No. 4 - Safety Julian Love
Julian Love has come alive over the last month of the season. Does this correlate to Jamal Adams missing some time? Yes. Is this a coincidence? Unlikely. Adams seemed to be gumming up the defensive works by blitzing when he shouldn't blitz and not having great communication deep in the secondary. Love appears to have fixed those issues as he has gotten more playing time with Adams out.
In fact, Love is graded by PFF as the 18th-best safety in the league this year. The next-closest Seattle safety is Adams at number 82. The Seahawks safeties have been a mess this year except for Love and Love not getting more playing time earlier in the season should be an indictment on defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt, not Love. In the last three games, Love has a pass broken up and 3 interceptions and has pounded opposing would-be ball carriers in tackles. Let's just hope Adams stays out for the rest of the year.
No. 5 - Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba
It took the Seahawks' other first-round draft pick a while to start getting more productive. This could be due to JSN suffering a broken wrist in the preseason and taking a few weeks to get better. Or it could be that rookie receivers almost always have issues acclimating to the speed of NFL corners. Seattle has also started using JSN less in the slot and more out wide and that has increased his production as well.
In the first four games of 2023, Smith-Njigba lined up in the slot 81 percent of the time. He has only reached more than 80 percent in one game since and in the last four games has been in the slot only 58.5 percent of the time. JSN has also had his best four-game stretch in that time with 21 catches on 29 targets for 196 yards and a game-winning touchdown catch in Week 15. He is going to be a star beginning in 2024.