Where do the Seahawks’ running backs rank in the NFC West?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Chris Carson (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Chris Carson (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks added a running back in the 2018 NFL Draft. So how do Seattle’s running backs now rank among their NFC West brethren?

The Seahawks felt they needed a running back to go along with Chris Carson. How well Rashaad Penny does will say a lot about the team’s success this year. Penny, the first-round pick for Seattle out of San Diego State, had amazing statistics in college. Whether that translates to the NFL is another story.

Carson will probably start at running back in 2018. But Penny should be expected to take over the role fairly early on. No offense to Carson, but Penny was an early round choice and makes the money.

But where do Carson and Penny and company rank in their division? Here’s how.

Number one is Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams

So, I have to rank the Rams first in the division based on Gurley only. His backups – Malcolm Brown, Justin Davis and John Kelly – just do not inspire fear. But Gurley does. Because not only does Gurley run the ball well (he had 13 touchdowns rushing and 1,305 yards in 2017), he can also catch. He will still be just 24 years old when 2018 starts too.

Possible breakout player: Kelly

Kelly runs like a crazy man. He had a terrible offensive line in 2017 at Tennessee. Kelly could spell Gurley and be a productive backup for years in the NFL.

Number two is your Seattle Seahawks

Why is Seattle second? Because of the potential quality of depth. If Carson can stay healthy, along with Mike Davis, and if Penny can produce at a high level, this is the best group in the division. Sounds crazy, right?

But then you have to ask the bigger questions. This unit still has to run behind an offensive line that may not be that good. (I think the line will be better.) And are running backs even that important in the NFL anymore? (Pete Carroll thinks so; Hopefully that is true.)

Possible breakout player: Penny

This is a no-brainer, but Penny could be the starter early and Seattle could ride him until he gets them to the playoffs or not.

Number three is the Arizona Cardinals of Glendale

This is based on David Johnson returning somewhat healthy. If Johnson can come back close to the player he was in 2016 when he scored 16 touchdowns rushing, then great for the Cardinals. If he cannot, then they do not have a lot behind him. Gone is Adrian Peterson.

Former Seahawk Derrick Coleman is on the roster at fullback, though, so that is interesting.

Possible breakout player: Unknown

Number four and last is the San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara

The 49ers are not overly concerned with the running back position. They have their real money now tied up in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Starting for San Francisco is Jerick McKinnon. He has never rushed for more than 570 yards in a season in his four years.

McKinnon can catch, however, and Garoppolo will like that.

Possible breakout player: See the Arizona Cardinals

Next: Seahawks to have a losing season?

If the Seahawks can do what they want and run the ball effectively, they will win a bunch of games. Maybe that will be enough to make the playoffs but maybe not. Still, Seattle has the talent a running back to try be run-heavy. We will all see if the plan works in 2018.