Bobby Wagner

Bobby Wagner set to start for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks 2nd-round pick Bobby Wagner is expected to take over the starting role at middle linebacker. He had been in a close competition with veteran Barrett Ruud, but the Seahawks dealt Ruud to New Orleans on Tuesday. Wagner’s backup will be veterans Heath Farwell and/or Matt McCoy.

Wagner was a four-year starter at Utah State and a team captain during his junior and senior years. Pete Carroll has reportedly been impressed with his work ethic and it sounds as though he’s at the beginning of a promising career in Seattle.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Rookie Notes, Seahawks 1 Comment

Bobby Wagner in mix to start for Seahawks

The Seahawks Seahawks took a lot of heat for the 1st-round selection, but they may have hit a home run with Bobby Wagner in the 2nd round.

Wagner is expected to compete with free agent acquisition Barrett Ruud and journeyman Matt McCoy for the starting job at inside linebacker, according to the Seattle Times.

Inside linebacker can be a difficult position for a rookie, as it is often treated as the quarterback off the defense. But should Wagner win the job, second-year strong-side linebacker K.J. Wright is expected to take over the defensive calls.

With that pressure off of Wagner, he just may be the favorite for the job. Ruud is coming off a year in which he ranked 47th out of 50 qualifying inside linebackers on Pro Football Focus, and McCoy has started just three games in the league since 2006.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Seahawks Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Seattle Seahawks

For the second consecutive year, the Seattle Seahawks whiffed in the 1st round and demonstrated a complete lack of understanding as to how to effectively use the draft to rebuild a franchise. While the Seahawks have some talent, they’re headed in the wrong direction.

I thought the selection of James Carpenter was bad last year, but Bruce Irvin may be worse. Not only was Irvin a fringe 1st-round prospect at best, but he’s a developmental prospect with serious character concerns. If the Seahawks wanted to gamble they should have selected Janoris Jenkins, who is at least NFL-ready in terms of his talent. Irvin will be effective as a situational pass rusher, but that’s not the type of player you target with the 15th selection.

Bobby Wagner was a nice 2nd-round value. He’ll likely back up Barrett Ruud in 2012 with a chance to take over the starting job in the future.

I like Russell Wilson a lot, but I’m not sure the 3rd round was the right place for the Seahawks to select him. He has all the tools necessary to have a long career as a backup, but his upside is somewhat limited. Considering the just signed Matt Flynn, the move is even more questionable.

I love the selection of Robert Turbin. His health is a concern, but if he can stay on the field he can push Marshawn Lynch for carries. In the 4th round he was a safe gamble.

Jaye Howard adds some depth to the defensive line, but was a reach in the 4th round. He’ll compete for a backup job and should make the final roster cuts.

Korey Toomer is a decent developmental prospect, but he’ll have plenty of competition at linebacker in Seattle. He definitely does not have a guaranteed roster spot.

Jeremy Lane is a nice developmental prospect. The Seahawks needed to add depth to the secondary and he had value in the 6th round.

I like the selection of Winston Guy. He’ll probably never develop into a starter, but he’ll back up Kam Chancellor at strong safety and immediately make a difference on special teams.

J.R. Sweezy played defensive tackle at N.C. State but will be converted to guard in Seattle. It’s tough to judge a player switching positions, but in the 7th round there’s no risk involved.

Greg Scruggs will compete with Jaye Howard and others for a backup job, but it’s tough to imagine both rookies surviving the final roster cuts.

Just like last year, the Seahawks whiffed in the 1st round but rebounded with some solid mid and late-round picks. They continue to add depth, but they won’t turn things around until the start to find the elite prospects in the early rounds.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Seahawks Leave a comment

Bobby Wagner scouting report

Bobby Wagner ILB Utah State #9
Ht: 6’0″Wt: 235  
Strengths:
Above-average athleticism. Extremely quick off the snap. Did not blitz often in college, but flashed impressive explosion when he did. Speed and lack of size makes him a dangerous situational pass rusher; tough for taller offensive tackles to stay low enough to get him engaged. Looks good in zone coverage; stays in his space and keeps his eyes in the backfield. Physical at the line of scrimmage in man coverage; does a nice job getting hands on tight ends and slowing them down. Reliable wrap-up tackler. Experience lining up at all three linebacker positions in a 4-3 scheme (primarily strong-side linebacker). Team captain in junior and senior year. Four-year starter.
Weaknesses:
Size will concern some teams; won’t be a great fit for every defensive scheme. Lacks the strength to consistently shed blocks once he’s engaged. Reliable tackler, but sometimes lacks the strength and explosion to bring the ball carrier to the ground without help. Inconsistent with the angles he takes in pursuit, and often relies on his speed to make up for mistakes. Limited experience against top competition.
Comments:
Wagner has the skills to start at the next level, but he’s not a great fit for every system. His lack of size limits the number of teams which will have an interest, as most schemes in today’s NFL favor size/strength over pure athleticism and speed. Wagner’s biggest issue is in run defense, where he really struggles at the point of attack. For this reason, he may actually be best suited to play inside in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system, which will give him more space and limit the instances where he’s engaged at the point of attack against the run.
Videos:
2011 vs Auburn
2011 vs Nevada 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment