3 emerging alphas on the Seattle Seahawks roster in 2024

Seattle needs new leadership among the players now that Bobby Wagner and Quandre Diggs are gone. These players could be the new alphas.
Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks
Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks don't only have new leadership among the coaching staff, they must develop new leadership among the players as well. Sure, players listen to coaches, but what is said in the locker room when no coaches are around might be just as important. This is especially true for a team with a young roster such as Seattle.

Many of the team's leaders might come from the young guys. This would not be a terrible thing, either. Productive young players should be on the team for a long time. They can help lead the way for new players for lots of seasons.

There is also a talent in not being overbearing. Leading by example is a great thing. Leading by example while also being able to to speak to a teammate in a positive way is even better. All three of the players below can likely do that.

These players might be the new alphas on the Seahawks

Cornerback Devon Witherspoon

For a rookie to come into the NFL and immediately take a leadership role is nearly impossible unless that player happens to be a quarterback. Even then, iffy. Witherspoon joined a Seahawks team in 2023 that had Bobby Wagner and Quandre Diggs on defense so there was no way he was going to be a defensive alpha right away.

Now, Wagner and Diggs are gone. Seattle still has a number of veterans who could be strong voices in the locker room, though. Jarran Reed has kicked around a bit and Julian Love made the Pro Bowl last year. Edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu will probably be one of the leaders.

Witherspoon, however, is probably the most talented player Seattle has on the defense. Entering his second season, his teammates know what to expect. As opposed to a player who simply talks trash all the time, Witherspoon does have a smile on his face a lot and backs any trash talk up with elite play. He should be Seattle's long-term alpha on defense.

Defensive lineman Leonard Williams

Williams came over midway through 2023 and the prior success he had in his career likely earned immediate respect from his new teammates. That did not mean Williams was ready to become a team leader, however. He still needed to get used to the team and the city and find his place. He could have left in free agency this offseason, but instead, he re-signed. That spoke volumes.

A player as good as Williams has been but also one who was about to turn 30 when he re-signed probably doesn't do so unless he feels as if the team could win and what the new coaching staff expected. The defensive lineman is the best at his position in Seattle, but he will also need to help show rookie Byron Murphy II how to be a good player.

For the Seahawks to be good this season, Williams needs to be good. Seattle's defense is still rather young or new to the team, though, so players will rely on Williams to help find their way.

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba

JSN should not be Seattle's most productive receiver in 2024. That should be DK Metcalf. As good as Smith-Njigba might be in his career, Metcalf's size and speed make him a different kind of player. With Tyler Lockett into his 30s now, JSN does need to develop into a very good WR2. This offseason may have shown that he is becoming a more vocal leader as well.

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The new coaching staff has raved about Smith-Njigba's work ethic. That alone is going to show the rest of the young players how to be good pros. He should also be more impactful at the beginning of 2024 than he was in 2023 after he broke his wrist in last year's preseason. Great work ethic, not being afraid to speak, and being productive is how a player becomes a leader.

As great as Metcalf is, he does sometimes lose his cool and draws bad 15-yard penalties that cost his team. JSN doing those things seems ridiculous. Smith-Njigba might rise to be an alpha on the team simply because he takes a more cool-headed approach than Metcalf.

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