Rating the most underrated players in the NFL was the topic of today’s NFL.com Instant Debate.
Two of the five panelists selected Seahawks.
Adam Schein picked Seattle strong safety Kam Chancellor, writing:
The single most underrated player in the NFL is Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Playing among the defending Super Bowl champions’ galaxy of defensive luminaries, Chancellor sadly is often overlooked; heck, he’s the second-best safety (behind Earl Thomas) and third-best defensive back (behind Thomas and Richard Sherman) on his own team!
But don’t let that distract you. Chancellor capped off another sensational regular season in 2013 with a difference-making effort in the title game (nine tackles, two passes defensed and a pick that led to Seattle’s first touchdown), setting the tone for the Seahawks‘ dismantling of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Chancellor — for whom I voted, along with Thomas, to be first-team All-Pro at safety — needs to be recognized for what he is: a star in his own right.
Hard to argue any of that.
Gil Brandt, meanwhile, picked Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, writing:
Though the Seattle Seahawks‘ secondary deservedly receives plenty of attention, Bobby Wagner is one of the most important pieces of one of the NFL’s best defenses, the play-caller who holds the unit together, getting everybody lined up right. He’s also a do-everything force from the middle linebacker spot, making tackles all over the place, sacking the quarterback and picking off passes; over the course of two pro seasons, he’s collected 260 tackles, seven sacks (including five last season) and five picks.
Wagner doesn’t have the same level of name recognition as fellow 2012 draftee Luke Kuechly, but he has significantly outstripped expectations people had for him as a second-round pick. When Seattle needs someone to make something happen, Wagner is the guy who does it.
Indeed, it got lost a little in the way the NFC title game ended that Wagner had 15 tackles against the 49ers, second-most in a post-season game in team history. The ankle injury Wagner suffered against the Colts that kept him out of two games and had him at less than 100 percent for a few others might also have caused his play to get overlooked a little last year.