The Russell Wilson trade is a thing of the past, but it's obviously still impacting both the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks now and will continue to do so into the future. The Denver Broncos sent the Seahawks a king's ransom of players and picks, the meat of which was a pair of first-round picks and second-round picks from 2022-23. It's obviously still incredibly early to be judging those draft selections for better or worse, but the Seahawks are getting some great early returns from the players they selected with those picks.
Notably, 2022 second-round pick Boye Mafe has come out after a relatively quiet rookie season in Seattle and is absolutely dominating off the edge for the Seahawks in 2023.
Boye Mafe has now recorded a sack for the Seahawks in seven straight games as of their Week 10 matchup agaianst the Washington Commanders. We'll see when (or if) that streak ends anytime soon, but the seven-game streak has given Mafe his season total of 7.0 sacks (in 8 games played) and he's also added 10 QB hits, 7.0 tackles for loss, and 15 total pressures.
Now, you might be reading this and wondering why a Denver Broncos site is reporting on the success of a Seattle Seahawks player. Even with the connection of the Russell Wilson trade, what gives?
That's a fair question, and I think for better or worse, we're always going to be looking at the return the Seahawks got from the Broncos and how those players are performing, because this is one of the biggest trades in NFL history. Mafe was selected with the 40th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but the Broncos obviously gave up a lot more than that to get Russell Wilson.
Charles Cross, the 9th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, is Seattle's starting left tackle and is having some struggles during the 2023 season.
Devon Witherspoon, the 5th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, has been an outstanding selection for Seattle and has made some big plays early in his rookie season.
The reality is, if the Seahawks had selected a quarterback with any of the picks the Broncos sent them, this trade would be getting revisited way more than it has been. For that reason, we're going to continue keeping tabs on how the other side of this trade is working out and how some of those individual players are performing, if only for curiosity's sake.
On the other side of things, Russell Wilson has bounced back well in 2023 for the Broncos after a brutal start to his time in Denver in 2022. Injuries plagued him, Nathaniel Hackett ended up being a disaster in the head coach's chair, and the Broncos were just brutal to watch last season. And Russell Wilson became sort of a laughing stock for the rest of the league, and the butt of many jokes.
This year, that noise has quieted down quite a bit. The Seahawks are still having success with a 6-3 record, tied for the best in the NFC West, but questions about Geno Smith's longevity have arisen in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, a major part of Seattle's success these days -- for better or worse -- will be determined by the Russell Wilson trade, and that's why we will continually revisit it for both sides.
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