Huard: Why 2 top Seahawks rookies have the biggest learning curve

May 16, 2023, 4:07 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon...

Devon Witherspoon of the Illinois Fighting Illini attempts to interception a pass on Sept. 10, 2022. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Rookie minicamp is in the books for the Seattle Seahawks, and the next step is an important one for the team’s draft class with OTAs beginning next week.

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“Now it ramps up,” former NFL quarterback Brock Huard said during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. “Now the vets come in. Who’s got the biggest learning curve of technique, scheme, all of it? I think there’s two. I think it’s Derick Hall one, and I think it’s Devon Witherspoon, two.”

Hall and Witherspoon were two of the Seahawks’ top picks in this year’s draft, with Witherspoon, a cornerback, going fifth overall and Hall, an edge rusher, going early in the second round.

So why does Huard think someone drafted as early as Witherspoon faces such an uphill battle when it comes to the NFL learning curve?

“With Witherspoon, mostly because of the technique that (head coach Pete Carroll) wants taught (to his cornerbacks) with the whole kick-step and everything you’ve got to do within that and you’ve got to stay on top,” Huard said. “And (Witherspoon is) well-versed. He’s played a lot of man, and if you can play man, you can typically learn some of the other things. But there is zone to learn, there are tendencies to learn, there is technique to learn, there is – as we talked about last week – playing big receivers in this league, there’s gonna be a lot to learn. You’re not going to get away with stuff that you got away with with guys of your size or smaller (in college).”

As for Hall, Huard thinks the Auburn product has “got to grow a lot” when it comes to his pass-rush.

“Very talented guy, very strong. Not the twitchiest – fast – but he’s got to build on his pass rush,” Huard said. “And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the the pass-rush coach that they brought in as well (BT Jordan) will allow Clint Hurtt to do what Clint Hurtt needs to do with his background on the D-line … You need a technician. You need a technician for Darrell Taylor still, you need a technician if you’re going to draft somebody as high as they take Derick Hall. And this scheme does demand and ask (a lot) on the edge. Just ask Darrell Taylor last year what that was like trying to leverage and play that edge and set that edge and do some of those things in the run game and not just be a one-trick pony.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player below.

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