27-Year-Old Linebacker – Seattle Seahawks
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
Wagner had a career year in 2016, mainly because he stayed healthy. It was the first time since his 2012 rookie year that he played 16 games, as he dealt with a combination of ankle, toe, and pectoral...
Bobby Wagner Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $43 million contract extension in August 2015
Wagner racked up 11 tackles (eight solo) during Thursday's 22-16 win over the Cardinals.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2017 Proj||27||SEA||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Bobby Wagner|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Bobby Wagner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
If Wagner could stay healthy for 16 games, he would be a good bet to outperform this ranking. Unfortunately, he missed games in each of the last three years, eight in total, due to ankle, turf toe and pectoral troubles. When on the field, Wagner is an elite player in both real life and IDP terms, combining crushing physicality and DB-like speed to pose a threat in all phases of defensive play. The bottom line is his upside makes him worth the injury risk after he produced at a pace that projects to 136 tackles, three sacks and one pick per 16 games over his first four seasons.
Two years too late, Wagner finally received his first All-Pro honor last season, despite missing five games with a turf toe injury. Even on a defense that has ranked no higher than 27th in snaps each of the last three years, Wagner has been an unstoppable tackle machine, averaging nearly 10 a game last season. Considering he hit triple-digit tackles on just 658 snaps last year, Wagner has 160-tackle upside if he ever sees close to 1,000 snaps, though Seattle's ability to consistently force punts and turnovers make that unlikely. As perhaps the league's most athletic linebacker with 4.46 speed, he also has more upside for sacks and interceptions than his career numbers suggest.
Wagner was, as expected, a big hit in 2013, posting 120 tackles (72 solo), five sacks and two interceptions despite missing two games with a high ankle sprain. Measuring in at 6-0, 241-pounds, Wagner possesses 4.4 speed to go along with elite lower body strength and explosiveness (39.5-inch vertical, 132-inch broad jump), and he possesses blitzing skills very few linebackers can match. That makes him a lethal fit in Seattle's swarming defense, as offensive lines can't account for both Wagner and the defensive line, leaving creases between blockers that allow Wagner to fly to quarterbacks and other ballcarriers. The result has been 259 tackles (158 solo) and seven sacks in his first two years, and there's no reason to think he'll slow down from here. Since Seattle is so good at pressuring quarterbacks, Wagner also gets the opportunity to intercept hurried and off-target passes, something he's done five times thus far in his two-year career. His ankle sprain from last year appears to mostly be a fluke, as he didn't miss a game in any of the four years prior to last, dating back to his days at Utah State. He's a high-floor, high-ceiling IDP investment and a dark horse candidate to finish atop the linebacker IDP point total this year.
If you're the gambling sort, you might want to rank Wagner ahead of James Laurinaitis and perhaps even on a plane similar to Luke Kuechly's. Like Kuechly, Wagner was a rookie last year who, despite possessing much less hype than the Carolina star, quickly established himself as one of the league’s most dominant defenders. Although he began the year in a two-down role, it didn't take long for Wagner to emerge as Seattle's top linebacker, and he finished with 139 tackles (86 solo), two sacks and three interceptions. Wagner is a highly disruptive player with exceptional speed, and he should continue to supplement his high tackle totals with impact plays in coverage and behind the line of scrimmage. And there's actually reason to suspect Wagner can improve on his stats in 2013. He posted those 139 tackles while playing just 849 snaps on defense, whereas Kuechly and Laurinaitis played 923 and 1,080, respectively. If Wagner can approach 1,000 snaps on defense, 160 tackles might come with them.
David Hawthorne's departure leaves the middle linebacker spot open, but Wagner will have to beat out veteran Barrett Ruud. Like Mychal Kendricks in Philadelphia, Wagner has athleticism that rivals that of the typical NFL cornerback – he posted a 40-yard dash of 4.46 seconds at his pro day while adding a 39.5-inch vertical. A gifted blitzer, Wagner should be a frightening presence in an amorphous Seattle front seven that is loaded with versatility and speed. Wagner finished his last 37 games at Utah State with 394 tackles, including 26.5 for a loss. He just needs to get on the field.