Training camp has yet to begin, rosters are still in flux and fans haven’t had much of a chance to see players in action. We have to rely on what we already know about players to speculate on how they will perform this year, because minicamps don’t really give you a look at players since they are so short and limited on contact. And there are the obviously good players that everyone talks about. For the Seattle Seahawks those are Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner right now. But besides them who are a few Seattle players that are in line for big years?
Jarran Reed DT
Reed was one of the best players on the defense in 2018 for the Seahawks. He recorded 10.5 sacks after coming into the league as someone known only as a run stopper. Some of his production can be attributed to the fact so much attention was placed on Frank Clark that Reed was never the main focus of the offensive line. He will surely be in their sights this year after the Clark trade.
Reed has been a steadying influence on the defensive line, and his leadership traits were one of the reasons Pete Carroll and Co drafted him. He should take an even bigger step forward this year in terms of leading the line. Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark are gone, leaving a void for Reed to step into. I think Reed is hungry for an opportunity to be the star, be the main guy. And it isn’t because he envied the respect those other guys got, it is because he is a competitor and is always looking to get better and prove his talent.
I think he could easily get another 10 sacks in 2019.
Will Dissly TE
Dissly’s rookie season was cut short with a knee injury in just the fourth game. So, we don’t have a large sample size to look at, but it was some telling tape. He had 166 yards receiving and two touchdowns, including a highlight 66 yard catch and rumble for a score in his first game as a pro. Dissly was drafted for his blocking skills, so all the receiving numbers and potential are a pleasant surprise. He has been drawing great reviews from players and coaches during his rehab, and he is probably going to be ready for the 2019 season.
The Seattle tight end group has had some good players over the years but with Jimmy Graham’s departure the position has been unsettled. Nick Vannett was supposed to take over for Graham. Vannett has done a decent job but he is not an exciting player at this point and he looks better suited to a backup role. Many people are looking for Dissly to establish himself when he can practice as the first-team tight end for the Seahawks. Brian Schottenheimer should be able to use Dissly in creative ways that utilize his strengths and that could turn into a very good year. With Doug Baldwin’s departure it leaves a lot of passes to spread around, Dissly could be in line for a good portion of them.
I think he can get 5 touchdowns and 600 yards this year.
K.J. Wright LB
I know it might look strange to see Wright on this list, but he is a crucial component to what Seattle does on defense. He takes on so many running back and tight end matchups in pass coverage, and he has been exceptional at that for years. Wright is one of the longest tenured Seahawks on the roster and his experience comes with lessons that he is imparting to the young guys behind him. Wright is by all means a great guy on and off the field. But he makes this list because of his on-field play. Wright has only had two seasons in his eight-year career with less than 80 tackles, his rookie year and this last year when he was injured.
Wright is a quiet player, who seems to do everything right on the field. He is a ballhawk who plays in the shadow of Bobby Wagner, but it seems to be the way he likes it. There is less media attention and he is free to do his job at a high level with little scrutiny from people. Somehow, he has only collected three interceptions in his career including playoffs, even though his forte is pass coverage. He has forced ten fumbles in his tenure in Seattle, showing he makes an impact wherever the ball is.
I think he gets back to more than 100 total tackles, an interception and three forced fumbles in 2019.