Rookies who could have biggest impact on Seahawks’ success in 2023

May 16, 2023, 10:21 AM

Seattle Seahawks draft Olu Oluwatimi...

Michigan center lineman Olusegun Oluwatimi on Nov. 5, 2022. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Following a sunny Seahawks rookie camp on the shores of Lake Washington, we found ourselves answering a simple question on Bump and Stacy: Which of the Seattle Seahawks’ 10 drafted rookies could have the biggest impact on the team’s success in 2023?

Bumpus: One Seattle Seahawks coach stood out at rookie minicamp

We’re not talking about who you want to see take off. The hope, for instance, is that cornerback Devon Witherspoon — the highest draft pick ever under John Schneider and Pete Carroll – becomes a stalwart in the secondary. Missing on a high pick hurts more than missing on a Day 3 selection. So yes, everyone hopes Witherspoon is impactful.

This question instead is about where the impact can be.

That half of the question led to two different answers on Bump and Stacy this week, and neither was a first-rounder.

Stacy: DT Cameron Young

Over the past two weeks, Bump and I have spoken to both Carroll and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt. Both had glowing reviews of Young, a fourth-round defensive tackle out of Mississippi State.

The Seahawks have high round picks and high-end contracts invested elsewhere on the roster. And while the question concerns only rookies, there are also rookies who will be watched a little more closely, like Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

But neither of those two play nose tackle, a position this team desperately needs with Al Woods gone and Bryan Mone coming back from an ACL injury. If Young is promising enough, the Seahawks will be looking at him for meaningful reps early – and with so little depth already on the defensive line, they may need those reps anyway. All the better if he ends up being this year’s hidden gem. You’d also love to see this team hit on a defensive lineman.

Bump: C Olu Oluwatimi

It might be a surprise that both answers are Day 3 picks, but is it any surprise they’re both in the trenches?

Strength on both lines is part of what’s kept the 49ers so competitive for years and what led the Eagles to the Super Bowl last season. The Seahawks are better on the offensive side of things right now, having found two stellar rookie tackles last season. Former third-round pick Damien Lewis can play either guard spot and free agent addition Evan Brown is the likely starter this fall. But center has been a revolving door for this team since Max Unger. There’s real intrigue with the potential of finding a long term answer there, especially one who can grow with both Abe Lucas and Charles Cross.

Why Carroll seemed to praise one Seattle Seahawks rookie the most

Bump & Stacy Show

Stacy Rost

Chicago White Sox Luis Robert Seattle Mariners 2024...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Six bats that are potential trade fits for Mariners’ lineup

Stacy Rost takes a look at six potential hitters who would be ideal fits for the Seattle Mariners to target at the trade deadline.

4 days ago

Seattle Mariners Scott Servais Julio Rodríguez...

Stacy Rost

Rost: The two things about first-place Mariners’ season that are baffling

Seattle Sports' Stacy Rost digs into the two most prevalent answers Seattle Mariners fans had to a question about what's most confusing about this season.

16 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Seahawks’ change to defensive spending reflects new philosophy

Why insight from a Seattle Seahawks assistant highlights how a change in investment on the defensive side of the ball could pay off.

18 days ago

Seattle Mariners trade target Vladimir Guerrero Jr....

Stacy Rost

What will make an uncomfortable Seattle Mariners trade worth it?

The Seattle Mariners are expected to be a major player at the MLB trade deadline. Stacy Rost dives into the possibilities and two trade truths.

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford...

Stacy Rost

How could first-place Mariners address their need for offense?

Stacy Rost of Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy details the silver linings for the first-place Mariners, but also their need to get more offense.

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners Luke Raley...

Stacy Rost

Rost on Mariners: What we’ve learned a quarter through the season

Just over a quarter of the way into 2024, the Seattle Mariners are 24-20. What have we learned? Stacy Rost breaks down a few things.

2 months ago

Rookies who could have biggest impact on Seahawks’ success in 2023