K.J. Wright was drafted a year before Bobby Wagner in the fourth round of the 2011 College Draft out of Mississippi State. The Seahawks actually started out using Wright at middle linebacker. He started the 2011 season opener because intended starter David Hawthorne was hurt.
On September 22, the Seahawks moved him to strong-side linebacker where he was in competition with starter Aaron Curry who had been the fourth overall pick in the 2009 college draft. He was considered the best linebacker in that class but never panned out. When Wright became the regular strong side linebacker, Curry was traded to the Oakland Raiders. Wright has played middle linebacker over the years when Wagner has been hurt.
During Wright’s rookie season of 2012, he had 98 combined tackles with 68 of them being solo. From that point on, either Wagner or Wright led the team in tackles. Additionally, he participated in 92 percent of the Seahawk defensive snaps.
In 2013 he had another good year, though he broke his foot in game 13 so he missed the rest of the regular season. He was able to return in the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers and the Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos. It was the second year in a row that the Seahawks allowed the fewest points scored.
The next year Wright had his first season of100 combined tackles. He was playing weakside linebacker as Bruce Irvin took over on the strong side. He played all 16 games of the regular season plus the playoffs and Super Bowl.
K.J. Wright continued playing great at weakside linebacker where he was rated by Pro Football Focus as the 53rd best player in the NFL.
It is amazing how Wright and Wagner both continued to play better ball as each season went on. In 2016 Wright had his career high in combined tackles with 126. Last year he had another season where he had 108 combined tackles. It was the fourth year in a row that he had over 100 tackles.
When Wright returns to the lineup this year along with Wagner they should again be the top two leaders in combined tackles.