The Seattle Seahawks selected three running backs in the 2016 NFL Draft: C.J. Prosise (No. 90), Alex Collins (No. 171) and Zac Brooks (No. 247). Four more running-back prospects were brought into the mix for Seattle’s rookie training camp last weekend.
This begs the questions: What will Seattle’s running-back depth chart look like come the regular season?
This season only one is an undrafted free agent, and that’s Tre Madden from USC. Madden ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at his pro day and also managed a ten-foot broad jump. Watching him run North-South Madden looks like he’s got quicker than 4.56 speed, but seems slightly hesitant when running laterally on outside runs. The 22 year-old will likely make the Seahawks’75 man roster and has a slight chance of earning a final roster spot.
Overall, there’s a lot of questions but one thing is certain: Christine Michael’s job is not safe. Michael is still trying to prove himself as a reliable NFL back, and with Carroll most likely settling on three backs when making final cuts, don’t be surprised to see him let go again.
Moving along, Pete Carroll has apparently taken quite the liking to Notre Dame product C.J. Prosise saying “He is a guy that I fell in love with because when I went back and watched him play at receiver, he ran all of the routes” via ESPN.
Carroll has even declared already that Prosise will fill the third-down role that Fred Jackson held last season. With Thomas Rawls taking the starting job, that’s two spots in Seattle’s backfield already spoken for.
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That leaves Alex Collins, Christine Michael, Tre Madden, and Zac Brooks to compete for what will most likely be the final RB roster spot, unless Carroll decides to carry four backs.
Who will it be?
Collins is an absolute beast that has immense potential at the professional level. His game compares very well to that of Chris Ivory. The 21 year-old has great downhill speed and incredible vision up the middle. He compiled 1,577 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns during his final season at Arkansas. In my opinion, Collins has the best chance to survive Seattle’s final roster cuts.
Last but not least is Clemson running-back Zac Brooks, who the Seahawks took with their final pick of the draft.
Brooks never quite proved himself at the college level, posting his best season in 2013 with just 246 rushing yards and two touchdowns that year. Carroll must have seen something special in Brooks to use a draft pick on him, right? In any case, Brooks is a long shot to make it past the 75-man roster cuts on September 1st, but he’ll have a fighting chance at training camp at least.
Here’s how it may all look going into the regular season:
Seahawks Projected RB Depth Chart:
1. Thomas Rawls
2. Alex Collins
3. C.J. Prosise
4. Christine Michael: (if Carroll keeps four RBs)
75-Man Roster Cuts:
1. Zac Brooks
Final Roster Cut Casualties:
1. Tre Madden
2. Christine Michael (if three)