Seahawks position preview: Linebackers are the best group in the NFL

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 still have several needs for 2019. But one group that should be a strength of the team are Bobby Wagner and the linebackers.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is the best player at his position in the NFL. Wagner should be in Hall of Fame one day. He does his job exceedingly well and opponents know it. But Wagner is just one of three really good linebackers on the Seattle roster. This trio helps form the best linebacker group in the league.

K.J Wright and Mychal Kendricks are the other two linebackers on the Seattle roster worthy of possibly being Pro Bowl candidates. Wright has already made one Pro Bowl. Kendricks could make one if he gets enough snaps on a Seahawks defense designed to allow the linebackers to create chaos. In limited time last season in Seattle, Kendricks was able to pressure the quarterback and make tackles.

Wright, of course, was hurt a bunch of 2018 but when he returned he was excellent. He was one of the better Seattle defensive players against the Cowboys in the Wild Card loss. That is promising coming into 2019 as Wright probably wants to prove himself all over again. Wright and Wagner already formed one of the best linebacker duos in the NFL.

Now with Kendricks they have a third. On most snaps, Seattle plays just two linebackers as they play a 4-2-5. This means they have four defensive linemen, two linebacker and five defensive backs. The reason for the fifth defensive back is for the slot corner. But Kendricks allows Seattle to have some flexibility for defensive scheme. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. might tinker with blitz packages because of the abilities of his linebackers. Seattle did not previously have this.

Seattle lost edge rusher Frank Clark this offseason. Besides adding Ziggy Ansah, Seattle needs to find help to pressure quarterbacks. I can’t wait to see what Norton does schematically.

Beyond the top three linebackers, Seattle has some quality depth. They list Jacob Martin as a linebacker though he is really an edge rusher. But Martin has the speed to play linebacker as well. The Seahawks drafted Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven this year and both will be good on special teams and could be future starters. In fact, Seattle is so deep at linebacker that 2018 draftee Shaquem Griffin might need to find a new position to make the active roster.

Next. Seahawks 53-man roster projection post minicamp. dark

Therein lies the only issue with the talent on the Seahawks roster at linebacker. There is simply too much talent. To fill out the roster and be under the cap, Seattle will have to let one or three of these talented guys go. Or they really think there is a chance that Wagner leaves in free agency after 2019 and they are simply building for the future. I hope that doesn’t happen.