With the 15th pick of the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected inside linebacker Bobby Wagner out of Utah State. As it turns out, Wagner was nearly a member of the Dallas Cowboys, instead.
Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com reported on April 30 that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was prepared to take Wagner with the No. 45 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft--two picks ahead of the Seahawks in the second round--until the team opted instead to trade that selection away while moving up in the first round to select LSU DB Maurice Claiborne at No. 6 overall.
Instead, that No. 45 pick went to the St. Louis Rams, who in turn traded it to the Chicago Bears, and the Bears used that pick to take WR Alshon Jeffery out of South Carolina. The Philadelphia Eagles grabbed ILB Mychal Kendricks out of Cal at No. 46, and then came Wagner to the Seahawks at No. 47.
I was hoping for either an offensive lineman or an inside linebacker in the second round. Among the OL who interested me were Stanford OT Jonathan Martin, Georgia OG Cordy Glenn, Wisconsin C Peter Konz, Ohio State OT Mike Adams, and Midwestern State OG Amini Silatolu. Among the linebackers who interested me were Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw, Miami LB Sean Spence, and Kendricks.
As I expected would happen, the Baltimore Ravens snagged Upshaw with the third pick of the second round. Silatolu, Glenn, and Martin went No. 8, 9, and 10 in the round to the Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins, respectively. And of course, Kendricks was taken right before the Seahawks selected.
I didn't know a lot about Wagner at the time. I hadn't seen him play, and Utah State doesn't exactly have the kind of football program that consistently produces household names. But the more I read about him, the more I like Wagner as the Seahawks' second-rounder. He's got good size, he's smart (he called all of the Aggies' defensive plays), he's strong, he's quick, and he's a hard worker.
NFL.com's Mike Mayock provided this analysis of Wagner: "This is Pete Carroll's kind of linebacker. He's been a fast riser. He tested extremely well, and he's a big linebacker. This guy is also a four-team special teams player, so you get that production from him, too. He can be explosive for them."
From the National Football Post: "The Seahawks add one of the safer linebacker prospects in the draft. Wagner is an instinctive prospects with some pop and range to his game. Plus, he showcases the ability to find the quarterback as a blitzer and should mature into the Seahawks' starter inside early on."
I'm good with that.
And now that I know that the Cowboys wanted him two picks earlier, I like him even more.
The author grew up in Washington State and is a lifelong fan of the Seahawks. He's also a Featured Contributor in Sports with the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @RedZoneWriting and on Facebook.
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