Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon was taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 5 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s the first corner to be taken in this draft and will help bolster the Seahawks’ secondary right out the gate. This was a luxury pick for Seattle, as it landed the fifth pick from the Russell Wilson trade.
A four-year starter at Illinois, Devon Witherspoon enters the 2023 NFL Draft as one of the most pro-ready defensive backs in the class and should make an immediate impact for an NFL team.
Despite entering college as an undersized, under-recruited defensive back, Witherspoon played in all 13 games his freshman year, recording 33 tackles. After recording 33 tackles and two interceptions in seven games in 2020, Witherspoon had a breakout in 2021, netting 52 tackles, nine passes defended and one interception. He finished his collegiate career with 42 tackles and three interceptions in 2022.
Devon Witherspoon: Scouting Report
Witherspoon has some of the best instincts of any defender in this draft, as evidenced by his 14 pass breakups last season. That’s not the only strong part of his game, as NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein writes that Witherspoon “plays with anticipation, route feel and a consistent sense of urgency to prevent catches ... he plays with ball-hawking eyes and good balance from zone coverage and is very aggressive tackling both after the catch and in run support.”
While Witherspoon’s a bit on the smaller side (6-foot-1, 180 lbs), he’s still arguably the best corner in this year’s draft, and should be ready to go Week One.
Mock Draft landing spots
Witherspoon is expected to be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. ESPN’s Matt Miller and NFL.com’s Chad Reuter have him headed to the Detroit Lions with pick No. 6, CBS’ Ryan Palmer has him heading to the Eagles with pick No. 10, and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has the Raiders taking him with pick No. 7.