Grading every single pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Lee Vowell
Grading the Seahawks first round picks
Round 1, Pick 5: Cornerback Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
On our pre-draft podcast, we talked about how great Witherspoon would be with Seattle's first pick in the 2023 draft. We didn't want Jalen Carter, and while edge rusher Will Anderson, Jr. would have been a fantastic choice, we didn't think he would be around at 5. Witherspoon, though, brings a level of talent combined with a ferociousness that Seattle hasn't had since Richard Sherman wore a Seahawks uniform.
Witherspoon is a great coverage corner but will also help in run defense. He loves to tackle hard too much to not be a force against the run as well. He might be a slightly smaller corner, but he has good technique in coverage and when tackling. Paired with Tariq Woolen, he could give Seattle one of the best corner duos in the league.
Round 1, Pick 20: Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Smith-Njigba does have his concerns. One is that he dealt with a hamstring injury through almost all of 2022 and he missed most of the season. He isn't huge like DK Metcalf but he is bigger than Tyler Lockett and Lockett has had himself a pretty good career. Maybe Smith-Njigba chose to not play a lot last year as he was so good in 2021 that his draft stock was cemented already.
Smith-Njigba runs routes with ease and has excellent hands and quickness. He will immediately be the Seahawks' WR3 and should see a lot of one-on-one coverage and be productive. Now he just needs to show he can stay healthy.