Wyman: Why Seahawks’ Witherspoon is Defensive Rookie of the Year

Jan 26, 2024, 4:05 PM

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon...

Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks returns an interception for a touchdown on Oct. 2, 2023. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks have a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

How other head coaching hires have impacted the Seattle Seahawks

Last year, fifth-round cornerback Riq Woolen finished third in voting after tying the NFL lead in interceptions with six and making the Pro Bowl. This year, another cornerback established himself as one of the NFL’s up-and-coming defensive backs.

That would be Devon Witherspoon, who surprised quite a few people when the Seahawks made him the fifth overall pick.

Witherspoon and fellow top-10 picks Will Anderson of the Houston Texans and Jalen Carter of the Philadelphia Eagles are finalists for the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, as are second-round pick Joey Porter Jr. of the Pittsburgh Steelers and third-round pick Kobie Turner of the Los Angeles Rams.

Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker and current Seahawks radio color commentator, was asked by Bob Stelton who should be Defensive Rookie of the Year on Friday’s Wyman and Bob on Seattle Sports.

“Bob, how dare you ask me that question,” Wyman joked. ” … I think it’s Devon Witherspoon.”

Witherspoon made a huge impact on Seattle’s defense in 14 games, and despite missing three full games and most of a fourth in which he got hurt “making a phenomenal play,” Wyman noted, against San Francisco on a pass breakup, he had more snaps than the other four finalists.

“He played 883 snaps. You look at the the rest of the contestants, which are Will Anderson, Jalen Carter, Joey Porter Jr. and Kobie Turner, (only Porter) comes close,” Wyman said.

And despite playing defensive back, Witherspoon filled up the stat sheet across the board. He finished his rookie season with 79 tackles, three sacks, eight tackles for loss, 16 pass breakups and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. He also had other turnovers nullified due to teammate penalties.

“He got every pretty much category,” Wyman said. ” … Nobody really came that close to that. He’s got to be it. And I think you have to pay attention to how much this guy was on the field.”

Carter and Anderson are getting plenty of offseason love after shining as rookies, but if Witherspoon doesn’t win the award, Wyman thinks Turner should. Turner had nine sacks, 16 quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss with the Rams this year.

“That one’s pretty close,” Wyman said. “But to me, it’s Devon Weatherspoon.”

Catch every hour of Wyman and Bob at this link, and listen live every weekday from 2 to 7 p.m.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

What should Seahawks do with Geno, Adams and Wagner? ESPN’s Yates weighs in
Why is the Seattle Seahawks’ coaching search taking so long?
ESPN draft analyst gives 2 prospects who seem like Seahawks
Why ESPN’s Yates thinks Seahawks will hire Dan Quinn as coach
Draft prospects to help Seahawks on offensive, defensive lines

Wyman & Bob

Wyman and Bob

Seattle Mariners trade target...

Zac Hereth

Morosi: The familiar Mariners trade partner to keep an eye on

MLB insider Jon Morosi explains why the Tampa Bay Rays fit as a trade partner for the Seattle Mariners on Seattle Sports' Wyman and Bob.

4 hours ago

Seattle Mariners...

Zac Hereth

Where Mariners should be comfortable trading prospects from

Senior MLB writer Will Sammon from The Athletic discusses the Seattle Mariners and the upcoming trade deadline on Seattle Sports.

19 hours ago

Seattle Mariners first baseman Tyler Locklear...

Zac Hereth

A new dilemma Mariners face after Ty France’s return

Seattle Mariners now have two first basemen -- Ty France and Tyler Locklear -- they need to find ways to get in the lineup.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Buhner Buzz...

Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Cal Raleigh didn’t buy Gilbert’s compliment about his new look

"I told him it looked great and he could tell right away that I didn't mean it," Mariners pitcher Logan Gilbert told Seattle Sports' Wyman and Bob about Cal Raleigh's new haircut.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks OL Christian Haynes...

Zac Hereth

The biggest position battle on the Seahawks’ O-line

Former Seattle Seahawks OL Ray Roberts explains why he sees right guard as the biggest position battle on Seattle's offensive line.

4 days 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.

6 days ago

Wyman: Why Seahawks’ Witherspoon is Defensive Rookie of the Year