Experiment 3: Jordyn Brooks – Seahawks linebacker
Jordyn Brooks is many things. He is a very good tackler and he hits hard. He can cover sideline-to-sideline with ease with speed and athleticism. But what Brooks is not is a replacement for Bobby Wagner and that is seemingly what he was drafted to do in 2020: Replace Wagner.
Brooks has some of the same attributes. He doesn’t miss many tackles, but he also isn’t good in coverage. Wagner didn’t really chase down quarterbacks much in Seattle because he wasn’t asked to. The same goes for Brooks as he doesn’t supply much in quarterback pressure and has just 2 sacks in three seasons and just 6 quarterback hits.
But Seattle doesn’t really ask Brooks to sack quarterbacks. What they ask him to do is be great against the run and clean up tackles and hopefully penetrate the line of scrimmage to take down running backs. Brooks, however, when given the chance to shine as the leader of the defense in 2022 (after Wagner was released and left in free agency) simply did not shine. He had 10 tackles for loss in 2021 when Wagner was still around but just 3 in 2022 when Wagner was no longer in Seattle.
Brooks, unfortunately, got injured in Week 17 of 2022 and he might not be ready near the start of the 2023 season. He hasn’t been a player that has struggled with injuries in his career so the ACL injury he suffered in 2022 seems like a one-off. But prior to the injury, Brooks had not proved himself a player capable of doing anything other than racking up tackles. He seems replaceable for a defense that needs to be more aggressive and create more turnovers.