The run game for the Seattle Seahawks has suffered since the departure of Marshawn Lynch. Last season, their leading rusher was Mike Davis with 240 yards. He didn’t even play until late November. Russell Wilson ended up leading the team in rushing.
A quarterback should never be a team’s leading rusher in the NFL.
The Seahawks running game was bad last season. Anyone who bothered to draft or pick up a Seattle running back was probably sorry they did. But if you listen to Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol, this coming season is going to be different:
“The offensive line is a factor,” he said. “This is the first year that we really have some continuity coming to us and adding D.J. Fluker I think is a great positive for us to get his physical dimensions he’s going to bring. I think we’re poised to make a really good turn here.”
Part of the problem has been the lack of blocking from the offensive line, and it sounds like Carrol thinks they’ve got that worked out. Adding Duane Brown during the season last year helped. D.J. Fluker should have an impact as well. Blocking tight end Will Dissly could also make a difference.
The team did more than just add a few players. Former offensive line coach Tom Cable struggled to turn what the Seahawks had into a decent offensive line, so out he went and in came Mike Solari. Like Cable, he comes with a great reputation.
Of course, it will not matter how well the line starts to block if they don’t have anyone to run through it. Do they?
Carrol seems to be high on Chris Carson’s offseason work:
“He’s just looked so fit and just so cut and quick and explosive and all of that; [he’s] the guy that just stood out in that regard.
“He’s absolutely full steam. He has just had a great offseason. He was really frustrated about not being able to finish up last year, and he put it to work….I’m excited to see how he goes. He’s going to play really good for us when we get back.”
Carson did show some promise before breaking his leg. C.J. Prosise has shown some as well when he can remain healthy enough to play. J.D. McKissic didn’t get enough of a workload last season to be worth owning in fantasy play (80 total touches for the season). Mike Davis did lead all running backs in rushing.
Those guys may be worth stashing on your roster after we see who is going to get carries and who isn’t. But there is one – and only one – Seahawks running back worth drafting, rookie Rashaad Penny.
Any running back in a starting role is worth owning, at least at the start of the season. Even though Penny is a rookie, he is first on Seattle’s running back depth chart. Several fantasy football rating boards online have him listed in the low-20s among running backs. That makes him someone you pick up in the later rounds of your draft after you’ve picked up your starting group.
There is potential there if Solari can live up to his reputation, and if the Penny that ran wild in college shows up in the NFL. He may be worth snatching up in the fifth or sixth round. If he blows up, you look like a genius and can call him the ‘steal of the draft.’
If he doesn’t, you drop him and move on.