Chris Carson to be this year’s Tyler Lockett for the Seahawks?
By Aaron Thomas
Chris Carson? Who? Oh yeah, the Seahawks drafted some running back very late in the 2017 Draft. Now, who is he?
It all starts with the running game
It’s no secret that the running game has been one of the most important aspects of the Seahawks offense. Most of the team’s success on the ground no doubt has been the play of its offensive line. Although there are some question marks about the offensive line, I have a feeling that its run production (especially with a healthy Russell Wilson) will be back to its 2013-2015 form.
What has made the Seahawks so successful hasn’t just been the draft picks that they have chosen. If you take out the disastrous picks they have chosen for the offensive line, you could say the Seahawks brass are on a tremendous roll.
Draft picks and signing undrafted players are one of the top keys to sustaining championship seasons. The New England Patriots do this just as well as anyone in the league; find very talented (and cheap) players that fit your team’s scheme.
Talented, late-round drafted players are some of the most coveted players that Pete and John look for. Not only do they normally fit the team’s scheme, they play with a tremendous chip on their shoulder. Think Rod Tidwell vs. Frank Kushman in the blockbuster sports movie “Jerry Maguire”.
When the team drafted Tyler Lockett, most knew of his speed and his ability to break tackles while returning punts and kickoffs. What most of us didn’t know was how super talented he was as a wide receiver.
Tyler “Lightning” Lockett will continue to be one of our diamond in the rough players. Not only will he continue to light up DBs and create a matchup problem for defenses this season, his energy and ‘aw golly’ attitude is very infectious in the locker room and in the press.
Similarly, this year’s draft class consists of a lot of guys the 12s should be uber excited about. It includes a player that many have not talked about going into the rookie OTAs.
The Tyler Lockett of 2017
Chris Carson, drafted in the 7th round (249th overall), will be this season’s Tyler Lockett. Many in the circles I talk with don’t think he will make the team. It seems the Seahawks have 1,000 running backs on their depth chart going into training camp.
What gets me giddy about this young man is the fact that he has that chip on his shoulder. He plays so similarly to Thomas Rawls when he was a rookie, but has the weight (218 lbs.) to take on the beating he will get with the 50+ carries he will garner this regular season.
The Seahawks only rushed 403 times last season, so 50 carries isn’t a lot. Where I think he makes a huge difference is in the red zone. His size and physical play could see him get double digit touchdowns this season. It’s hard to imagine that the ‘Hawks #1 TD maker in 2016 was Christine Michael (6 TD rushing, 7 overall) who isn’t on a football team currently.
Carson averaged 3.7 yards per carry in his senior season. His carries were very limited due to a broken finger. I think in the NFL his tackle breaking ability and size (he looks like a bowling ball) will translate very well and he should break the 4 yards per carry plateau. Thomas Rawls gained 3.2 ypc in 2016.
As much as I’ve been very vocal about the question marks surrounding the OL, I think the combination of Fant, Joeckel and Britt will make that left side of the line a lot easier to run through than what Michael, Rawls and the stable of other running backs got in 2016.
John Clayton reported on ESPN 710AM (Seattle, WA) that Fant is looking more like an OL than he ever did coming into the locker room. Joeckel could be a valuable guard (where he’s played better than tackle) and of course Britt, if he plays as tough as he did in 2016, could create a formidable run blocking group in the NFL.
Chris Carson will surprise everyone but the Seahawks
Carson, for as little known as he was coming into the draft, was a player that the Seahawks needed to spend a draft pick on. Luckily they knew his value. Had they waited for the undrafted players to try and sign with teams, it was very possible that they would’ve lost out on this running back, known for his solid physical running style.
None of us really knew the impact that Tyler Lockett was going to have on our team, but we sure felt it when he broke his leg and he was out for the season. His play is the number one reason why I think not only will Carson make the team, but will flourish on the field for us.
Keep an eye out for number 32 on Sundays; do you remember another notable number 32 on our team in the mid- 80’s and early 90’s? Yeah, you millennials might as well Google search that. I think the 2017 version of number 32 could compete with the statistics and seasons that John L. Williams got back then.