BRANDON GUSTAFSON

Seahawks Rookie Check-In: How Seattle’s picks have done so far

Oct 6, 2023, 12:45 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2023, 4:32 pm

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon...

Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after a stop on Sept. 24, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have the weekend off from game action as they enjoy their Week 5 bye. The next time we see them will be next Sunday in Cincinnati against the Bengals.

Bumpus: Why Seattle Seahawks are using Charbonnet ‘the right way’

As was the case last year, we’ve seen plenty of rookies on the field for the Seahawks over the first four weeks.

With the Hawks on bye, let’s take a look at how their draft class has done so far this year.

CB Devon Witherspoon (1st round, No. 5 overall)

The Seattle Seahawks surprised many with the selection of cornerback Devon Witherspoon No. 5 overall.

After Witherspoon missed most of the offseason and Week 1 with a hamstring injury and defensive tackle Jalen Carter played well early for the Philadelphia Eagles, some questioned the selection of the Illinois product.

But since debuting in Week 2 in Detroit, Witherspoon has continued to get better and better.

In a Week 2 win over the Lions, Witherspoon gave up a long touchdown, but also had two key fourth-down stops.

Witherspoon was all over the place in Week 3, leading the Seahawks in tackles against the Carolina Panthers.

And on Monday, Witherspoon had two sacks and his first interception against the New York Giants. That interception was also returned for a touchdown. The rookie was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his play.

All in all, Witherspoon has 23 tackles, two sacks, three QB hits, one interception and four pass breakups in three games.

Talk about a good first impression.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (1st round, 20th overall)

While Witherspoon was on the sidelines for most of the offseason, receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba was one of the stars of Seattle’s practices.

The All-American receiver quickly emerged as a standout in training camp for his play, and it looked like the Seahawks had finally found a top-end No. 3 receiving option behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

Through four games, at least, Smith-Njigba is still trying to get going.

“JSN” has 12 catches for 62 yards and two first downs this year. He’s been on the field for 52% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps.

It should be noted, though, that the Seahawks are using their tight ends a lot with both their starting tackles having been sidelined since Week 1. They’ve also found a lot of success on the ground. Smith-Njigba also had a wrist surgery shortly before the season began.

EDGE Derick Hall (2nd round, 37th overall)

With the first of two second-round picks, the Seahawks added to their pass rush with Auburn edge rusher Derick Hall. It was the second year in a row Seattle added a pass-rusher in the second round.

Hall is still playing less than fellow edge rushers Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor and Boye Mafe, but he’s done well in limited opportunities.

Hall has a pass breakup and four QB hits while playing 35% of the Seahawks’ defensive snaps.

RB Zach Charbonnet (2nd round, 52nd overall)

The Seahawks didn’t just repeat in the second round by tacking an edge rusher. They did the same at running back.

After drafting Kenneth Walker III with the second of two 2022 second-round picks, the Hawks added UCLA back Zach Charbonnet with their second second-round pick this year.

Charbonnet is playing second fiddle to Walker, who was a 1,000-yard rusher last year and is tied for third in the NFL in rushing scores, but he’s making his presence known. Really, he’s making it felt.

Charbonnet has had a few highlight plays for his physical running style, such as this big hit he delivered in Week 3.

Overall, Charbonnet has 21 carries for 104 yards and four catches for 22 yards. He’s appeared in 30% of Seattle’s offensive snaps, and he’s seen his usage and production trend up week to week.

G Anthony Bradford (4th round, 108th overall)

The Seahawks added to the trenches on Day 3 of the draft, starting with big LSU guard Anthony Bradfrord.

With Damien Lewis and Phil Haynes back, Bradford’s path to playing time wasn’t super clear.

But Haynes has been banged up, missing Week 3 and most of Week 4 with a calf injury. That’s led to Bradford playing quite a bit for Seattle.

So far, Bradford has appeared in three games, starting in Week 3, and has played 62% of Seattle’s snaps on offense. He’s been called for holding once, but like with the Seahawks’ other backup O-linemen who have been thrust into larger roles, Bradford has played well overall.

NT Cameron Young (4th round, 123rd overall)

The Seahawks needed interior defensive line help this offseason, and they addressed that in a few ways, most notably with the free-agent signings of Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed.

But they also drafted Mississippi State’s Cameron Young in the fourth round, and because he’s a bigger player at roughly 330 pounds, it was thought that he may play a lot when Seattle utilized a 3-4 look on defense.

But so far, Young’s playing time has been limited as he’s appeared in just 20% of the team’s defensive snaps. Young has four tackles and one quarterback hit so far.

DL Mike Morris (5th round, 151 overall)

The Seahawks double-dipped Michigan players in the fifth round, starting with defensive lineman Mike Morris.

After playing outside linebacker in college, Morris moved to more of an interior player for the Seahawks.

Unfortunately for Morris, he battled a shoulder injury in the offseason and played just one regular season game before landing on injured reserve. He had three tackles in Week 1.

C Olu Oluwatimi (5th round, 154th overall)

Morris’ Michigan teammate, center Olu Oluwatimi, joined Morris in Seattle just three picks later.

With 2022 starting center Austin Blythe retiring, the Seahawks drafted Oluwatimi and signed Evan Brown, a backup guard/center from Detroit, in free agency.

Brown won the starting job, but Oluwatimi has played in each of the last three games.

Oluwatimi saw most of his playing time last week in New York due to injuries.

With Haynes and Lewis getting hurt, Bradford went to right guard while Brown slid over to left guard. That meant Oluwatimi played center.

Overall, the Michigan product has played 22% of the team’s snaps on offense this year with no penalties.

DB Jerrick Reed II (6th round, 198th overall)

Jerrick Reed II’s path to playing time on defense is a bit tough as the Seahawks, even with some injuries, are deep in the secondary.

But Reed has played 20 defensive snaps so far for the Seahawks, and he has been a fixture on special teams, playing 59% of the team’s snaps there.

Overall, Reed has six tackles in four games.

RB Kenny McIntosh (7th round, 237th overall)

We unfortunately haven’t seen rookie running back Kenny McIntosh this year as the Georgia product has been sidelined with a knee injury. He’s currently on injured reserve.

WR Jake Bobo (undrafted)

Another star of training camp and the preseason was big receiver Jake Bobo.

Bobo, who played at UCLA after starting his college career at Duke, was the biggest preseason standout for Seattle after catching seven passes, including two touchdowns. That led to Bobo making the 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent.

Bobo has played quite a bit, appearing in 32% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps.

Bobo has caught just two of four targets for eight yards, but one of those was a touchdown in a Week 3 win over Carolina.

The big rookie is a good blocker and has been used quite a bit in the run game for Seattle so far.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Rost: Seahawks who are rising and waiting to take off
• Schlereth: What Seahawks O-line is doing with backups is ‘amazing’
• Seahawks’ Jamal Adams apologizes for outburst after concussion
• Seahawks Observations: K.J. Wright on Witherspoon and defense
• Has there even been a CB like Seahawks’ Devon Witherspoon?
• Rost’s Takeaways: How real is Seattle Seahawks’ defensive breakout?

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