17. Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks

Wednesday August 10th, 2016

Entering last season, Wagner made headlines by intimating that he was the "best linebacker in the league." While he is not the top linebacker on this list, the 26-year-old proved with another Pro Bowl appearance and a second-team All-Pro nod that he belongs among the position's elite. He started the year slow, possibly due to a pectoral injury, but found his form late. In Seattle’s playoff loss to Carolina, Wagner was one of the few defenders who had a positive first half as he made eight stops in the first two quarters, including a goal-line tackle on Jonathan Stewart after standing his ground amid a mess of blockers. He finished that game with 13 combined tackles. The Seahawks will seek revenge this year. They'll continue to rely on Wagner's speed in the middle of the field, which he uses to avoid linemen and find the ball carrier on running downs while quickly dropping into coverage to protect his part of the zone in passing situations.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.