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Monday Round-Up: Seahawks Earn No. 6 Spot On Around The NFL Rookie Class Rankings

The Seahawks land at No. 6 on Around the NFL’s ranking of all 32 2023 draft classes.

Round-Up 021924

Good afternoon, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Monday, February 19— about your Seattle Seahawks.

Eric Edholm and Chad Reuter of Around the NFL rank the 2023 draft classes of all 32 teams, breaking down why Seattle's first-year group was amongst the best.

With the 2024 NFL Draft less than two months away, Chad Reuter and Eric Edholm of Around the NFL review and rank the 2023 rookie classes for all 32 franchises. After selecting 10 players for the second-consecutive year, the Seahawks earned the No. 6 spot and a B+ grade for their 2023 group.

The Seahawks selected Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon fifth overall, before doubling back to select Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba at pick No.20. *While Witherspoon became the first Fighting Illini alum to earn Pro Bowl honors as a rookie in over 50 years*, while Smith-Njigba's 63 receptions are the second most by a Seattle rookie all-time. Edholm and Reuter discuss the pair's impact in Year-1.

Witherspoon showed star power in 14 games, recording *a 97-yard pick-six*, 16 passes defended (fifth in the NFL), a forced fumble and three sacks, earning a place among the *Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists*. His season was delayed a bit by a hamstring injury, but he was a factor both in the slot and at outside corner, displaying a great knack for blitzing, covering and playing the run, even if he lost a few physical battles.

After a tepid start, Smith-Njigba got rolling a bit, settling into the WR3 role behind *DK Metcalf* and *Tyler Lockett*. The Seahawks used him predominantly on underneath routes, however, limiting his potential. Based on multiple *game-winning**touchdowns* and his work on third downs, Smith-Njigba could be a star if the next staff can expand his route tree and role a bit.

In addition to finding a pair of game changers at the top of the class, Seattle managed to find value through all rounds as well as undrafted talent. Edholm reviews the depth of Seattle's class, where eight drafted players played at least 10 games, and three undrafted free agents (Jake Bobo, Chris Stoll, Brady Russell) played at least 15 games. Edholm looks at the value Seattle found on Days 2 and 3 of the draft, and undrafted talent.

Charbonnet was very solid when he got the chance, although he was hardly featured outside of the games for which *Kenneth Walker III* was injured. Charbonnet might never provide value commensurate with his draft slot (52nd overall), but he's a quality complement who brings a physical element and capable receiving chops to the offense.

Bobo was a pleasant surprise, earning the No. 4 WR role *out of training camp* and providing some highlight-reel catches, including *a one-handed TD grab* *against the Cardinals*. With his three TDs on a mere 20 touches, quality blocking and special teams contributions, Bobo was an outstanding value and figures to maintain his role despite the coaching change.

Bradford started 10 games, including the final six, and proved to be a good run blocker right away, although his pass-protection skills need sharpening. Oluwatimi started one game and saw significant action in two more. There were some snapping issues when he was out there, but Oluwatimi was solid in pass protection and might be in line to start at the pivot next season.

The defensive contributions after Witherspoon were less impressive, with Hall struggling to adjust, Morris missing all but one game to a shoulder injury and Young relegated to a backup role most of the season. Those three have potential, but how they all fit in Mike Macdonald's system remains to be seen. Reed barely played on defense, but proved to be an excellent special teamer in Year 1.

Seattle comes in at No. 6 for their 10-man haul, after earning an A- and a third place ranking on the 2022 list. With April's draft approaching under President of Football Operations/General Manager John Schneider and coach Mike Macdonald, the Seahawks will look to find more pieces to build another champion contender.

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