SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Which OLB is Seattle Seahawks’ long-term future opposite Nwosu?

Jul 2, 2023, 10:06 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

Seattle Seahawks Uchenna Nwosu...

Seattle Seahawks LBs Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor react after a fumble recovery. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks found an answer at one outside linebacker spot in 2022 with the addition of Uchenna Nwosu.

Who Brock Huard wants to be the 2023 Seahawks’ breakout veteran

A signing in free agency from the Los Angeles Chargers, Nwosu was a bright spot in his first season in Seattle’s defense, registering a career-high 9.5 sacks that tied for the team lead.

While Nwosu seems like a certain starter for the Hawks in 2023 and a likely candidate for a contract extension (he’s set to be a free agent again after this season), what’s less certain is who of Seattle’s three other young outside linebackers will be a long-term solution at the position.

On the one hand, Darrell Taylor tied with Nwosu for Seahawks’ sack lead last season. But as the first of a trio of edge rushers that Seattle has picked in the second round in each of the last three NFL Drafts, he has serious competition for playing time. After Taylor was selected No. 48 overall out of Tennessee in 2020, Seattle grabbed Boye Mafe out of Minnesota at No. 40 in 2021, then picked Auburn’s Derick Hall at 37th overall this April.

Which of those three players has the brightest future with the Seahawks? Michael Bumpus of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy shared his take when he filled in for the Blue 88 segment on a recent edition of Brock and Salk.

“Man, I really hope Derick Hall is the long-term starter, and the reason why I think he’s a long-term starter is because I think that he has a couple years to develop,” Bumpus replied to host Mike Salk. “I think that DT is still gonna hold it down, I think Boye Mafe is gonna be your nice changeup guy coming off the bench. But if you give Derick Hall a year or two to grow and then eventually you extend him, that means that it’s paying off.”

Bumpus detailed what makes Hall stand out to him more than the other outside linebacker who preceded him as Seahawks second-rounders.

“You look at just the attributes, the athletic ability – all these guys are athletes, all bring something different to the table – but I think you and I have a little man crush on Derick Hall,” Bumpus said to Salk. “Just the way he looks, his story, the way he communicates. He’s just a guy that you want here for the long-term. You look at all the things that he can do physically, he’s not forced to be the guy right now. You can bring him along slowly. I think he’s gonna be great.”

The fact that the 22-year-old Hall is two years younger than Mafe (24) and nearly four years younger than Taylor (26) has a lot to do with Bumpus’ choice.

“Because he’s younger, too, you want the youngest guy to be here the longest – that means that longevity is kicking in,” Bumpus said. “But we look at all three, all three can play. I hope that all three are here for a long time – that means you’ve drafted well. But I look at Derick Hall and there’s just something different about his twitch, about his motor, about how he plays the game. I love what he brings to the table.”

Listen to the full Blue 88 with Bumpus in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

Mike Salk’s take

Salk agreed with Bumpus, explaining the aforementioned mutual “man crush” they have for Hall, but he also had perspective about how easy it is to get excited about rookies before they take a snap in an NFL game.

“I’m right there with you with the sort of man crush. I really like so much of what he brings to the table,” Salk said. “But all the descriptors you had of him are things that I feel like we said exactly a year ago about Boye Mafe. ‘Give him a couple of years to develop, unbelievably athletic, needs to learn the game a little bit more, leadership, communication, great kid to root for.’ I feel like all those things were just as true about Mafe.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Bumpus: Where Seattle Seahawks must play younger players
Bumpus: The formation the Seahawks should use on offense in ’23
Huard: Could Seahawks have done anything differently this offseason?
Bumpus: The veteran free-agent LB the Seahawks should consider
Rost: 3 goals for the Seattle Seahawks’ offense in 2023

Brock and Salk podcast

Bump & Stacy Show

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks HC Mike Macdonald...

Zac Hereth

Bump: The great decision Seahawks’ Mike Macdonald made

Former Seattle Seahawks WR Michael Bumpus explains why Mike Macdonald's decision to cancel the final day of minicamp was a good one.

19 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Zach Charbonnet Cardinals 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Seahawks RB: New OC Grubb ‘opening it up’ on offense

Seattle Seahawks second-year running back Zach Charbonnet joined Wyman and Bob to discuss new OC Ryan Grubb's offense and his rookie season.

1 day ago

Brock Huard Madden NFL 25...

Brent Stecker

Seattle Sports’ Brock Huard added as Madden NFL 25 announcer

Seattle Sports' own Brock Huard will be one of six announcers in Madden NFL 25, the latest edition of the annual football video game.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Cameron Van Til

Seahawks takeaways: What stands out after minicamp

Here are six takeaways following the Seattle Seahawks' mandatory minicamp, which marked the conclusion of their spring offseason program.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams 2023 49ers...

Cameron Van Til

Moving around: How Seahawks’ D-line is fitting into new scheme

Leonard Williams and Jarran Reed shed light on the positional versatility of the defensive line in the Seattle Seahawks' new scheme.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Riq Woolen OTAs 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Secondary shines during Seahawks’ minicamp

The defense turned Wednesday's second and final day of Seattle Seahawks minicamp into a turnover-fest with five interceptions.

4 days ago

Which OLB is Seattle Seahawks’ long-term future opposite Nwosu?