If Bobby Wagner doesn’t come back in 2022
Linebacker Nakobe Dean, Georgia
I would like Bobby Wagner to be back with Seattle next season but he is getting really expensive ($20.325 million next year and Seattle would save $16.6 million by releasing him). If Seattle does decide to make a financial decision and release Wagner, they will need to replace him. Going younger might be the way to go to pair with Jordyn Brooks and solidify the Seahawks linebacker corps for the next 8-10 seasons.
Both the linebackers I have listed here could still be around in the 30s-range in this draft but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. In fact, they are potential transformative players. Seattle needs more speed on defense because NFL offenses are designed more now to spread defenses out allowing for more one-on-one situations. Seattle might need to move up a few spots to grab Dean but that doesn’t mean all the way into the first round.
Dean is exceptional and can run sideline to sideline with ease and has great instincts against the run. And he has more capability than even Wagner at this point to pressure quarterbacks at this point. Dean has had 6 sacks for Georgia this season. But maybe most importantly he has elite coverage skills for a linebacker with the speed to cover running backs and tight ends easily.
Linebacker Christian Harris, Alabama
The one thing that might push Harris to the second round is that he needs to work on his tackling. The good thing if he comes to Seattle and Pete Carroll is still the coach is that the Seahawks teach tackling very well. Seattle’s defense has issues, sure, but missing tackles is not normally an issue.
That said, Harris is a bit bigger than Dean and should be even stouter against the run in the NFL. This means Harris is a bit more like Wagner and Dean a bit more like K.J. Wright. With either Harris or Dean, however, Seattle would get an excellent pick. Harris can also rush the passer with explosiveness and is pretty good in coverage.