Just four years ago, the Seattle Seahawks had one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, with players like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and Marshawn Lynch all making spectacular plays. This is what helped the team send so many players to the Pro Bowl and ultimately win Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos.
Since the Pro Bowl is scheduled before the Super Bowl, almost every player that makes it to the all-star game participates. Next year, for instance, there’s a good chance that every team will have at least one player make it to the Pro Bowl. Last year, for example, the Cleveland Browns didn’t win a single game and still managed to send Joe Schobert to the Pro Bowl.
The Seahawks won nine games and managed to send seven players to Orlando, Florida to represent the National Football Conference (NFC). Since the last Pro Bowl, however, two of the seven players Seattle sent to Orlando, have since left the team, and there could be another one on the way out. In 2017, Seattle was represented by Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham, and Duane Brown. The year before, Seattle had seven players represent them in the 2016 Pro Bowl. This means that throughout the past three years, Seattle has sent 12 different players to the Pro Bowl.
Despite five of those players being gone, and free safety Earl Thomas considering the idea of representing another team, the key question then becomes, who will represent Seattle this year? With players like Russell Wilson suffering multiple concussions last season, despite the NFL’s efforts to prevent concussions from happening in the sport, a player’s ability to stay healthy is key. The NFL has faced countless lawsuits from former players experiencing trauma from taking blows to head and experiencing memory problems from all the drugs they were given to cope with these injuries. Nevertheless, the appeal of the game outweighs the risk and Wilson is Seattle’s top contender making the Pro Bowl in four of his six seasons. The biggest issue Wilson will face this season is being able to make key plays without his offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Another thing Wilson will have to overcome is competition. In the NFC, there’s an extremely high level of competition at the quarterback position with Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, and Dak Prescott, as opposed to the AFC.
Doug Baldwin is another player that could possibly make it back to the Pro Bowl next year. The only problem he faces, however, is competition with other wide receivers. Like the quarterback position, the NFC is filled with competition at the wideout position. With players like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, and Davante Adams, Baldwin will have to continue putting up big numbers. Due to the departure of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham, the Seattle Seahawks might focus more on Baldwin this year — unless, of course, other players step up to the plate.
On the defensive side of the ball is linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has made the Pro Bowl each year for the last four seasons. In fact, Wagner was named first team all-pro for three seasons now. As long as he’s healthy, it’d be a mistake to leave him off the list this year. Thomas, who is a six-time Pro Bowler, is also someone to keep an eye on. That is, of course, if he’s still on the roster this coming season.
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed might also have a chance to make the Pro Bowl, but he’ll have to overcome some serious obstacles in order to do so. Since Seattle runs a 4-3 defense, it can be difficult for a defensive lineman to showcase their talents. On the bright side, as long as defensive players like Reed, Linval Joseph, and Nazair Jones reach five sacks, there’s a chance they’ll make the Pro Bowl.
Although it’s unlikely Shaquill Griffin will make the Pro Bowl this year, he’s still a possible prospect, which means fans shouldn’t rule him out. He played really well as a rookie, and he has some of the best coaches in his corner helping him along the way. Like other players, however, he has some serious competition at the cornerback position; one that includes Chris Harris Jr., Desmond Trufant, Kyle Fuller, Aqib Talib, Xavier Rhodes, and Josh Norman. Let’s not forget about the newest 49er, Richard Sherman.
Lastly, the Seahawks special team could also help Tyler Lockett, who led the NFL in return yards last year, have a breakout season. Like most returners, however, it gets harder and harder for a return specialist to make a name for themselves. Whether or not these players will make it to the Pro Bowl next year, no one knows. Fortunately, with the season right around the corner, we’ll have our answer soon.