As Bobby Wagner enters his tenth NFL season, he does so as a a six time First-Team All-Pro, seven time Pro Bowler, and — perhaps most impressively — as one of the key figures from the Seahawks’ imposing 2013 defensive unit that shut down the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Bobby Wagner is putting together a Hall of Fame career, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. This morning, Seth Walder shared ESPN Next Gen Stats top ten off-ball linebackers in run stop win rate. As you can see below, Bobby Wagner landed 5th overall out of 70 qualifying players.
By the way, Zach Cunningham is a total outlier here that blows away the field.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) July 21, 2021
His RSWR is 53%. Nos 2-10 on this list are all between 37-41%.
70 total qualifiers.
In run stop win rate, a defender can earn a win by doing any of the following: beating his blocker so he’s in better position to stop the runner; disrupting the pocket or running lane by pushing his blocker backwards; containing the runner such that he must adjust his running lane; or recording a tackle within three yards of the line of scrimmage. If a defender earns a run stop win, his blocker earns a loss, and vice versa.
Bobby Wagner finished with 138 total tackles, including 81 solo, good enough for 7th among all defensive players. Of the other players listed above by ESPN Analytics, only Houston Texan Zach Cunningham, San Francisco 49er Fred Warner, and Tampa Bay Bucaneer Devin White ranked among the top ten in total tackles. Cunningham was 1st overall with 164 tackles (106 solo), Warner landed 10th with 125 (79 solo), and White ended up 5th with 140 (97 solo, along with an impressive 9 sacks).
Seeing Wagner listed among the best in the league at stopping the run is not surprising, especially after a season where we continued to witness number 54 make plays like this look routine:
Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright, run stoppers pic.twitter.com/bkS1mSUET8— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) January 4, 2021
Interestingly enough, you can see above that every linebacker on the field plays a part in the final tackle, with Wright setting a powerful edge against vaunted run blocking Tight End George Kittle, and Jordyn Brooks cleaning up the tackle before Jeff Wilson can cross the line of scrimmage. And, as Willie Keeler noted earlier this week, the door remains at least partially open on Wright coming back to Seattle next season... so here’s hoping that this isn’t the last time we will see this trio making plays like this together.
And just in case anyone wishes to see a reminder, Wagner had a trio of sacks last season and continues to be a formidable force against the pass as well.
Wagner was not the only player to receive a top ten ranking from ESPN for their performance last season. Duane Brown ranked second in Pass Block Win rate as a tackle, behind only LA Rams’ Andrew Whitworth, and, somewhat surprisingly, Jordan Simmons ranked seventh for run block win rate as a guard. With Bobby set to don number 54 once again for the Seahawks in 2021, he will do so looking to cap off a fantastic first ten years in the NFL.