2011 was a vintage year for linebackers in for the Seahawks
LB: Malcolm Smith, 2011, 7th round. Smith is another example of an excellent player who came up at the wrong time. David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill were entrenched vets and another rookie linebacker - you know who, you scrolled down a bit - was simply better than Smith. If he thought those guys were good, Bobby Wagner and Bruce Irvin joined the Seahawks the following year.
Smith was born a few years too late, or ten years too early. Smith did get eight starts in 2013 and proved he was up to the task with a pair of interceptions - one a pick-six - four pass breakups, and 54 combined tackles. He really blossomed with the Raiders in 2015, picking up over 100 tackles in his two seasons in Oakland. Smith had some juice, but other linebackers had full cartons.
LB: Dean Wells, 1993, 4th round. Drafted out of Kentucky, the 6'3" 248-pound Wildcat didn't have to wait as long as fellow draftee Michael McCrary to crack the Hawks lineup. He still had to wait until his third season to see significant action. Once in action, he made the most of it, with 57 tackles in 10 starts. He followed that up with 199 tackles over his next two seasons. He only got into nine games in 1998. He then played the final three years with the Panthers, where he started for two more seasons Wells may not have been an icon like the next gentleman, but he could play.
LB: K.J. Wright, 2011, 4th round. Ah, finally a man who the Hawks had to play almost from day one. I doubt I have to say much about the great Kenneth Bernard Wright, Jr., but I'm going to anyway. Among the pantheon of Seahawks greats, he ranks second all-time in combined tackles and third in tackles for a loss and forced fumbles. His 54 pass breakups rank second among all linebackers. Yeah, you know who ranks ahead of him, but finishing second to the greatest linebacker ever isn't exactly the worst, now is it? Wright, of course, is my second nominee for the Ring of Honor.