As you would expect, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is one of the names on the All-Rookie projected roster. He was the first receiver off the board back in April, and there are high expectations that he’ll step in and immediately make a positive impact as part of a trio that includes established stars DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Reuter on JSN:
Geno Smith returns to lead the Seahawks in 2023, with Smith-Njigba operating in the middle of the field while DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett make plays outside. The former Buckeye will find holes in zones and separate from his man inside, giving Seattle a top-five WR trio by the end of the season.
The other name may catch you by surprise. It’s not No. 5 overall pick Devon Witherspoon, second-round UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, or fellow second-rounder and former Auburn pass rusher Derick Hall. How about fourth-round LSU guard Anthony Bradford?
Reuter’s blurb on Bradford:
Seahawks GM John Schneider landed two starting tackles — Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas — in last year’s draft, and Bradford has a chance to compete for the starting spot at right guard this year. Bradford missed minicamp practices after being in what head coach Pete Carroll called a “fender bender,” so it did not sound like he suffered any serious injuries. His massive frame and relatively nimble feet remind me of a young Gabe Jackson.
Unlike Smith-Njigba, Bradford’s role in the offense is definitely not locked down. He’ll be in competition with Phil Haynes for the right guard position, which was held by (humorously, given the comparison point) Gabe Jackson last season before he was released earlier this offseason. Needless to say, young Gabe was not on the Seahawks roster.
One positive for Bradford, as opposed to Olusegun Oluwatimi and his battle with Evan Brown for the role of starting center, is that Haynes himself hasn’t held down a starting job either. Haynes only has five starts to his name and as recently as the midway point of 2021 he was on the practice squad. While Haynes may have familiarity with Andy Dickerson’s system by a grand total of one year, it’s not inconceivable that Bradford is the likelier of the Seahawks rookies to be a starter this season.
If Reuter is prophetic and Bradford is this good right out of the gate—good for a first-year player, much in the same way Charles Cross and Abe Lucas were in 2022—then the Seahawks would enter 2024 with three promising offensive line starters on rookie contracts.