The Seahawks knew coming into the draft that running back depth could be a concern heading into the 2020 season, and they addressed that on Saturday by selecting DeeJay Dallas out of the University of Miami.
As much as the Seahawks love their one-two punch of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, both are coming off of season-ending injuries, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledged during the combine that depth would be a concern there heading into training camp.
Dallas brings to Seattle versatility and production as a former receiver who converted to running back. Last season, Dallas was Miami's leading rusher with 115 carries for 693 yards and eight touchdowns, and he did not fumble once. He also had 14 catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and also has experience as a kick and punt returner.
Dallas' background as a receiver, as well as his pass-blocking ability, suggests he could be a good fit for a third-down type of role, but he said he's willing to come any do whatever is asked, whether it's being a third-down back, helping with returns on special teams or anything else.
"I'm just honestly trying to get here and compete with the rest of the guys," he said. "Whatever is asked upon me, I'll do whatever. Honestly, I know the Seahawks running backs are physical, downhill runners, they have playmaking ability. Honestly, just trying to get in and compete with the rest of the pack. I'll do whatever. Whether that's receiver or special teams or running back. I'll do whatever and I'm excited for this opportunity."
If Dallas is called upon to help on passing downs, he'll relish the dirty work that goes with that job: "My favorite part of third down situations is protecting the quarterback. You get to kind of get to enforce your will upon the other guy across from you. Just being physical in third down situations, whether it's running the ball, or blocking a linebacker or a safety, or catching out of the backfield. Just finishing third down with a physical blow."
Dallas is the second Hurricanes back selected by the Seahawks in as many years, joining Travis Homer, a sixth-round pick last year. Homer ended up being Dallas' first call after talking with the Seahawks.
"Travis was the first person I called after I talked to the coaches. Travis really just extended his well wishes to me. He just told me how excited he was and I'm just excited to reunite with my brother, honestly."
Here is the Seahawks' eight-player 2020 draft class:
- Round 1, No. 27 overall: LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
- Round 2, No. 48 overall: DE Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
- Round 3, No. 69 overall: G Damien Lewis, LSU
- Round 4, No. 133 overall: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
- Round 4, No. 144 overall: RB DeeJay Dallas, Miami
- Round 5, No. 148 overall: DE Alton Robinson, Syracuse
- Round 6, No. 214 overall: WR Freddie Swain, Florida
- Round 7, No. 251 overall: WR Stephen Sullivan, LSU
With the No. 148 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected DeeJay Dallas, a running back out of the University of Miami.