BUMP AND STACY

Seattle Seahawks draft picks Bump & Stacy are most excited about

May 4, 2023, 2:25 PM

Seattle Seahawks draft Cameron Young...

Cameron Young of Mississippi State reacts during a game against Ole Miss on Nov. 24, 2022. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books and the Seattle Seahawks came away with 10 new players, with five on each side of the ball.

So who are Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost most excited about from this Seattle Seahawks draft class? They shared their picks during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.

Bump: DT Cameron Young

Bumpus, a former NFL receiver, went not with the team’s first-round receiver, but with a big boy on the defensive line.

“I’m going with Cameron Young out of Mississippi State, because he has a big responsibility,” Bumpus said. “… They’re not just going to put them out there and say, ‘Alright, Cam, save the day. We’re relying on you to stop this run, to change this run defense.’ But they’re going to say, ‘Look, you’re gonna get every opportunity to be the guy that we think you are.'”

The Seattle Seahawks were among the worst teams in the NFL in terms of run defense in 2022, so strengthening the defensive line was a must in the draft. And while Seattle didn’t draft an interior D-lineman until Young in the fourth round, Bumpus noted that head coach Pete Carroll told the show on Monday that they were “sweating it out” with hoping Young would be available in the fourth round.

“Because he realized one, there’s a need at D-tackle, and that this was the guy for them. They felt comfortable taking him later in the draft picking guys in front of him,” Bumpus said.

Young’s college numbers don’t jump off the page as he had 37 tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss in 2022, but filling up the box score isn’t what his role will be, Bumpus said.

“You’re not paying him for sacks and you’re not necessarily paying him for TFLs. You’re paying him to keep the guys behind him clean – I’m talking about (linebackers) Bobby Wagner and Devin Bush,” Bumpus said. “Take on these double- teams, disrupt the pocket, make the quarterback move, allow Uchenna (Nwosu) and (Darrell Taylor) and Boye Mafe and Derick Hall to all eat (on the edge). So I’m looking at Cam and I’m saying alright man, big fella, lean on these double-teams, stalemate the offensive line do the dirty work and he could play a big part.”

Stacy: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Seahawks had two first-round picks in this year’s draft, and they used both on the passing game.

With the fifth pick, they went with Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon. At 20, it was Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who Rost is very excited to see join this Seahawks offense.

“I think Jaxon is one of the more talented receivers and more like ‘sure-thing’ type of receivers they’ve drafted,” she said. “I am very curious to see how he fits into the offense specifically because this team has really struggled on third-down conversions, and I think that Jaxon can potentially help address that problem.”

The Seahawks finished 20th in the NFL in third-down conversion rate at just over 38% in 2022, and that’s been an issue for them over the last few seasons.

“And guess what Pete Carroll says after every single loss? Nine times out of 10 (he’s asked), ‘Hey Pete, What happened?’ (And he responds), ‘Yeah, we just got behind sticks, we just weren’t moving the sticks, we got into some third-and-long situations,'” Rost said. “I guarantee you he looks at those football fundamentals and third-down conversions are something that he knows this team needs to get better with, so I wonder if both Jaxon and Zach Charbonnet are part of that plan.”

Both: RB Zach Charbonnet

Speaking of UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, both Bumpus and Rost are interested in what the second-round pick brings to the offense.

“Charbonnet is gonna help you on third down because it’s going to help you on first down as well,” Bumpus said. “He’s gonna have the opportunity to set the tone on first down. Now Ken Walker is gonna be your your back. He’s gonna get the bulk of the carries. But if you are involved in a physical type of game and you want to pack it in and get three tight ends or maybe two running backs (on the field) at a time or whatnot, Charbonnet is going to be that powerful type of back.”

Added Rost, “Did you also catch Pete Carroll hinting that Zach Charbonnet, who is great as a pass catcher, he said something like, ‘We’re going to see how far we can push that?’ I wonder if that’s also part of it is being like we got a really, really versatile back to where we can use him in a couple of different ways than we could like just a pure downhill runner.”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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