The Legion of Boom is a thing of the past as all original members have moved on after the departure of Earl Thomas. I will show you how the new look Seahawks defense breaks down in tier levels.
Earl Thomas had an ugly exit in Seattle, flipping the entire sideline the bird as he was carted off the field. That was the last remaining member of the coveted Legion of Boom. The Seahawks still have suffered quite a few losses with the departure of Earl Thomas and Justin Coleman via free agency. They also traded stud pass rusher Frank Clark to the Chiefs for a king’s ransom to say the least. Even with losing so much on the defensive side of the football there are still some good pieces in place. Lets see how the Seattle Seahawks IDP tiers breaks down.
Tier 1- Draft Targets
Bobby Wagner- Linebacker
2018 Stats: 138 tackles (84 solo), six tackles for a loss, one sack, 11 passes defended, one interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.
Bobby Wagner is a consensus top-five linebacker in the league. The lowest tackle total in his seven-year career was 114 in 2015. He followed that up in 2016 with his career-high 168 tackles. Needless to say, Wagner is a tackle machine. Over his career, Wagner has averaged just over 140 tackles per season. Not only is Bobby Wagner one of the best tacklers but he is one of the top cover linebackers in the league as well. Watch this highlight reel from 2018 and you will fall in love as well:
— SeahawksUnited (@SeahawksUnited_) February 7, 2019
Bobby Wagner just recently signed an extension that should keep him in Seattle for the foreseeable future. This means that his favorable situation should not change and that he should continue to rack up the IDP fantasy points.
2019 Projected Stats: 152 total tackles, six tackles for a loss, three sacks, 12 passes defended, one interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Tier 2- Depth Players
Bradley McDougald- Safety
2018 Stats: 78 tackles (68 solo), four tackles for a loss, nine passes defended, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Bradley McDougald can easily play himself into tier one but had some inconsistent play in 2018. He had five games with seven tackles or more but then had five games with three tackles or fewer. McDougald is easily the best player in the secondary for the Seahawks now with Earl Thomas gone to Baltimore. McDougald is fully capable of being a defensive playmaker for the Seahawks. He routinely makes great plays on the ball like this one here:
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 9, 2018
Considering how thin the secondary is for the Seahawks McDougald should have every opportunity to be incredibly productive. He just needs to stay consistent.
2019 Projected Stats: 91 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, 10 passes defended and one interception.
Jarran Reed- Defensive Tackle
2018 Stats: 50 tackles (34 solo), 12 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Jarran Reed is another one of the up and coming defensive tackles in the NFL. He has played three full seasons now and enjoyed a breakout year in 2018. Reed posted a career high in tackles, tackles for a loss and sacks. He always had good tackle numbers but his pass rushing stats took a huge leap. His sack total jumped from 1.5 in 2017 to 10.5 in 2018. Reed’s tackle for loss jumped from four in 2017 to 12 in 2018 and his QB hits jumped from eight in 2017 to a whopping 24 in 2018.
Zeke tried to block Jarran Reed here and well, it didn't go great…
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 6, 2019
That clip shows Reed’s tenacity for getting to the QB. Not only did he dominate a great Cowboys offensive line but he straight out flattened Ezekiel Elliot. Jarran Reed’s name needs to be in the top-tier list of defensive tackles. Jarran Reed just received a six game suspension due to personal conduct. If your league forces you to start a DT then Reed is still a top 5 DT option. Reed is suspended the first six games of the NFL season, lowering his price even further. You should be able to get him at a low cost, and he will help you down the stretch in your fantasy season.
2019 Projected Stats: 58 total tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
K.J. Wright- Linebacker
2018 Stats: 23 tackles (15 solo), two tackles for a loss and three passes defended. (5 games)
K.J. Wright was coming off of four consecutive seasons with over 100 tackles leading up to the 2018 season. Unfortunately for Wright he suffered numerous injuries in 2018 limiting him to only five games. This left Wright’s future with the team in jeopardy going forward. The Seahawks went on good faith and past production and gave K.J. Wright a two-year deal making him the starter for at least the 2019 season. K.J. Wright is more than capable in coverage as you see here:
KJ Wright comes down with the pick. Incredible concentration.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 6, 2019
He is an every-down back playing with Bobby Wagner and should be still in 2019. Wright is worth a look as a LB3.
2019 Projected Stats: 94 total tackles, four tackles for a loss, five passes defended and two fumble recoveries.
L.J. Collier- Defensive End
2018 Stats: 42 tackles (27 solo), 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and four passes defended.
L.J. Collier was a bit of a surprise pick to some for the Seahawks. Defensive end was a huge area of need for the team as Frank Clark was traded away and there was nobody left on the team to fill his shoes. The Seahawks like their defensive ends big and strong. Collier fits that bill at almost 290 Lbs. His strength is obviously there, just ask this Wisconsin lineman:
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 4, 2019
With Frank Clark gone, Collier will receive most likely all of the first-team reps on one side of the defensive line. This alone offers upside, and the fact that the Seahawks used a high draft pick on him shows they have faith in his ability. L.J. Collier just suffered a high ankle sprain in practice and is out for the preseason. This does not sway my decision on him though as the Seahawks are super thin at the defensive end position and he is probably their best bet.
2019 Projected Stats: 44 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a forced fumble.
Tier 3- Rotational Players
Shaquill Griffin- Cornerback
2018 Stats: 61 tackles (54 solo), three tackles for a loss, eight passes defended and two interceptions.
Shaquill Griffin is the #1 cornerback in Seattle easily. This alone makes him a tier-three player. He is coming off a very productive 2018 season and showed his sure tackling finishing about 88% of his tackles on his own. Making plays like this one he made against DeAndre Hopkins will force QBs to look a different direction:
With no real talent on the opposite side of the field, most teams will likely stay away from Griffin. With that said Griffin is by no means a lockdown corner and will be facing number one receivers. He makes enough plays and finishes enough of his tackles to be a CB2.
2019 Projected Stats: 52 total tackles, one tackle for a loss, nine passes defended and an interception.
Team IDP Sleeper
Ezekiel Ansah- Defensive End
2018 Stats: 11 tackles (7 solo), three tackles for a loss and four sacks.
Nobody is doubting the talent that Ziggy Ansah possesses. During his four healthy seasons he produced 8, 7.5, 14.5 and 12 sacks. His best season as a pro came four years ago in 2015, where he posted 47 tackles (39 solo), 15 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks, one pass defended, four forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He also posted a whopping 34 QB hits that season. Ansah has the height, strength, speed, and length to be a tantalizing talent in the NFL as you see here wrapping up one of the most elusive QBs in the NFL:
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) January 20, 2018
Ansah was still very productive in his limited appearances last season. He was able to produce four sacks, three tackles for a loss and seven QB hits while playing only 14.8% of the Lions defensive snaps. He still has it, he just needs to get healthy which makes him a nice sleeper target.
Bobby Wagner is the lone tier one product on this Seahawks defense. He is a top 5-10 draft option every year and for good reason. Now the team has a handful of tantalizing options in Jarran Reed, K.J. Wright, Bradley McDougald, and rookie L.J. Collier. All of these guys have the potential to put up great years, but I need to see consistency out of some, health from others, and just need to plain see how Collier plays before they can be upgraded.
Shaquill Griffin is the lone guy in the third tier. I do not believe that he will be targeted as heavy this year with the lack of talent on the other side of the secondary. Ziggy Ansah is the team’s sleeper as his talent is obvious, he just needs to stay healthy. Wagner is the only must draft option but the team has solid depth options.
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