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Ted’s Talk: Predicting Olusegun Oluwatimi’s rookie season

An overview of Seattle’s (second) fifth-round pick along with predictions for his rookie season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Michigan at Indiana Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks stayed in the trenches and doubled up on Michigan Wolverines, using No. 154 to select center Olusegun Oluwatimi. A highly decorated center in college, Olu will be in the thick of the competition to lock down that spot for the Seahawks.

Athletic Profile/Comps

Relative Athletic Score (RAS)


Looking at his RAS, Olu is a good but not elite athlete. He’s a bit short at less than 6’3” and didn’t run a great 40-yard dash. There were a number of other centers drafted in front of Olu that were at one time mocked to the Seahawks such as Mockdraftable comp John Michael Schmitz who were regarded as much better athletes.

Wait a minute…

(Insert the “They’re the Same Picture” meme from The Office.gif)

Ok, not really, but it’s pretty freakin’ close. Seattle could have drafted Schmitz at No. 52 if they really wanted but chose not to. Schmitz’s RAS scores are basically “good” across the board except for a poor 40-yard dash and very good shuttle. Besides getting knocked for height, Olu stacks up pretty evenly athletically with Schmitz except for that shuttle – but he did have a significantly better broad jump to offset that.

Mockdraftable also has Ricky Stromberg as a comp who went at No. 97. Again, Seattle could have chosen to keep No. 83 instead of trading it to the Denver Broncos and drafted Stromberg instead. Clearly, neither Schmitz nor Stromberg (to a lesser extent) were as high on their draft board as many assumed.

Since we’re looking at comps, how does Olu stack up against Seattle’s 2022 center, the newly-retired Austin Blythe?

Pretty close again, it turns out. Olu is kind of like a slightly bigger, longer Blythe from an athletic standpoint. His agility isn’t as good, but Olu outperformed Blythe in the jumps which are a good measure of lower body explosion/power. “Austin Blythe +” might not be a ringing endorsement, but Blythe was solid last year with the biggest negative being his propensity to get absolutely run over every once in a while. Olu has more sand in his pants and will hopefully not face that same fate as often.

I’ve heard the Seahawks like to run the ball.

Big Olu should fit right in.

Gut reaction to the pick

Getting a center who produced at a very high level in college at this point in the draft is great value. In case you didn’t know, in 2022 Olu won both the Rimington Trophy as the best center in college football and the Outland Trophy which is given to the best interior lineman. Not just interior offensive lineman. Interior lineman, period, including defense. He was also a consensus First-Team All American. That’s good, right?

Watch this video and tell me you don’t like this dude.

All he’s done in his career is succeed whether it was for three years at Virginia or manning the middle for one of the best offensive lines in the country in 2022 at Michigan. His ability to transition from Virginia to Michigan that quickly and handle all of the line calls shows his football IQ which is especially important at center. That was one of Blythe’s strengths and helped offset his size limitations. Olu should be able to lean on that part of his game as well in the NFL.

Did I mention that Olu was named a team captain at Michigan despite being a graduate transfer? You want a leader like that in the middle of the line. I loved the pick.

Rookie season prediction

Seattle has been looking for a long-term answer at center for what seems like decades. Max Unger was the last one who truly held down that position before he was traded away to the New Orleans Saints in 2015. Justin Britt had a few moments, but ultimately didn’t work out. Otherwise, it’s been a revolving door of cast-offs and stopgap options. Remember Drew Nowak? How about Stephen Schilling? Those guys started multiple games at center for Seattle in the last decade so it’s about time to find someone to claim that position.

The Seahawks brought in Evan Brown in free agency, but that’s only a one-year deal. Joey Hunt is also on the roster, but if you thought Olu was small what does that make Hunt? Olu should have every opportunity to win the starting center job and I wouldn’t bet against him based on what he’s shown in the past. He’ll get the most starts at center this season out of that group and I’ll just hitch my wagon to Big Olu right now – that’s your starting center Week 1 and for the future.