Seahawks first round pick: Best running back options
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks had a historically bad rushing attack in 2017. The team scored one touchdown by a running back. On a Pete Carroll team, this is unacceptable. Here are four options for the Seahawks to improve via the 2018 NFL Draft.
So the Seahawks used to be able to run the ball. Remember Marshawn Lynch? He was pretty good. Seattle won a Super Bowl with that guy. And almost another. There aren’t many BeastModes, tough.
The problem with Seattle in 2017, however, was there were a lot of running backs better than Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls. And C.J. Prosise, bless his heart, just cannot stay healthy. Seattle was left with these three for the most part once promising rookie Chris Carson left for the season after injuring his leg in week four. Late in the year, Mike Davis was called off the practice squad and was infinitely better than Rawls or Lacy. Not what Seattle expected when the season began.
There is some hope in the NFL Draft, though. Like most other unit write-ups, I am not including players the Seahawks have no chance to get unless they make a trade to move way up in the draft. With the running backs, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will be long gone before Seattle picks at (currently) number 18.
Here are four running backs the Seahawks could take with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, though.
Derrius Guice, LSU
The Seahawks like their running backs on the bigger side. Seattle wants to use them, ideally, to eat up clock and wear a team down. This is why they signed Lacy last offseason, but he was a complete failure. Guice, while not as big as Lynch, still has the size to run inside for four quarters.
One reason I am not putting Stanford’s Bryce Love on this list is because he simply doesn’t fit the mold of a Pete Carroll running back like Guice and the others do. Guice is 212 pounds and could carry more.
Sony Michel, Georgia
Michel is explosive and the same size as Guice but a little faster. He also seems to wreak explosive plays. Michel appears to have the same skill-set as New Orleans Saints rookie Alvin Kamara, though he did not have the same opportunities to catch the ball in college. Kamara did not have to be the featured running back all the time, though, and neither will Michel. Chris Carson will help.
There is also a chance that Michel falls to rounds two or three. If John Schneider works his normal draft day trade magic, Seattle could pick up their currently missing second round pick and grab Michel.
Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
That last bit could be said for all the remaining running back options. Johnson is slightly bigger than Michel and Guice and may have even more potential. He had one of his best games against Georgia, a team filled with NFL-type talent, finishing with 167 yards rushing.
Johnson was an every-down back, though, and that is what Seattle will be looking for.
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Penny would be a stretch to go with in the first round, but the Seahawks do unpredictable things. Penny, though, is a one-cut runner and fits the Seattle system, assuming it doesn’t change too much under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
His senior year statistics are crazy, however, as he ran for 2,248 yards. And while he did have 308 touches in 2017, that was the only year he was used anywhere near that level.
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Penny also weights 220 pounds. If he is still around after the first round, Seattle will try to grab him.