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.
#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.
#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!