The Seattle Seahawks hold a 5-3 record going into Sunday’s game against the Washington Commanders. That puts them roughly on pace for the 11-6 finish that we predicted before the regular season began. However, Seattle is a couple weeks away from entering the most-brutal part of the schedule – a four-game stretch that includes two games against the San Francisco 49ers, one against the Dallas Cowboys and another against the Philadelphia Eagles. All three teams are currently in the top 10 in our power rankings.
Before they face that murderer’s row of opponents, the Seahawks will have to get past two familiar conference foes: first Washington, followed by the Los Angeles Rams, who embarrassed them in the second half of the season opener to the tune of a 30-13 loss. In other words, they can’t afford to look past their next two games and have to stay focused on the task at hand.
Doing so will require leadership and continued strong efforts from a few key players around the roster. Here are eight players who have been integral to their success so far this season and deserve some individual recognition.
Offensive MVP: WR Tyler Lockett
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett remains the most-consistent playmaker on Seattle’s roster – and arguably the entire league. After eight games Lockett has totaled 38 catches, 402 yards and three touchdowns. He also has the team’s highest Pro Football Focus grade on offense (77.4 overall) for players with a minimum of 200+ snaps.
Runner-up: WR DK Metcalf
Defensive MVP: LB Bobby Wagner
On the other side of the ball there’s a clear MVP who’s performing at a level head and shoulders above the rest of the unit. 33-year old linebacker Bobby Wagner has already posted 85 tackles and has only missed three attempts so far (3.4%). Bobby also has a team-best 86.8 PFF grade this season.
Runner-up: CB Devon Witherspoon
Special teams MVP: P Michael Dickson
On special teams the Seahawks are getting another solid season from one of the best and most-underrated punters in the business. Michael Dickson is averaging 44.6 yards per attempt and has already pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 13 times this year (41.9%).
Runner-up: FB Nick Bellore
Most improved: OLB Boye Mafe
This was a close race but we had to give the hardware to second-year outside linebacker Boye Mafe – who may even have a case for the NFL’s Most Improved Player of the Year award. As a rookie Mafe posted three sacks, four QB hits and eight pressures in 17 games. This year Mafe is up to six sacks, nine quarterback hits and 12 pressures already.
Runner-up: LB Jordyn Brooks
Best draft pick: CB Devon Witherspoon
This was hands-down the easiest call to make on this list. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon has more than lived up to the lofty expectations that go with being a top-five overall draft pick. Witherspoon has graded out well against the run, as a pass rusher and in coverage, where he’s only allowed a 54.9% completion rate and a 73.4 passer rating.
Runner-up: G Anthony Bradford
Best UDFA: WR Jake Bobo
The same as in their peak days, Seattle is carrying a lot of undrafted free agents on the roster this year. Wide receiver Jake Bobo out of Duke and UCLA has by far been the best. In addition to some superb run blocking, Bobo has racked up 138 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage.
Runner-up: LS Chris Stoll
Best free agent: NT Jarran Reed
By rights this award should probably go to Bobby Wagner, but since he’s already the defensive MVP we’re giving it to nose tackle Jarran Reed, who’s having the best season of his career by a mile. Heading into Week 10 Reed has four sacks, eight QB hits and 11 pressures already. He’s also made an impact on special teams and is Seattle’s highest-graded player in that phase.
Runner-up: LB Bobby Wagner
Most underrated: The tight ends
Last but not least, we want to recognize a trio of players who are pulling far more than their own weight but not getting much attention for it. Tight ends Noah Fant, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson are having another solid season and are the main reason the Seahawks’ passing game hasn’t totally fallen apart due to pass protection issues with the offensive line.
Runner-up: CB Tre Brown