The Seattle Seahawks brought in another amazing rookie class in 2023. Everyone knows about Smith-Njigba and Witherspoon, but I see three unsung late-draft picks breaking into the starting lineup by week six. Is this a great rookie class, or what?
It isn't exactly news to any loyal member of the 12s that the Seahawks crushed the NFL Draft for the second straight year. Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are starting on day one, regardless of where Witherspoon plays. Derick Hall and Zach Charbonnet will have an impact as well, although Hall will have to break through a logjam of pass rushers. Charbonnet has a clearer path to success, despite battling an injury so far in camp.
Those are the guys that are expected to elevate the team as rookies. I see three other players that will make their own contributions to the Seahawks success this year. None of them may start in week one, but I absolutely believe all three will play their way into the starting lineup after Seattle's bye in week five. I can see any of the three making that push in the season debut against the Rams, but I'm confident that all three will be anchors for the Hawks by week six and beyond.
Speaking of anchors, the Seahawks found one in Anthony Bradford
It's really a shame Seattle took Anthony Bradford in the fourth round. Otherwise, I could have written about all the day three draftees that will star for the Hawks for the next decade. That's perfectly okay, though. I'm thrilled that the Seahawks landed Bradford, who as Lee Vowell wrote, is an absolute mauler at guard. The 330-pound Bradford is a road grader in the mold of D.J. Fluker. There's no doubt about the LSU grad's ability to blow open running lanes.
What's been overlooked is his performance protecting the pocket. Yes, Pro Football Focus, the same group that ranked him near the top ten percent in the running game, gave him a terrible grade as a pass blocker. As all good 12s know, PFF isn't exactly infallible. Yes, he gave up four sacks, but he only allowed 12 pressures in all in 423 passing situations. Sorry, PFF is paywalled, but the stats are legit. That 2.8 percent pressures allowed ranked Bradford as the tenth-best in college football last season. Seems to me, he can play. Phil Haynes is the returning starter at right guard, but Bradford will continue to develop, eventually pushing Haynes back into a reserve role