The Seattle Seahawks have drafted Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
As a senior for the Illini last season, opposing quarterbacks had a tough time throwing against Witherspoon. He flashed his defensive playmaking ability that’s sure to entice NFL teams with three interceptions and 14 pass breakups. But it’s not just his hands, Witherspoon excels in reading routes and anticipating throws, and he can use his size to get receivers off their route. His hand usage against would-be pass catchers could be an issue at the next level, and there are concerns about his top-end speed, which could cause problems if a receiver gets behind him.
A finalist for the Thorpe Award and a consensus All-American, Witherspoon had 41 tackles to go with the three picks and 14 pass breakups last year. The year before that, he had 52 tackles and nine pass breakups. As a freshman in 2020, he made 33 tackles along with two picks and three fumble recoveries.
How can Devon Witherspoon impact the Seahawks in 2023?
Tariq Woolen turned heads last season as a rookie. Now, the Seahawks are adding Witherspoon to the other side of the field. They create a heck of a dynamic duo and help instantly boost the Seattle secondary. There was thought that this pick would have been Jalen Carter, but it didn’t go that way. Witherspoon should be starting Week 1 in some capacity.