Seattle Seahawks studs and duds stand out after the first 8 games

You don't get a 5-3 record without a healthy dose of studs and duds. Or unhealthy in the latter case.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Hawks have some veteran studs making noise this season, too

When you mention the terms veteran and Seahawks, you have to start at the top. That can only mean the ageless Bobby Wagner. He's still the top-rated defender on the Hawks, and that's by a wide margin. As rated by Pro Football Focus (paywall alert), he's the only player in Seattle rated above 80.0 in both run defense and tackling. He's rated over 90 in each, by the way. BWagz is rated as the best inside linebacker against the run in the entire league, in fact. His worst grade, 68.3, is higher than any Seahawks safety. Wagner still brings it on every play.

It might be a bit of a stretch to call a player with just 10 starts on his resume a veteran, but there is no doubt that second-year player Boye Mafe has been one of the biggest studs on this Seahawks squad. You may find it a bit overbearing, but yeah, I'm going to repeat that I predicted a huge year for Mafe way back in mid-June. Along with Wagner and Witherspoon, he's the only Seahawks defender rated above 80.0 by PFF. He leads Seattle with six sacks, tying the team record for consecutive games in that category. He's played strong against the run as well, with six tackles for a loss. Mafe will only get better as the season - and seasons - go on.

I know you're shocked, but the Hawks actually have veteran studs on offense, too. I've got a surprise for my first entry. Believe me, he surprised me too. Yep, I'm talking about Evan Brown, the Seahawks near-perfect center. For the record, while I did write he'd be a great addition in Seattle, I expected Olu Oluwatimi to replace him after the bye week. Brown has yet to allow a sack or even a quarterback hit so far this year. He's the only member of the Hawks offensive line with more than two starts who can make that claim. Sounds like a stud to me.

It may seem odd to say a guy who just rushed for 16 yards is a stud, but there's simply no way to leave Kenneth Walker III out of the discussion. Almost no one played well against the Ravens, and Walker only got nine carries. For about the millionth time in the past five years, Pete Carroll said the Hawks needed to run the ball more. Uh, okay, Pete. It's not like you have the power to make that happen or anything. As for K-9, its true that his yards per carry have dropped from last season, from 4.6 to 4.2.yards per carry. But he's improved as a receiver, and has broken tackles nearly 40 percent more often than last year. Want to see a real stud? Just give this man the ball.