Good afternoon, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, May 1— about your Seattle Seahawks.
National and local media grade the Seahawks' 2023 Draft Class
The Seahawks selected 10 players in the 2023 draft, a class that has earned plenty of early praise for the front office. Experts from around the football world graded Seattle's incoming class, while taking note of their draft weekend moves to acquire more 2024 capital.
Seattle received high praise for Round 1 selections Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon (No.5) and Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 20), and with the conclusion of draft weekend and the start of undrafted free agency pickups, experts evaluated Seattle's ability to land premiere talent and address needs.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: A
Got the best players at their position with CB Devon Witherspoon (5) and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (20) in the first round. DE Derick Hall and OL Anthony Bradford highlight a strong overall group.
Draft Insider Chad Reuter gave Seattle an A- for their 10 selections, with trades being factored in.
Day 1 grade: A+
Day 2 grade: C+
Day 3 grade: A
Analysis: Seattle did a nice job on Day 1, using the No. 5 overall pick -- acquired from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade -- on the feisty Witherspoon and staying put at 20th overall to select Smith-Njigba, the top receiver in the draft. Hall is a gamer who should help the team's edge depth, and Charbonnet is a power back with some wiggle, though using second-round picks at that position in consecutive years is unusual.
I love Bradford's power at guard, as well as Young's ability to hold the line of scrimmage at nose tackle. Oluwatimi is another strong interior blocker who was a better value than many pivots selected before him. Seattle likes powerful edge rushers like Morris, even if he is not a quick-twitch athlete. McIntosh is a good seventh-round pick despite his lack of elite speed.
Day 1: The Seahawks surprise everyone and take Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon at No. 5. Witherspoon was the highest-graded cornerback in the Power Five last season. In press coverage for 107 snaps, he allowed just one yard in coverage on those plays.
The Seahawks finish Round 1 with two top-10 players on the PFF big board. With a 91.7 PFF grade in 2021, Smith-Njigba outproduced 2021 first-round draft picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson that year at Ohio State on a per-snap basis.
Day 2: Hall was one of the SEC's most productive pass-rushers throughout his time at Auburn, earning a pass-rush grade above 80.0 in each of the past three seasons. He has the quickness, bend and length to sustain his pass-rush production in Seattle.
The grade is not for the player here, but for Seattle using the No. 52 overall pick on a running back after selecting Kenneth Walker III early in the second round previously. Charbonnet earned elite rushing grades in back-to-back seasons, racking up over 4 yards after contact per attempt and 24 carries of 15-plus yards, which ranked ninth in college football.
Day 3: Bradford fits well in a gap scheme by bringing strength in the run game to Seattle, filling a position of need with an athlete that tested very well for his size.
Young projects as a rotational, early-down run defender. The hope is likely that he turns into something comparable to Folorunso Fatukasi.
Morris profiles as a powerful option on the edge who wins with strength and length. He never had an extensive role in the Michigan defense, given their talent along the defensive line, but put up 37 pressures and a career-high 86.6 PFF pass-rushing grade in 2022.
Oluwatimi is good value at this stage of the draft and fills an area of need at center for Seattle. He's a high-IQ, strong prospect with four years of starting experience — most recently anchoring the Joe Moore Award-winning Michigan offensive line in 2022. Oluwatimi put up PFF grades of at least 80.0 in each of the past two seasons.
Another strong safety/slot hybrid, Reed was a bright spot for the New Mexico defense. His consistency was evident as he only posted two game grades under 63 this past season.Reed played nearly 600 special teams snaps in his career, which may be his best path to playing time.
The Packers add another running back after drafting Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet in the second rounds of each of the past two drafts. McIntosh was a consistent producer in a rotational role in Georgia's backfield, averaging over 5.0 yards per carry and putting up 80.0-plus PFF rushing grades in each of the past three seasons.
DRAFT GRADE: A
Favorite pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba,WR, Ohio State
The Seahawks had one of the best draft classes last year, and history should be kind to their 2023 draft haul too. Adding Devon Witherspoon to the cornerback rotation is exciting, but dropping Smith-Njigba into this offense is even more fun.With DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett already established as playmakers, the Ohio State slot receiver should be able to feast over the middle of the field. It won't be a surprise if Geno Smith goes to his second straight Pro Bowl after this season.
Day 3 pick who could surprise: Anthony Bradford, G, LSU My 101st-ranked player, Bradford went a few picks later than that and could easily outplay that draft slot. Broadly built at 6-4, 332, he has impressive movement skills for his body type and the power to move defenders with sheer force. Youthful habits (excessive leaning, timing issues, etc.) might keep him from earning a starting job right away, but his upside is exciting.
With the draft behind them, Seattle looks ahead to the next phase of the offseason as the team begins to gel.
Seahawks 'Mental Health Matters' Initiative Returns for Mental Health Awareness Month
The month of May brings the one-year anniversary of the Seahawks launching Mental Health Matters, a program dedicated to destigmatize conversation around mental health by spreading awareness, resources and opening the door for engagement.
With 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiencing mental illness, including 17 percent of youth ages 6-17 years, and with 50 percent of lifetime mental illness beginning by age 14, Mental Health Matters has made it a priority to focus on uplifting the African-American community with the help of players like Seahawks Legends K.J. Wright and current wideout Tyler Lockett.
This season, the Seahawks' community team plans to expand their efforts with new plans for the upcoming season. This includes an upcoming Compassion Fatigue training for Seahawks employees in partnership with NAMI Seattle - the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Seahawks players and Legends will visit a pair of Pacific-Northwest high schools to encourage open-dialogue about mental health and resources for help.
The Seahawks are proud to use their platform to uplift the voices of players and legends who have shared their own mental health stories and journeys, not just during May for Mental Health Awareness month, but all year long.
Social Post Of The Day
A special Draft Day Message to new Seahawks wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba from his brother, MLB Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba
More From Around The Web
Bob Condotta and Adam Jude of the Seattle Times: Four Downs with Bob Condotta and Adam Jude: Answering four questions about NFL draft.
Corbin Smith of Sports Illustrated: Report Card: How Did Seahawks Grade Out in 2023 NFL Draft?
Seattle Sports 710AM Staff: Seahawks Draft Breakdown: A look at every 2023 NFL Draft pick.
Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post: 2023 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams: Eagles dominate as Texans score for boldest move.
Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic: Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft picks 2023: Grades, fits and scouting reports.
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN: 2023 NFL draft grades for all 32 teams: Mel Kiper's steals, sleepers.
All 10 of Seattle's 2023 draftees, from first-round cornerback Devon Witherspoon to seventh-round running back Kenny McIntosh.