and violence’: Why Huard gives Seahawks’ draft high marks