WYMAN AND BOB

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.

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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.

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