Stop number two on our offseason journey through Seahawks Superlatives gives us Rookie of the Year. I’ve selected the player I believe has the greatest chance at playing the most snaps and contributing consistent value through them. And that’s offensive guard Anthony Bradford.
The hype here will be for Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but a couple of things tip the scale towards Bradford. First, though Smith-Njigba could basically limp onto the field and still be the clear leader for WR3 - a ‘starting’ job - that’s still not going to have the same output as if Bradford is the starting guard. The same would be true of Olu Oluwatimi, but I’m pegging Bradford over Phil Haynes as the battle more likely won than Olumwatimi over Evan Brown.
The big news on Bradford has been his test scores:
The more I look into it, the more I like the Anthony Bradford pick for the #Seahawks. His explosiveness out of the snap is awesome. Incredible 10-yard split at 1.66 sec (!!) and he seems to fit the mold they like at RG. https://t.co/MH7eOfNmM7 pic.twitter.com/3dZAW5hgaL— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 29, 2023
Of which he graded out as like the Anthony Richardson of offensive guards.
Anthony Bradford is a OG prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.81 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 28 out of 1421 OG from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/XEst83S8Mk pic.twitter.com/7dwIq8kXYs— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 20, 2023
Would be cool to see them duel.
But right guard is an unknown for Seattle, as Haynes has yet to either stay healthy or outright win the spot. Bradford has such intriguing potential that Chad Reuter of NFL.com ranked him as the third most likely Day 3 pick to earn a starting job.
If Bradford starts even 12 or 13 games this season, that’s where I’d put his value as probably the highest among this rookie class, from a sheer volume of impact perspective. Guards never win anything, and if Devon Witherspoon has even two interceptions he’ll be a far bigger storyline. But the thing is the Seahawks defense will probably still be vulnerable to the run game or the underneath stuff against these linebackers, and teams can avoid Witherspoon to a degree if he proves capable.
That’s why I wonder about how quickly Bradford might win a starting role and provide immediate upgrade to an already elite Geno Smith-led offense. Every snap. Bradford could continue what felt like a step forward on the offensive line last season and really push this offense into upper echelon status protecting Geno Smith.