Gary Horton, of ESPN's Scouts, Inc, recently put together a list for breakout players in the NFC this upcoming season, and Seahawks' linebacker K.J. Wright cracked the top ten. Said Horton:
9. K.J. Wright, OLB, Seattle Seahawks
As a fourth-round rookie in 2011, he did a nice job of replacing veteran Aaron Curry at OLB, and he finished with 65 tackles and eight tackles for loss. He is good versus the run, a physical player and wrap-up tackler, and he has good instincts. He identifies the play quickly, and he is better in pass coverage than you might think. He has the skill set to move to MLB in this 4-3 defense if the Seahawks don't get more comfortable with their personnel at that position. At strongside LB, he lines up a lot next to sack artist DE Chris Clemons (11 sacks in 2011), forming a tough duo to block for an offensive line.
Wright busted onto the scene last year as a rookie, won a starting job immediately, and didn't look back all year while putting together an impressive campaign. The fourth round pick out of Mississippi State played a little in the middle and most of the time at the strongside position, and surprised coaches and fans with his savvy and knack for being in the right place on the field for the Seahawks defense a vast majority of the time.
For a player that not a lot of Seahawks fans knew much about prior to the 2011 Draft, he's emerged as a potential starter on this team for many years to come. I'd agree with Horton - a breakout season in 2011 wouldn't be surprising.
For more on the Seahawks, make sure you head to Field Gulls and join in on the discussion.