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.

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

“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.

Bumpus: One Seattle Seahawks coach stood out at rookie minicamp

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald rookie minicamp 2024 Getty 900...

Cameron Van Til

Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett: How Carroll and Macdonald differ

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett shared how Pete Carroll and Mike Macdonald differ in their coaching styles. Brock Huard gives his reaction.

6 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Mitch Garver A's 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Has catching helped Mariners’ Mitch Garver hit? Pierzynski’s take

Is Seattle Mariners DH Mitch Garver benefitting from a return to catching? Former MLB catcher A.J. Pierzynski shares his perspective.

7 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb Geno Smith OTAs 2024...

Cameron Van Til

NFL Network’s Baldinger: Why Seahawks’ new offense can have ‘great success’

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger explains why the Seattle Seahawks can excel in new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb's scheme.

10 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rojas 2024 White Sox...

Cameron Van Til

Could Mariners win World Series with current roster?

Could the Seattle Mariners win it all with their current roster? ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan gives his take.

13 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Luis Castillo Braves 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Why Seattle Mariners should be eyeing a top-two seed in the AL

Brock Huard and Mike Lefko break down why a top-two seed in the American League would be particularly valuable for the Seattle Mariners.

1 day ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Jeff Passan calls T-Mobile Park a “horror show” for other teams

Why did Jeff Passan call T-Mobile Park a “horror show” for other teams? Does it mean they will have a home field advantage if they can make the playoffs? He joined Brock Huard and Mike Lefko to talk about that and much more surround this Seattle Mariners team. Are they a serious contender to win […]

1 day ago

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