After years of being in the shadow of the Legion of Boom, the second-round pick out of Utah State has become a household name in the shield. Based on a poll taken by many NFL Players, linebacker Bobby Wagner was rated as the 15th best player in the league. He has the third highest rank in his position behind Chicago’s Khalil Mack at number three and Denver’s Von Miller at number 10. Aaron Donald of division rival and reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams took the top spot.
He was one of only three Seahawks to make the list. Russell Wilson made the list at number 25 followed by now Kansas City Chief Frank Clark at number 85. Last year, Wagner made first-team All-Pro for the third time in a row. According to Pro Football Focus in 2018, Wagner finished fifth in the league with 104 solo tackles. He is touted by many in the league for his ability to stop opposing running backs and for his ability to play sideline to sideline, earning a coverage grade of 90.5, the best in the league. He’s also been in the top 15 amongst linebackers in run stop percentage for five straight seasons. “For him to have that versatility of coverage and speed, but to also have that strength and power, you don’t find that combination across the league,” said Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky. “That’s why he’s one of the top linebackers, if not the top, every single year.” Ever since the slow decline and exodus of all-league performers like Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, Wagner has stepped up as a playmaker and has helped keep Seattle’s defense playing at a high level.
Bobby Wagner received another accolade, this time getting a 99 overall rating on the popular Madden Football video game series. He’s one of only four players in the entire league that’s part of the “99 Club,” joining the previously mentioned Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack plus Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins, the only offensive player in the club. To celebrate his perfect rating, Madden sent Wagner not only a trophy, but also a pair of gold-plated Air Jordan football cleats.
Going forward, Wagner will be part of an emerging defense looking to prove themselves. After signing a three-year contract extension to the tune of $54 million, all eyes will be on “B-Wagz” to take that next step.