750 THE GAME STAFF
With the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected cornerback Devon Witherspoon from the University of Illinois.
The Seahawks entered the draft with a pair of first-round picks at No. 5 and No. 20 overall. The team also has a pair of second round picks at No. 37 (sixth pick of the second round) and No. 52 (21st pick of second round).
The pre-draft chatter with the Seahawks primarily involved whether or not the team would take embattled defensive tackle Jalen Carter out of Georgia or Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson or another defensive prospect with that fifth overall selection. Ultimately, Richardson was off the board, going fourth to Indianapolis, and the team decided to pass on Carter and take the first defensive back off the board.
Witherspoon, 22, played four seasons at Illinois under head coaches Lovie Smith and Brett Bielema. He was named a consensus All-American this past season in 2022.
The Seahawks were one of the surprise teams of the 2022 season following their trade of franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a pair of first-round and second-round picks and a couple players. The Broncos struggled with Wilson, firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett en route to a 5-12 season that handed Seattle the fifth overall pick. Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, on the other hand, made the playoffs with a 9-8 record. They signed quarterback Geno Smith to an incentive-laden 3-year, $105 Million deal this off-season.
The Seahawks will pick again in the first round at No. 20 overall.
More to come on this story.