Seahawks, Rams 'coming' for 49ers after strong NFL Draft, John Lynch states

Lynch: Seahawks 'coming' for 49ers' crown after strong draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Seattle Seahawks began the 2023 NFL Draft with four picks in the opening two rounds.

They selected cornerback Devon Witherspoon, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, edge rusher Derick Hall and running back Zach Charbonnet before the 49ers were on the clock even once.

San Francisco ran away with the NFC West division in 2022, finishing the regular season on a 10-game winning streak and a 13-4 record. Did the Seahawks tighten the gap in the division?

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“Well, I’ll say this, [Seahawks general manager] John Schneider is as good at this job as anybody in our league,” 49ers GM John Lynch said Thursday on KNBR. “And so you always know you’re going to have competition with he and [coach] Pete Carroll, the way they work together, and they do it really well. They’ve kind of reinvented themselves numerous times.”

The Seahawks went 7-10 in 2021 and missed the playoffs for just the third time in Carroll’s tenure. They responded by trading quarterback Russell Wilson that following offseason to the Denver Broncos for a significant package of players and draft capital.

Without Wilson, Seattle became a surprise wild-card team last season behind a resurgent season for quarterback Geno Smith, who was voted the 2022 AP Comeback Player of the Year.

“When we got here [in 2017], Seattle had the upper hand,” Lynch said on KNBR. “The Rams then got it, and we kind of have taken control. But we know Seattle is coming. We know the Rams are coming. Arizona had a really good draft, so you always better be going.”


Smith-Njigba, the first wide receiver off the board, provides Smith with another weapon in the passing game alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Charbonnet replaces the void in the backfield from Rashaad Penny departing in free agency.

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“But yes, we feel the Seahawks coming,” Lynch said Thursday. “They’re really good. They had a really good draft last year. I think they’ve repeated it this year. But the most important thing is that we continue to focus upon ourselves, and I think we continue to make our roster better.”

The 49ers proved there’s a wide talent gap by ending Seattle’s season in the wild-card round last year. But that task may prove to be more difficult moving forward.

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