Change your heart or die: Evaluating Seahawks 2023 draft class

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Seahawks 2nd round, pick 52: HB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

Oh, come on. Another running back in the second round? Didn't we just do this last year? You could have drafted someone in the 7th round and they would have been just as effective! What a waste of a pick! Typical Pete, doing Pete things.

Few things make me groan more than this sort of surface-level analysis. Yes, the analytics crowd will tell you that a run is inherently much less valuable than a pass, per EPA/play. What they often don't tell you is that the reason for that is shockingly simple — running is less efficient in terms of yards gained over time. You need more of them to keep the chains moving and they take longer than passes do, on average.

For someone like me, who tends to think of playcalling in terms of tactics over numbers, acting as though it's never advantageous to burn clock is a ridiculous notion. And while Charbonnet will be as good at burning clock as anyone else in the draft, there is a spaghetti of other reasons to draft him.

Ken Walker is decent out of the backfield, but Charbonnet is better. His hands are especially soft for a halfback, if not quite on the level of an Austin Ekeler or Travis Etienne. He's also a more patient runner than Walker, which ought to make him an ideal short-yardage back, as well. Better yet, he's a very solid blocker, which will be of utmost importance with Travis Homer gone. From a tactical standpoint, that blocking ability also makes Seattle's playcalls easier to disguise.

If there's anything to be wary of, it's his injury history — Charbonnet has dealt with a number of minor nicks, plus a knee that sidelined him last spring that he admitted never fully healed. As such, deploying him in a part-time role alongside Walker might be the best thing for his career.

Taking into account the pile of halfback injuries Seattle has stacked up in the last half-decade, though, this may actually be a reasonably forward-thinking solution. There are shades of Chris Warren and John L. Williams here, and pairing Walker and Charbonnet with the explosive passing attack Seattle has could net a massive offensive windfall.

Grade: A