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Friday Round-Up: FOX Sports Examines Seahawks' Impressive Young Core   

FOX Sports’ Eric Williams counts down the final-32 days to the 2023 season by ranking each team’s young core, and has good things to say about the Seahawks. 


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Friday, August 25 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

With the NFL regular season nearly upon us, Fox Sports writer Eric Williams and the FOX Sports team evaluated all-32 teams’ young cores selected between the 2019-2023 NFL Drafts. Reeling off a historic 2022 draft class and selecting 10 new budding prospects in April, Williams breaks down why Seattle is "on the verge of contention."

Seattle’s 2023 draft class has received plenty of praise, as anticipation continues to rise for the season's start. But, the overall roster is budding with young talent under 30-years-of-age, led by wideout DK Metcalf. Coming off a career-high 90-reception campaign, the Ole Miss alum recorded his second-career 1,000-yard receiving season (1,048) in four years. Earlier this month, Yahoo Sports writer Matt Harmon named Metcalf the No.6-best wideout 25-or-under. Williams breaks down Seattle's talented roster, identifying younger core players heading into 2023, before breaking down why Metcalf is primed for another breakout year.

Young core

TE Noah Fant

CB Coby Bryant

LT Charles Cross

Standout: DK Metcalf

The chiseled 6-4, 235-pound Metcalf brings track athlete athleticism to the football field. He's been helped by the return of receivers coach Sanjay Lal from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Metcalf played all 17 games last season, finishing with 90 receptions for 1,048 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on a career-high 141 targets. 

Over the last three seasons, Metcalf has totaled 248 receptions for 3,318 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns. The Seahawks inked Metcalf to a three-year, $72 million deal last offseason, making him among the top-paid receivers in the NFL. 

The 25-year-old checks the box for a big, physical receiver Carroll likes to have on the perimeter of his offense to help move the chains. But there's still room for improvement.

"He's a top athlete, but he's an underachiever," said one NFL Scout. "He gets hurt too often for a big guy. He's a little bit stiff in his hips. I don't see him run all the routes. I don't know how they're going to do it, but they need to challenge him. 

"Now, is he one of the top players in the league? Absolutely. He's got all those tools, but he doesn't run the full route tree. So, is he a No. 1 receiver? Not right now. But who knows, the switch might come on for DK."

Williams nominates No.20 selection cornerback Devon Witherspoon as a potential breakout player in Year-1 despite dealing with minor injury issues through camp. 

Potential breakout: Devon Witherspoon

Somewhat of a surprise selection by the Seahawks at No. 5, the Illinois product could develop into a shutdown corner in the NFL.

"You can play him anywhere," said one NFL Scout. "He can play nickel. He can play dime. You can play him on top. He can play in the box. They did a heck of a job with him at Illinois. We wanted him, but we weren't in the range to get him. I think he's going to play for 10 years." 

Witherspoon has been nursing a lingering hamstring injury but hopes to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. The Seahawks have been auditioning Witherspoon as a slot defender, taking full advantage of his playmaking ability by putting him closer to all the action in the middle of the field. 

"He was lightly recruited out of high school, but he is a real talented player," FOX Sports NFL analyst Bucky Brooks said. "He's really smart, really instinctive. He can play man, zone and do a bunch of different things. I think you put him in the secondary, which has also been upgraded with some age and experience and this team is ready to go. 

"Even though we're talking about some of the younger players, the whole fact that they got Julian Love and Jamal Adams comes back when he's healthy. You've got Quandre Diggs. So, you now have what they had before, that makes them young and old, to get it going."

Lastly, Williams shares some insider thoughts from anonymous league scouts on several of Seattle's core players on both sides of the ball.

Devon Witherspoon: "He's a really good cover guy and he's got size. … He got the man-to-man cover skills, and he's got the speed. He's an aggressive guy, he can cover and he can tackle. Those guys know what they're doing, so I think he's going to be a solid starter." —NFL Scout

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: "He's silky smooth and he catches everything. He's only going to get stronger. And he's only going to get better. Having Tyler Lockett in front of him is going to be a godsend. He'll just soak up some knowledge from him. And when Lockett's done, he'll take over. They'll miss Lockett, but not much because of him." —NFL Scout

Jake Bobo: "He might have run a 4.9 (40-yard-dash time) coming out, but he's got quick feet and quick hands. He doesn't play 4.9. I wanted him at our place and got blown out of the water because he didn't run fast enough. Usually, the longer-striding guys don't get going until 20 yards down the field. But he's got a huge catch radius and soft hands. And that makes up for that long-legged slowness. He's got a chance to make the practice squad and be elevated to the active roster sometime during the season." —NFL Scout

Abe Lucas: "Lucas is going to get better and better. I liked him coming out of Washington State. Kind of a different kid, but he fits in. And I think they're going to find he'll play awhile and have a really good career. Pair him with Charles Cross and I think they're going to be fine up front." —NFL Scout

Seattle will get another look at their young talent and depth in Saturday's road contest against the Green Bay Packers to close the 2023 preseason.

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