Scouting Seahawks: 2017 NFL Draft Watch List

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Running Back:

Nick Chubb, Georgia

D’Onta Foreman, Texas

Brian Hill, Wyoming

Jamaal Williams, BYU

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma 

After Marshawn Lynch retired, Thomas Rawls was considered the newest heir apparent to “Beast Mode”. But, Rawls has been unable to stay healthy over the past year, with ankle and fibula injuries sidelining him for long periods of time. Despite Rawls’ lengthy absence, Christine Michael has awoken from a heavy slumber to lead the Seahawks ground game.

Michael has rare explosion from the running back position, but it is clear that he lacks the physicality to be a tone setter in Seattle’s system. This long hyped running back class is one of the deeper draft classes in recent memories, but with the exception of LSU’s Leonard Fournette, it lacks physical, tone-setting running backs.

Nick Chubb has dealt with several crushing knee injuries that may severely limit his explosiveness. However, when he is/was fully healthy, he’s the complete package. He has the frame and physicality to churn out yards between the tackles, but he also had game-breaking speed and elusiveness. 

D’Onta Foreman is a fantastic running back, but he may lack the athleticism Seattle craves. Also, he is leaning toward staying in Texas for one more season. He is probably the most complete back in this draft class outside of Fournette. Fresh off of a 341 yard performance against Texas Tech, Foreman may rise past Seattle’s draft range if he declares.

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Wyoming RB Brian Hill is only a junior, but he’s already Wyoming’s all-time leading rusher. He is a bit bigger than the typical Seattle running back at 6’1, 220, but he has the speed to make up for his larger frame. Hill is very hard to bring down, especially in the open field. His small school background and open field speed may remind some of former Northern Iowa running back David Johnson. While he’s not as dynamic as Johnson, Hill has the talent to carve out a niche in the NFL.

BYU RB Jamaal Williams has some character and injury issues to sort out, but he could be a lead back in the NFL. Williams combines fantastic agility with elite shiftiness and power. He’s a team captain and a former High School track star. Williams doesn’t have Christine Michael’s rare explosion, but he has a similar running style to the Seahawks lead back.

If Seattle is looking for a tone setter to complement their existing pool of running backs next season, look no further than the 236 pound Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine. Apart from having a fantastic name, Perine is a terror for opposing defenses to stop. His bruising running style makes it very difficult to tackle him with only one defender. He lacks top notch speed and he isn’t very elusive, but Perine’s power and would make him a good fit alongside the quick, shifty runners Seattle has now. However, Perine’s aggressive nature could leave him susceptible to injuries, especially at the next level.