Ranking the best Seattle Seahawks players from 10-1 – KING5.com

Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are gone, leaving the door open for Seahawks, young and old, to claim the mantle as the team's best player.
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10. Charles Cross

9. Poona Ford

8. Uchenna Nwosu

7. Darrell Taylor

6. Rashaad Penny

5. Jordyn Brooks

4. Jamal Adams

3. Quandre Diggs

2. DK Metcalf

1. Tyler Lockett

SEATTLE
Editor’s note: This story is part of KING 5’s Seahawks season preview series. 
It’s rankings time.
A national pastime for dedicated sports fans anywhere, this ritual is a rite of passage before, during and after every season.
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For the 2022 Seahawks season, this is an interesting exercise that will see a new No. 1 for the first time in basically a decade. Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are gone, leaving the door open for Seahawks, young and old, to claim the mantle as the team’s best player.
Let’s start with No. 10 on the list.
While it may be a bit early to immediately put Cross into the top 10, it’s difficult to ignore two undeniable factors that set him up for success.
For one, the Seahawks selected the Mississippi State product with the ninth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, making him the third offensive lineman drafted in the class. That significant draft capital, the Seahawks’ highest selection since taking Russell Okung sixth overall in 2010, is a testament to his ceiling as a left tackle.
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And, two, he’s already been a standout in two preseason games (which matters a little). He didn’t allow a quarterback pressure in his first game and responded with another stout performance in a loss to the Chicago Bears.  
Tight end Noah Fant was also considered at No. 10, as were quarterbacks Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
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Cross’ ceiling at his individual position was the tie-breaker here. 
It’s tough to measure the true impact of a defensive tackle because their true impact – plugging run gaps, occupying two offensive linemen to let linebackers make the tackle – is not reflected in traditional stats. 
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Still, Ford set a career mark in tackles in 2021 and remained a steady presence up the middle for the Seahawks. He remains as important as ever to stopping opposing running backs.
Last season was Nwosu’s first year where he played over 50% of the team’s defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. He posted career-best marks across the board in 2021 and was rewarded by the Seahawks with a two-year, $19 million contract. 
He’ll slot in as a starting outside linebacker, with an eye on building on his previous season. 
Taylor impressed in his rookie season, finishing with the second-most sacks on the team. The second-round draft pick accomplished the feat despite playing on just 46% of the Seahawks’ defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. 
Another offseason of development, and a dollop of extra snaps, could lead to bigger defensive numbers for Taylor in his second NFL season. 
Can Penny stay healthy for a full season? He hasn’t yet. 
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But Penny’s last five games of the season, in which he averaged 671 rushing yards on 92 carries (7.2 yards per carry!), showed off why he was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He gashed opposing defenses with long runs and was a terror to tackle in open space.

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The Seahawks drafting Kenneth Walker III, though, could signal a changing of the guard for the running back rotation in the near future. This is Penny’s best chance to secure a meaningful role especially while the rookie misses time with an injury. 
The second-year middle linebacker played on 87% of defensive snaps in 2021, up from 37% in his rookie year. As the fulcrum of the linebacker unit, Brooks led the entire NFL with 109 individual tackles. 
Brooks is the likeliest candidate to fill Bobby Wagner’s role for the Seahawks defensive unit this season. Can he also match his leadership on that side of the ball?
Adams is perhaps the toughest Seahawks player to rank. When he hasn’t been missing games for injury, he’s been a liability in pass coverage and struggled to pressure the quarterback. 
But it’s hard to rank him much lower than No. 4, because Adams’ elite physical ability allows him to make truly unbelievable plays. (Just watch this highlight reel from his All-Pro season in 2019.)
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Adams totaled 16 sacks in two seasons before failing to record even one for the Seahawks in 2021. It was his rare combination of size, speed and strength that made his NFL peers name him the 31st best player in the league heading into the 2021 season.
Adams didn’t even make the top 100 in the 2022 version of the list, though. He has some work to do to restore his reputation as an elite defensive player. 
Diggs is the less flashy, more steady pairing in the Seahawks’ safety unit. He’s been an NFL Pro Bowl selection in each of his two seasons with the Seahawks, totaling 10 interceptions and 158 total tackles. 
He was at his best in 2021, posting career marks in tackles and limiting opposing pass catchers to a 63.4 passer rating when targeted. 
Metcalf got paiiiiiid this offseason and deservedly so. He is among the elite 1% of NFL athletes at a wide receiver position with a million of elite athletes (seemingly). 
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While his 12 receiving touchdowns in 2021 were a new career-high, Metcalf regressed to his rookie year in yards per game and catch rate. As a result, his yards per target (7.5) plummeted to a career-worst mark. Metcalf failed to crack the 1,000-yard mark too, despite the NFL adding an extra regular season game.
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Can he prove that he can produce without Russell Wilson at the helm and be worthy of his hefty contract?
Welcome to the top spot, Mr. Lockett. 
Lockett is six inches shorter and over 50 pounds lighter than Metcalf, but he compensates by being one of the best marksmen at finding the football when it’s in the air.
He’s a magician with his footwork in the end zone, which allowed him to connect with Wilson even when facing impossible odds and tight windows of space between defenders.

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It’s why Lockett has beaten Metcalf in receptions and receiving yards over the last three years. Lockett was also the only Seahawks receiver that found some success in 2021 as Wilson’s season was interrupted by a lengthy finger injury. 
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That could prove dividends as Seahawks pass catchers adjust to life with Geno Smith and/or Drew Lock this season. 
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