The Seattle Seahawks are very young and talented at running back. This is going to be one of the best position battles to watch once training camp begins.
Beast Mode has left the building. After a rough season marred by injuries and ineffectiveness, Marshawn Lynch has retired, leaving the Seahawks completely devoid of talent at the running back position.
What… what?! That’s not right at all! I mean, Lynch has retired, but the Seahawks are actually loaded with young, talented ball carriers.
Not only did the team bring back both guys who had significant carries last season, but the spent three draft picks on the position as well. The result is a loaded position group with far more talent than available roster spots.
This is bound to be a very exciting roster battle to watch. Here is how things appear to be stacking up as we get set for the start of training camp.
1. Thomas Rawls
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If Thomas Rawls is healthy, he’s going to be the lead back when the season starts. And by that, I mean fully healthy. He’s needs to be 100% the guy who led the NFL in yards per carry last season.
If there are any lingering effects from his broken ankle last season, he’s still likely to be the starter. In that case, he’ll just end up sharing the load with other backs while he works his way back to full strength.
2. C.J. Prosise
Regardless of what is going on with Rawls’ ankle, rookie C.J. Prosise is going to see plenty of playing time. The Seahawks drafted the Notre Dame product to be the third-down and and two-minute-drill back.
That is the role that Fred Jackson was used in last season, and Robert Turbin was use in the previous three seasons. Prosise brings an athleticism that Jackson lacked, but obviously lacks the veteran savvy that made Jackson effective.
3. Alex Collins
By now it should be no secret that I think Collins is going to be a tremendous player. The tape study I did of him after the draft told the story of a guy who is destined to dominate.
Collins runs with great power, but he’s also got some of the fastest feet you’ll ever see on a player his size. He’s so quick, and he changes directions with such suddenness, that defenders are never able to square him up.
4. Christine Michael
I know that most Seahawks fans are tired of Christine Michael, but I truly believe the experience of being traded and then cut twice last season has humbled him. Michael returned as a harder worker, and a much more coachable player than when he left.
Unfortunately, the contract and age situation doesn’t work in Michael’s favor here. He’s only under team control for this season, whereas all the other backs on the roster have at least three more seasons left in Seattle.
Michael’s future in Seattle likely rests on the health of Rawls’ ankle and Jimmy Graham’s knee. While it isn’t out of the question for the team to keep four running backs, doing so will create a problem elsewhere on the roster.
5. Zac Brooks
The selection of Zac Brooks in the draft was confusing for a lot of reasons. Not only did the team select two other running backs before him, but Brooks doesn’t fit the mold of what the Seahawks look for at the position.
Brooks is a small shifty runner who doesn’t run with any noticeable power. He has far more in common in Danny Woodhead than he does with Marshawn Lynch.
Brooks will factor into the equation for the third-down back role. If Prosise gets hurt in training camp, than the Seahawks have someone ready to step in. Otherwise, it is difficult to see a path for Brooks to make the 53 man roster.