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Bobby Wagner will be 32 in June, so he’s not quite as spry and explosive as he was when he came into the NFL in 2012. But he doesn’t necessarily need to be fastest or most athletic linebacker in the league to succeed with the Rams as their top inside linebacker.
Los Angeles signed him for his instincts, leadership and tackling at the second level.
When Wagner was a rookie, however, he ranked among the most athletic linebackers in recent memory. According to Kent Lee Platte’s Relative Athletic Score (RAS), Wagner ranked 60th out of 971 linebacker prospects from 1987-2012. His 39.5-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump were both in the “elite” category, as were his 4.46 40-yard dash, 20-yard split (2.64) and 10-yard split (1.57).
That shows his long speed and short-area quickness, which are both essential when playing the linebacker position.
Pro Bowler Bobby Wagner was drafted with pick 47 of round 2 in the 2012 draft class. He scored a 9.39 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 60 out of 971 LB from 1987 to 2012. https://t.co/Rxg1ogwLkl #RAS pic.twitter.com/McqSUUZitn
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 21, 2022
Some have argued that Wagner lost a step last season. He might not be quite as fast as he was 10 years ago, but again, he doesn’t need to have the wheels that someone such as Devin White or Devin Bush has.
And it’s not as if he came into the NFL as a poor athlete. He could fly sideline to sideline or cover 30 yards downfield – and honestly, he still can.