Seahawks news: Two rookies getting glowing reviews on O-line

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The Seattle Seahawks had a relatively young offensive line in 2022, but they still had veteran leadership at center and right guard (at least when Gabe Jackson was playing). But now Jackson is gone and so is center Austin Blythe. In free agency this offseason, Seattle did sign Evan Brown from the Detroit Lions and Brown was a good center for Detroit in 2021.

But in the 2023 draft, Seattle chose right guard Anthony Bradford in the fourth round and center Olu Oluwatimi in the fifth round. Both players might have been viewed as reserves to begin 2023 with the potential to start in 2024. But not so fast.

Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is raving about how good Oluwatimi and Bradford have been since being drafted. Both appeared to pick up line assignments quickly in recent rookie minicamp. And sure, neither player blocked any veteran defensive players but both have the size and seem to have the skill to be good blockers straightaway.

Two Seahawks rookie offensive linemen are balling out

What could separate Oluwatimi from the other centers on Seattle's roster is that while he had a ton of high-level starting experience in college and got better every year, he was great in college - he won the Outland Trophy for best interior college lineman in 2022 at Michigan - because he's extremely smart and can pick up what the defense is trying to do quickly and reacts to that by calling out the correct offensive alignment. He's big enough to start right away as he is 6'2" and 310 pounds, but if he is able to get Seattle's system quickly there would really be nothing holding him back from being the Week 1 starter.

Waldron said about Oluwatimi:

"At that center position, knowing that’ll be a great competition with him and Evan (Brown) and Joey (Hunt) there to take that starting center role…So the first thing we’re looking for is what type of command and control that player can have, and he’s really demonstrated all those things in the early stages."

As far as Bradford, he is big enough to play immediately and should have enough experience going up against NFL-type players (Bradford played in the SEC which is the basically a feeder system for the NFL). This clearly is going to help Bradford acclimate to professional football and help the Seahawks faster. He could also battle for a Week 1 starting spot.

Waldron told Seattle Sports:

"Anthony is just an impressive physical guy as far as a big offensive lineman that really shows that ability to bend and play underneath defenders. It’ll be exciting to add him into the mix of the competition with what we feel like is a pretty good group of interior players already on the roster.""

Next. Game-by-game predictions for the Seahawks 2023 season. dark

Having a lot of talented offensive linemen is great, of course, but having the unit be really young early in the season could be bad. Offensive lines need time to build cohesion and an unexpected early loss or two due to O-line breakdowns could doom the Seahawks' season. If Oluwatimi and Bradford do start, Seattle would have two rookies and two second-year players in the starting five. So while the unit might be elite by 2024, at the beginning of 2023 it could struggle.