NFC Team No. 3: Seattle Seahawks
Ah, yes, the old enemy.
The Seattle Seahawks are the only real threat to the 49ers in the NFC West unless the Los Angeles Rams or Arizona Cardinals have an unexpected resurgence in 2023. The Hawks, unfortunately for the 49ers, could only be described as having a successful offseason.
Seattle had two first-round selections, with one in the top five thanks to the Russell Wilson trade. The defensive line was considered to be the biggest need for the Seahawks, but they surprisingly passed on the position to grab cornerback Devon Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round. Both were the top players at their respective positions in the draft, so they'll be very strong there.
The Hawks did eventually address both positions with EDGE Derick Hall boosting up the pass rush and defensive tackle Cameron Young to help improve their poor run defense. Anthony Bradford and Olusegun Oluwatimi were high-value positions to boost their interior blocking, while Zach Charbonnet should be an excellent receiving back and backup to Kenneth Walker.
A lot depends on quarterback Geno Smith, of course. He had a surprisingly good season in 2022 and was awarded a healthy extension as a consequence, so whether or not he was a one-season wonder will be the big question.
Nonetheless, Seattle is a strong team that's even stronger in 2023. Between their draft class, welcoming back linebacker Bobby Wagner and Pete Carroll as coach, the Seahawks are a definite threat to the 49ers in the NFC West.