With the NFL Draft coming up, Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand on the Seahawks’ roster, as well as the top prospects at each position. We’ll also look at Seattle’s draft history at each position under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks currently hold four picks in the 2019 draft, which begins April 25 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Seattle’s 2019 Draft Picks: Round 1, No. 21 overall; Round 3, No. 84 overall; Round 4, No. 124 overall; Round 5, No. 159 overall.
So far we’ve covered offensive line, defensive line, tight end, linebacker, receiver and cornerback, and today we turn our attention to running back. Friday we’ll take a look at where things stand at safety.
Draft History Under Schneider and Carroll: Robert Turbin (No. 106 overall, 2012), Christine Michael (No. 62, 2013), Spencer Ware (No. 194, 2013), Keiro Small (No. 227, 2014), C.J. Prosise (No. 90, 2016), Alex Collins (No. 171, 2016), Zac Brooks (No. 247, 2016), Chris Carson (No. 249, 2017), Rashaad Penny (No. 27, 2018).
Where The Seahawks Stand
It’s possible that no position group on Seattle’s roster feels more different heading into 2019 than it did a year ago than running back. At this time a year ago, the Seahawks were coming off a 2017 season in which injuries piled up at running back, leading to quarterback Russell Wilson finishing the year as Seattle’s leading rusher.
In 2018, a healthy Chris Carson became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2014, and first-round pick Rashaad Penny averaged a team-best 4.9 yards per carry, though his season was limited by injuries, and the Seahawks led the NFL in rushing. Expectations are high for Penny in his second season, and with Carson coming off such a big year, it’s easy to understand why Pete Carroll is excited about that position group even after losing Mike Davis in free agency.
Carroll said at the NFL scouting combine earlier this offseason that he wanted Carson and Penny to form, “A one-two punch, and I don’t know who’s one and who’s two, it doesn’t matter to me. I thought both guys did a really good job this year. Chris had a fantastic season. It’s the first time Chris has had the opportunity to play a whole season all the way through, and it showed what he’s all about. It was exhilarating to watch him have that opportunity and to see him play. The style was great. We love the way he played. Rashaad did a really good job. He got banged up a little bit and it kind of slowed his start. But once he got going, he showed the explosiveness and the speed and the dynamics. Those two guys, they’re good football players and we love what they bring. They’re not the same, their running style are different, but there’s plenty of room for both of those guys, so I’m excited for both of them.”
Also back are C.J. Prosise, who is looking to finally enjoy a healthy season after having abdominal surgery last year; and Bo Scarbrough, a big, physical back who was added late in the season for extra depth.
On Prosise, Carroll noted, “The surgery was more intense than they had even anticipated. He was working really hard to stay with us as long as he could. That’s an injury you can deal with to a certain extent and then it just overcomes your ability. He hung tough throughout, and we’ve loved C.J. and the dynamics that he brings to us, so to get him back—and really when you think of us losing Mike, C.J. comes back into the fold I think it’s a tremendous addition running and catching and blocking. He’s a good prospect. So in the position we love the competition, we love the depth, we love the play of our guys. C.J. can really bring us something. I’m anxious to see him fit back in.”
The Seahawks could always still look to add depth at running back—after all, as 2017 showed, depth is important at that spot—but the talent and depth on display in 2018 means the Seahawks won’t head into the draft feeling like they have to add help if the right value isn’t available.
NFL.com's rankings of the top running back prospects in the 2019 draft.
NFL.com’s Top 5 Running Backs
1. Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Overview (via NFL.com): Prototypical combination of size and skill-set as an every-down runner with the ability to slash or impose his will on any given snap. Jacobs runs with good bend, vision and burst, and he proved to be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield or from the slot. He will probe and burst, but he could become more elusive with better tempo as a runner. Jacobs is a decisive runner with outstanding one-cut talent to become a bellcow lead back.
2. David Montgomery, Iowa State
Overview (via NFL.com): One of the safest runners in this draft with a desirable combination of size, vision, toughness and creativity. He runs with impressive calm and instincts in the midst of interior mayhem, weaving and battering his way through traffic. Smart teams will recognize his ability to create yardage for himself with his eyes, footwork, contact balance and power. Should alleviate concerns about his lack of explosiveness. Montgomery has a pro-ready game and Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) value as a good NFL starter.
3. Miles Sanders, Penn State
Overview (via NFL.com): Well-built glider with the instincts, footwork and agility to shake tacklers but the frame and pad level to finish with some authority. He can clearly create yardage for himself, but he has average acceleration and might need to expedite his downhill process as a pro. Sanders is more skilled than explosive, but he has the size and talent to develop into a future starter with every-down potential.
4. Damien Harris, Alabama
Overview (via NFL.com): Disciplined and rugged with a very strong sense of who he is as a running back. He operates with a good feel for blocking schemes and finds the designed yards while adding extra with his power and some elusiveness. He lacks game-breaking juice as a runner and will need to keep his weight down or he'll end up in the "grinder" category of runners. Harris is more likely to be good than great as a pro, but his size, every-down game and ball security give him a chance to have fruitful career as a solid starter.
5. Darrell Henderson, Memphis
Overview (via NFL.com): He checks in slightly undersized, doesn't have great vision and runs with a narrow base that makes him easier to tackle, but so far, those concerns haven't slowed him one bit. Big-play production is impossible to ignore, but his running style makes him best-suited to a complementary slasher role in a spread-based attack. In basketball, Henderson would be the explosive sixth man with the ability to swing certain games in your favor if he catches fire. On the ground or out of the backfield, Henderson can catch fire.
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