Last year, the Seahawks had Mike Davis to fill the void behind Chris Carson. This year, rookie Travis Homer might just be what Seattle needs.
When the Seahawks needed someone to spell starter Chris Carson in 2018, they didn’t call on Rashaad Penny. Seattle turned to Mike Davis. Davis was very good in a limited role for Seattle running for 514 yards and four touchdowns. But Davis left in free agency. Seattle needs a third back behind Carson and Penny now and it might just be Travis Homer.
Homer has been very impressive in training camp so far. He has shown explosive speed and the ability to cut. The way the run game is designed in Seattle is if a player can cut quickly and go back against the grain there might be a ton of yards to run. Think Marshawn Lynch during his Seahawks career. He did that well. Homer has ability like that.
Of course, Homer is not as big as Lynch. Homer weighs about 200 pounds. That isn’t small, though. It just isn’t the type of running back that coach Pete Carroll usually loves. Carson and Penny and Davis were all much heavier than Homer.
But Homer isn’t expected to be a starter. He just needs to be able to catch passes out of the backfield, pass block and get a few carries a game where maybe he breaks off an explosive run. Homer has the capability to do that. One of his strengths coming out of college was his pass blocking skill. This is normally a tough thing for NFL rookies to learn but Homer is already far ahead of where most would be.
Homer did not have a 1,000-yard rushing season at the University of Miami. But he would have had he gotten the ball more. He averaged 6 yards-per-carry, though. In 2017 he had 966 yards rushing and 985 yards in 2018. He was good but did not have numbers that popped.
At the NFL Combine, however, he showed his raw physical skill. Homer ran a 40 at 4.48. He had the second-best vertical leap among halfbacks jumping 39 1/2 inches. Homer has lots of potential to be a dangerous weapon in the Seahawks offense.
The good thing is, he wouldn’t be expected to carry the load of the offense. He will spell Carson and Penny. Penny in his second season should make a jump and be a lot more productive. Seattle needs a third back, however. J.D. McKissic will be in the mix but so should Homer. Nothing he has done in training camp has shown he cannot be a solid pro.