Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon goes at No. 5 overall to the Seahawks in the NFL Draft

Witherspoon was regarded as one of the top two cornerbacks in the draft despite being slightly undersized from what Seattle has opted for in the past with players at the position.

SHARE Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon goes at No. 5 overall to the Seahawks in the NFL Draft
Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon arrives on the red carpet before the first round of the NFL Draft.

Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon arrives on the red carpet before the first round of the NFL Draft.

Charlie Riedel/AP

RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks continued the overhaul of their defense, selecting Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the No. 5 pick of the NFL draft on Thursday night.

Despite edge rusher Tyree Wilson and defensive tackle Jalen Carter still on the board, the Seahawks opted to solidify their cornerback position a year after Seattle spent two draft picks on cornerbacks in Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant.

Witherspoon was regarded as one of the top two cornerbacks in the draft despite being slightly undersized from what Seattle has opted for in the past with players at the position. Witherspoon blossomed in his final season at Illinois where he was the Big Ten defensive back of the year, had three interceptions and 17 passes defensed.

He is the first cornerback to be selected in the first round by Seattle since Kelly Jennings was selected No. 31 overall in 2006.

Seattle held its highest pick during the tenure of coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, the result of the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver before last season. Seattle also owns the No. 20 pick, two of five picks the Seahawks have in the top 83 selections of the draft.

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