seahawks

Seahawks Defense: Guys to keep an eye on | 2012 NFL predictions

Version 2.0 the defensive side of things

Since I gave you the offensive players to keep and eye on last week, I bring you the defensive guys to watch this week.

The Seahawks defense was the key to the 7-9 season last year, without them, we could’ve finished a lot worse.

This year the D looks even better, with the addition of some key rookies from this years draft. I look for them to make an immediate impact on this years team, plus the secondary should be among the league’s best this season.

Once again, I will start with the newest addition to the Seahawks defense:

#10: Bruce Irvin DE

Some say Bruce Irvin would be better at the linebacker position, his body is built for it, but I’m not one of them. He has the speed to burst off the line and into the backfield to disrupt any running plays, and the potential to get his name on the score sheet for more than a few sacks.

Though it is thought he will be a third down pass rush end, I still think he gets top rookie honors along with Bobby Wagner, on defense.

Prediction: 30 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 pass deflections.

#9: Bobby Wagner LB

The Utah State alum will be gunning for a chance at week one first team game time. I think he will get it too. Impressive as he was in college, though it was a weak conference, expect more from him at the NFL level.

Bobby Wagner started all but two games in college, so he has that burning desire to play the game, and he was huge when it came to stopping the run for the Aggies. Plus he knows how to drop back and defend the pass just as well.

Prediction: 87 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 29 tackles for loss.

Earl Thomas

The Hawks look to build on the successes of last season defensivley, led by the secondary and Earl Thomas

#8: Red Bryant DE

“Big” Red Bryant is definitely coming off of his best year in his career so far. Staring all 16 games, Bryant will look to continue that trend.

A more wise Bryant also will be key in the development of Bruce Irvin‘s NFL career, and hopefully can spell him of his off field problems.

Prediction: 40 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections.

#7: Chris Clemmons DE

With Chris Clemmons playing opposite Red Bryant, the Hawks have some terrifying speed off of the line. Chris Clemmons is also coming off the best year of his career, and you know he’s going to want to add to it!

Prediction: 53 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 6 pass deflections.

#6: Leroy Hill LB

Leroy Hill is most definitely the man when it comes to the Seahawks linebacking corps. This guy was a beast last year, and with a hot new stud in Bobby Wagner coming in, he will surely be on his A game not wanting to lose out to the rookie.

Starting all 16 games last year, Hill was on the brink of 90 tackles for the year. I think he gets it this year.

Prediction: 93 tackles, 4.5 sacks.

#5 Brandon Mebane DT

Another great member of the Seahawks starting defensive line last year, Brandon Mebane also had a career year. All of these guys have been getting better and better each year, and I don’t think that trend is going to fall anytime soon. Barring injuries of course.

Prediction: 60 tackles, 1 sack.

#4 Brandon Browner CB

The first of the three headed monster that was the Seahawks secondary last year, and coming off a season in which he started all 16 games, expect Browner to get his name called when it’s time to go to Hawaii this year.

Prediction: 58 tackles, 7 picks, 33 passes defensed.

Leroy Hill

Leroy Hill will be the man in the middle for the Seahawks once again

#3: Alan Branch DT

Alan Branch was one start shy of starting the whole season, yet his numbers were excellent in his 15 games. 34 tackles, and 3 sacks are nothing to be ashamed of.

Prediction: 37 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 pass deflections.

#2: Kam Chancellor SS

Oh man, what a year this guy had last year. As the second member of the three headed secondary monster, Kam Chancellor was outstanding in his first year as a starter.

Prediction: 101 tackles, 6 picks, 41 passes defensed.

#1: Earl Thomas FS

Another pro-bowler out of the secondary for the Hawks, Earl Thomas was another reason why opposing qb’s were scared to throw it deep last year.

And as this young trio gets older and works together, this could end up being one of the best secondary’s in the NFL.

Prediction: 104 tackles, 5 picks, 12 passes defensed.

So there you have it folks, my top ten guys to keep an eye on for next season. Nothing new here really, just more of the same from one of the best defensive teams in the NFL last year!

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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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  • surley

    Isn’t Hill facing a suspension? If so those numbers are high.

    • Nwsportsbeat

      Haven’t heard that at all…

      • surley

        Per PFT Feb.27 2012. Hill arrested for marijuana possession. He’s been arrested 3 times in 3 years, two of them for marijuana so he is in the leagues substance abuse program. I assumed he would be suspended after watching the commish in action. I hope I’m wrong. He served a 1 game suspension in 2010 for violating NFL substance abuse…

        • Bubba

          Charges were dropped.

          • NWSportsBeat

            Yup

        • http://www.facebook.com/john.overman.148 John Overman

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t those charges dropped?

    • Sponges

      no hes not thats why he got resigned and he will be playing outside were he has always played. Wagner will play MLB unless a vet beats him out of the spot over the summer.

      Also, 2 sacks for Irvin and 2 sacks for Bryant? I would like to think Irvin gets more than 2 sacks despite limited playing time

    • Bubba

      No, Hill is not facing a suspension.

  • Bubba

    If you’re going to predict that Wagner is the starting Mike LB, you could at least predict some more realistic stats… 47 tackles, with 29 of them for a loss?? C’mon dude… He should be much closer to 100 tackles, with maybe 20% of them coming for a loss. Also unrealistic is your prediction that each of our Safeties finish the season with more than 100 tackles… Do you really think our front 7 are that bad? Head-scratcher.

  • Clinton

    You know Bubba, you are right, I made a mistake with my numbers, thank you for pointing that out, I’m going back in and fixing them right away. And no, I do not think that our front 7 is that bad, but I do think the secondary is the gem of the D.

  • MLT

    No Richard Sherman??? And 2 sacks for Irvin? I think he has @ worst 6 but I was thinking 8 or 9 for Irvin and 11 for Clem! And Sherman is a stud my prediction is he becomes our best CB over browner!

  • Shawnhuskyfan81

    Agree with most on here that 2 sacks for Irvin is a very low prediction. Personally I want him to really develop his swim and spin moves, to go along with his ridiculous outside speed, and if he does that this off-season my prediction is a record 30 sacks this year. Teams will be triple teaming him by week 14.

    Also agree that Richard Sherman belongs on here as well. He didnt start the amount of games Browner did, but he played left side, against arguably better receivers, and put up better per game numbers than Browner, with a lot less penalties.

    One more point, what IS the point of making a top 10 list on a squad that starts 11 guys? The only starters you left off the list are Sherman and KJ Wright. What gives? Irvin as the only backup worthy of mention? What about one of the guys competing for the nickel corner or big safety roles? There is just no reason not to include them and expand the list to 15, all 11 starters plus 4 backups. Presumably Irvin, Trufant, Guy, and Lane, but that could be debatable and make a great comment thread.

    Just my thoughts.

    • Peyton

      Jason Jones should be one of the 4.

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