Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon went a long way toward quieting the haters on Monday Night Football in Week 4. For all those who have complained into the early part of the season that Seattle should have chosen defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the number 5 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, maybe what Witherspoon did against the New York Giants opened some eyes. Yes, Carter has been terrific through four games, but Seattle wanted a player who was more versatile.
Carter can supply interior pass rush and is stout against the run, but Witherspoon proved against New York that is capable of helping a defense in even more ways than Carter. Want a slot corner who can attacking opposing quarterbacks on blitzes more than once a game? That's Witherspoon. Want a guy who can pick a pass off and run it back for points? Yep, that was Witherspoon too.
Let's also not rewrite history and ignore the fact that Carter came with several red flags for off-field issues and seeming conditioning concerns. Seattle wasn't the only team that passed on Carter; several did. Witherspoon came with no real concerns and his only issue so far was a hamstring injury that cost him preseason play and he missed Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Just look at how much Witherspoon single-handily changes the Seahawks defense. He was basically a healthy Jamal Adams on Monday placed in a slot corner's body. He gives defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt a lot more freedom to be creative with coverage scheme and blitz packages. Seattle hasn't blitzed much in the past but with Witherspoon they now have that option.
Seattle Seahawks made the right call taking Devon Witherspoon at pick number 5
And Witherspoon doesn't simply blitz because that is his assignment. He attacks like a missile, fast and sure and relentlessly. Plus, having him near the line since he plays the slot also allows him to be a force against the run. And he tackles with malice as if someone stole his mother's milk money.
Devon Witherspoon's stat line was incredible on Monday. He had 7 tackles, 3 QB hits, 2 sacks, one pick-six, 2 tackles for loss. He was the menace that the Giants could not stop. And we only have to remember that this was Witherspoon's third game in the NFL.
Few players have that kind of stat line ever. And Witherspoon is only going to get better. The Seahawks choosing him over Jalen Carter? That was the correct call.