NFL expert's choice for Seahawks best building block isn't who you expect

Seattle has a young roster, but one NFL analyst thinks one player is most important.
Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks
Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks have the tenth-youngest roster in the NFL heading into the 2024 season. This marks a huge change from just three years ago when Seattle was an aging and slower team. Now, Seattle is all about youth and starting over. That includes the youngest head coach in the league, Mike Macdonald, who just turned 37 years old.

Seattle might even have a number of players under 25 that other teams might covert. Devon Witherspoon appears set to play at a Pro Bowl-level for most of the next decade. He is 23 years old. Boye Mafe is 25 years old and likely to have an extremely productive season in 2024 under Macdonald.

One might guess that one of these players would be the key building block for future Seahawks success. Witherspoon can move all around the defense and help Macdonald disguise his defenses. Mafe is going to be a disruptor on the edge. Mafe and Witherspoon might become a duo that the rest of the league fears.

Is Charles Cross a better building block for the Seahawks than Devon Witherspoon?

According to Bleacher Report's David Kenyon, though, the key building block for Seattle's future success isn't Witherspoon or Mafe, but left tackle Charles Cross. This makes sense as left tackles protect a quarterback's blindside and keep the most important player in football healthy. If a team has a lock-down left tackle then that relieves a lot of concerns.

The question is whether Cross is truly that good. He is entering his third season in the league and did not take a big step forward in terms of efficiency in his second year. He gave up 48 total pressures in 693 pass-block snaps as a rookie in 2022, but then 42 pressures in 554 pass-block snaps last year. In other words, his numbers were trending worse.

Kenyon wrote of the left tackle, "Charles Cross is tasked with locking down Geno Smith's blind side. Cross isn't yet a dominant force, but he's been a steady blocker in two seasons." That doesn't exactly scream, "Building block!"

Next. One Seahawks coach could be one and done in 2024. One Seahawks coach could be one and done in 2024. dark

Maybe Cross simply has not gotten quality coaching in the NFL yet. In his first two seasons, Andy Dickerson was his offensive line coach. Dickerson was let go this offseason when the Seahawks made all their coaching changes and now Dickerson is the O-line coach with the Cleveland Browns. Cross's new coach is Scott Huff who had the best unit in college football in 2023 at the University of Washington.

Let's hope that Huff can make Cross great and Seattle doesn't need to worry about drafting another left tackle for most of the next decade. If Cross does not show improvement this season, he could be gone in two years. That would be a problem.

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