Thursday Round-Up: Sports Illustrated's Positional Rankings Include Several Seahawks

A daily link round-up of what's "out there" about the Seattle Seahawks.

Good afternoon, 12s.

Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Thursday, July 7 - about your Seattle Seahawks:

SI's Positional Ranks Include Several Seahawks

Ahead of the 2016 season, SI.com is releasing a series of NFL positional rankings and several Seahawks have been named to the site's lists.

Sports Illustrated has named Earl Thomas the NFL's best free safety, Kam Chancellor the best strong safety, Richard Sherman the best outside cornerback, Bobby Wagner the second-best inside linebacker, defensive end Michael Bennett the third-best hybrid player, and K.J. Wright the seventh-best outside linebacker.

Here's a look at what SI had to say about each Seahawk named so far:

Earl Thomas: Teams that have tried to replicate Seattle's defensive approach repeatedly have run into the same issue: players like Thomas are almost impossible to find. He has the range to disrupt offenses from sideline to sideline, backed with the instincts to step up inside the hash marks. While Richard Sherman long has been the face of Seattle's vaunted defense, Thomas is the straw that stirs the drink.

Kam Chancellor:Earl Thomas handles the deep middle, with Chancellor bringing the hammer on the second level, serving as essentially an extra linebacker on many of Seattle's schematic calls. When both are out there together, it's almost foolish for quarterbacks to test the Seahawks between the hash marks...except for the fact that Richard Sherman is lurking on the outside. Obviously, all of Seattle's players in the secondary benefit from the presence of elite talent around him, but that does not diminish what Chancellor can do on his own.

Richard Sherman:Nobody makes top receivers disappear like Sherman does with his long arms and complete fearlessness at the line of scrimmage, setting him up to put the receiver in tighter quarters before the snap than almost anyone else. QBs have shied away from Sherman for several years, but when the ball comes his way, his hands don't show any signs of rust.

Bobby Wagner:He started the year slow, possibly due to a pectoral injury, but found his form late. In Seattle's playoff loss to Carolina, Wagner was one of the few defenders who had a positive first half as he made eight stops in the first two quarters, including a goal-line tackle on Jonathan Stewart after standing his ground amid a mess of blockers. He finished that game with 13 combined tackles. The Seahawks will seek revenge this year.

Michael Bennett: If Bennett were to stand on his credentials as an end alone, he'd be worthy of Pro Bowl status. But Bennett is special and high on this list because he kicks inside to pass-rushing tackle on 30 to 40% of his plays per season. So, he's leading the league in quarterback sacks, hits, and hurries combined at one of his positions while adding superior value at another. Not only that, but Bennett is a superior run defender who uses his strength and gap understanding to shoot past guards who outweigh him by 30-40 pounds—and he can move inside to nose tackle on a spot basis to disrupt from there. Not bad for a guy who tops out at 270 pounds.

K.J. Wright: There is without question a case to be made that Wright is just as integral to his team's linebacking corps as is the oft-hyped Bobby Wagner. Wright played 97.4% of Seattle's snaps across the entire year, per Football Outsiders, behind only Earl Thomas (98.3%) and Richard Sherman (98.0%). Wagner is a more explosive, athletic defender overall but Wright is equally comfortable vs. the run and pass, and is arguably a step ahead of Wagner defending the latter.

Look for SI's NFL positional ranks to continue over the next couple weeks.

Tweet Of The Day

Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from Virginia Mason Athletic Center's dog Turf, who became a father of eight on Wednesday.

More From Around The Web

Take a look at the 2016 Sea Gals roster as they pose for their glamour photos.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Ciara announced their marriage Wednesday.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd shared what he learned from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during a recent visit to the Seattle area.

Bob Condotta at the Seattle Times has info on a Seahawks visit to Barrow, Alaska that included offensive linemen Terry Poole and Kristjan Sokoli, as well as coach Tom Cable.

Eric Mandel at 710Sports.com recaps a recent "Brock and Salk" appearance from ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando, who disucssed where Russell Wilson fits among the game's top quarterbacks.

Brady Henderson at 710Sports.com continues to look at the 25 most intriguing Seahawks heading into training camp, writing about cornerback Jeremy Lane at No. 20. 

And Seahawks Ring of Honor member Curt Warner, a first-round pick of the Seahawks in 1983, is mentioned in NFL.com's list of the Top 5 running back draft classes of all-time

Join us in wishing Cassius Marsh a happy 24th birthday on Thursday, July 7!

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