To see the full list of the 20 best Seahawks in 2012, click here.
Man, February is the WORST for sports blogging. The NBA can’t get back to Seattle quick enough for me …
Bobby Wagner is just another in a long line of impressive draft picks from the brain trust at Seattle Seahawks Incorporated. I mean, I REALLY can’t stress enough how mind-blowing it is to have all these guys who are not only home-grown, but who are QUALITY home-grown! The Seattle Mariners are totes jelly right now.
Let’s start with the secondary and work our way forward: Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Bruce Irvin: all defensive starters or would-be defensive starters, all drafted by the Seahawks, all under the age of 30. That’s potentially 8 of 11 starters going into 2013! And, realistically, you’ve got enough drafted depth behind those guys to fill in the rest of the holes and not lose much of a step.
On the offense, we’re looking at a situation where free agency and trades have made more of an impact, but you’ve still got Russell Wilson, Russell Okung, Max Unger, Pancakes Carpenter, and Golden Tate who are all starters, all drafted by Seattle, and all under 30. So, 5 of 11 (with Lynch, Miller, McQuistan, Giacomini, Robinson, and Rice rounding out the rest of the group), but plenty of drafted depth with the likes of Turbin, McCoy, Baldwin, Moffitt, and Sweezy to round things out.
Granted, there are a couple of IFs along the offensive line. For instance, can two of the following – Carpenter, Moffitt, and Sweezy – lock down the offensive guard positions? If that happens, then you’ve got 4/5 of your offensive line as Seahawks draft picks. When you play Baldwin instead of Robinson (in 3-WR sets), you’re looking at 7 of 11 offensive players. Essentially, as a team, that puts the Seahawks at 15 regulars/starters out of a possible 22 who were Seahawks draft picks. Incredible!
At this point, thanks to the production of guys like Bobby Wagner, we can go into the 2013 season and just ASSUME that the Seahawks will not only draft a linebacking replacement to Leroy Hill, but that he will also step right in and be a productive member of this defense. And, Hell, if that rookie comes in and can’t hack it, well guess what: Malcolm Smith stepped in for Hill towards the end of 2012 and did just fine in limited duty spelling the veteran. We’ve ALREADY got a Seahawks-drafted guy under 30 on our roster to step into the starting lineup!
This post hasn’t really had that much to do with Wagner up to this point, so let’s talk numbers. Wagner, as a rookie, came in here and led the team in tackles with 140. That number, mind you, was 7th in the league and 2nd among all rookies (which is why he didn’t win Defensive Rookie of the Year, though he was clearly in the running). Wagner also tacked on 2 sacks and 3 interceptions to round out just an amazing rookie campaign. He easily made us forget guys like David Hawthorne and Lofa Tatupu, which was a pretty tall order to be sure.
In a lot of ways, Wagner was kind of an overlooked figure on the 2012 Seahawks. When you’ve got guys like Wilson, Sherman, Lynch, and Thomas taking the bulk of the glory, Wagner just went out there, did his job, and did it at an elite level. Before too long, he’ll be going to Pro Bowls and earning a huge amount of money. But, for now, he’s our 2nd-year leader of this defense that’s hopefully going to bring us a Super Bowl championship.