Seahawks bye-week grades: Linebackers have been good in 2017

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 1: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 1: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks defense has helped Seattle to a 3-2 record in 2017. The offense has struggled. Sometimes the defense has. But the linebackers rarely have. How do the Seahawks linebackers grade through five games?

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is the best linebacker in the NFL. Period. There. I said it. Again. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has Wagner rated well ahead of all other linebackers in 2017. Wagner has graded out at 92.0. The next closest is Lavonte David at 89.2. David is closer to third-best than first. Wagner is the best.

In fact, Wagner is probably having his best season so far. He has been excellent in all facets: pass rush, run stopping and pass coverage.

K.J. Wright is ranked as the 32nd best linebacker in the NFL. Wright is having possibly his worst season. The struggle for Wright has come, strangely enough, in run defense. The good thing about this, versus pass coverage, is that it is fixable. If Wright had lost the proverbial step, that would be bad. He hasn’t. He has simply missed assignments.

Of course, Seattle is really a two-linebacker team. Most of the time they play a 4-2-5. 20 years ago I think Pete Carroll would have preferred a 4-3-4, but the NFL is a much more pass oriented league. Every once in a while the Seahawks will throw a strongside linebacker (SAM) in the game. He’s the guy who will seem lost and out of place. The player who you can see mouthing the words, “How did I get here and what am I supposed to do?”

Related Story: Seahawks bye-week grades: How have the receivers done?

In the SAM role, Terence Garvin has been really good. But with very limited snaps. Garvin’s PFF grade is close to Wright’s (75 to 72.4), but in 295 fewer snaps, so…Michael Wilhoite has played SAM as well but has not done so well.

Grade: A+ (Wagner, because he is a ridiculous freak), B- for the rest