The Seattle Seahawks had one of the most consequential offseasons in the NFL. They moved on from franchise quarterback Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade. That’s a move that will be felt in Seattle for years. Without Wilson, the Seahawks are one of the worst, least talented teams in the NFL. They’ll almost certainly end up in the cellar of the NFC West, and it would be a surprise to see them win more than five games. Because of their lack of talent, Seattle is clearly in for a rebuilding season. Head coach Pete Carroll will be looking for a breakout player to take something away from the year, and the Seahawks have plenty of candidates. Out of all the players on Seattle who could have an unexpectedly good season, the most likely is linebacker Jordyn Brooks.
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Seahawks X-Factor To Emerge In 2022 NFL Season
While Brooks will likely break out in 2022, that’s not to say that he’s had a bad start to his career. He played mainly as a backup and a special teamer as a rookie, and was given a starting role in 2021. Brooks had an absolutely fantastic season, racking up 184 tackles, including 109 solo tackles, the most in the league. The former first-round pick clearly has what it takes to put up numbers. 2022 will only serve to confirm that.
Most combined tackles this season:
Foyesade Oluokun – 192
Jordyn Brooks – 184
Bobby Wagner – 170
CJ Mosley – 168
Roquan Smith – 163
Denzel Perryman – 154
De’Vondre Campbell – 146
Kyzir White – 144
Eric Kendricks – 143
Cole Holcomb – 142
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) January 13, 2022
There are several factors that will help Brooks improve this season. One of the most important is Bobby Wagner’s absence. Last season, Brooks and Wagner played alongside each other. Wagner is now with the Los Angeles Rams. That leaves Brooks as the leader of the Seattle defense. Wagner is a fantastic player who surely took tackles from Brooks. His absence will allow Brooks to dominate the tackle numbers for the Seahawks as the clear-cut best linebacker on the roster.
The players surrounding Brooks at his position are less than inspiring. Cody Barton is set to start at outside linebacker, and the backups are less than notable. Jon Rhattigan and Aaron Donkor are the next two guys on the depth chart, and neither have played meaningful NFL snaps. Barton has never broken 40 tackles in a season, and his coverage skills are far below average. Barton’s inability to play well will lead to Brooks having to make more plays. The poor quality of the backups means that Brooks will have to play a ton of snaps, which will again lead to bigger statistical outputs.
The weakness of Seattle’s defensive line will benefit Brooks’ stat sheets. The Seahawks are currently set to start Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu, Quinton Jefferson, and Shelby Harris on the line. Taylor and Nwosu are good pass-rushers, but they struggle against the run. Jefferson is below-average player across the board. The only solid defensive lineman they have is Shelby Harris. That means the run defense is likely going to rank in the bottom half of the NFL. Opposing running backs will get to the second level without being tackled. That will leave the cleanup duty to the Seattle linebackers.
Both Brooks and Barton will be forced to make a ton of plays, just like Brooks did in 2021. Brooks had 184 tackles in 2021, and Bobby Wagner had 170. That was easily the most of any linebacker duo in the NFL, and now that Wagner is gone, it’s fair to expect even more tackles for Brooks.