The Seattle Seahawks finally drafted a cornerback early for the first time under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon was selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, making him Seattle’s second-highest drafted corner of all-time behind Shawn Springs (No. 3, 1997).
If there’s one play that stands out on Witherspoon’s highlight reel, it’s this one:
Witherspoon has a reputation for being an aggressive, downhill, physical player without being a penalty machine. In the post-draft media press conference, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that Seattle typically doesn’t take corners high in the draft, but he’s an exception.
Carroll also compared Witherspoon to one of the great defensive backs in college and NFL history: USC and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Troy Polamalu.
Pete Carroll on #Seahawks No. 5 pick Devon Witherspoon:— Travis Green (@ItsTravisGreen) April 28, 2023
"Devon Witherspoon is a rare player. Since the years we've been here we haven't seen a guy like this... Last guy I recognized a guy with this makeup was back at USC.. Troy Polamalu." https://t.co/cvK2EgIGfh pic.twitter.com/NcxXhrijTk
Now obviously Polamalu’s a safety and they’re physically different, but the mentality and style of play clearly is what Carroll was going for when making such a lofty comparison.
Witherspoon’s media session included this quote that I’m sure is music to Carroll’s ears, and if it translates well on the field then it’ll be poetry in motion for Seahawks fans and coaches alike.