Seahawks Observations: Salk’s takeaways from rookie minicamp

May 13, 2023, 8:35 PM

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon...

Seattle Seahawks CB Devon Witherspoon at the team's rookie minicamp on May 12, 2023. (Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

(Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

Nothing means anything until the games start in September. But as of now, the Seattle Seahawks sure look to have scored a second straight draft class full of starters and major contributors.

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I attended their rookie minicamp practice on Saturday and was really impressed with what I saw. A few notes:

• Fifth-round defensive end Mike Morris is HUGE! He stands out even among the other giants on the line. He’s tall, especially next to fellow rookie Cameron Young. But listening to him talk was more instructive. He kind of reminds me of Michael Bennett the way he answers questions with a smile and has an offbeat way of thinking through answers. He also says it’s easy for him to gain or lose 20 pounds depending on what his coaches need. He sure looks quick for his size.

• Neither of the two first-round picks (Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba) participated in the 7-on-7 portions of practice, but it was fun watching Smith-Njigba run routes against token defense. Of course he was always open, but I think the quarterbacks threw it his way 90% of the time. Who can blame them! If I was trying to get noticed, I’d throw it to him every time, also!

Smith-Njigba doesn’t look too big, but super athletic and with a great football IQ.

And for all the talk about how Witherspoon is undersized, I sure didn’t see it. Sure, maybe next to Tariq Wooolen. But in context, he looked like most NFL corners. He was constantly talking, even when he wasn’t on the field.

• I must have spent half the practice watching Derick Hall. He is bigger than I would have thought – bigger than Cliff Avril and probably more comparable to Chris Clemons. He should have more than enough oomph to set the edge in the running game, though I didn’t get to see what he’ll look like rushing the passer. But he stands out for sure. And it’s a good thing, because they chose him over some defensive tackles that they liked. He’ll need to pan out to make that worthwhile.

• Of course I watched the running backs and yes, I was absolutely enthralled with Zach Charbonnet. I’m not sure how to describe him. He is taller than most running backs with a bigger upper body than you usually see. He isn’t built like Marshawn at all, but I found myself thinking about Beast Mode as I watched Charbonnet pinball around. He has an unpredictability to his movements that was a little Marshawn-esque. I see why they call him the Terminator.

• Fourth-round guard Anthony Bradford looks like a bigger Phil Haynes.

• We may never hear this name again, but Tulsa receiver Juan Carlos Santana must have caught ten passes during the team portion of practice, including a sweet grab in practice.

• Undrafted receiver Jake Bobo out of UCLA is every bit of 6 foot 4. He isn’t fast, but he has some shake off the line of scrimmage. He completely burned the corner and was wide open for a deep ball because of it.

• Running back Kenny McIntosh seems like a character. I hope he ends up with a role so we can hear more from him.

• Overall, in talking to people around the team, they might have seven rookies who could play an immediate role. And that doesn’t include late-round pick Jerrick Reed, who I’m told has really impressed the coaching staff in the first few days. There might not be room for him to play right away, but with Jamal Adams’ future somewhat murky, a role on special teams could certainly lead to more opportunities down the road. Nor does it include Olu Oluwatimi, who will be in the mix at center.

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