The Seahawks appear to be looking at running backs in the NFL draft which may surprise some fans. Standout Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is among the players the Seahawks met with at the NFL Combine, per Sports Illustrated.
The Seahawks already have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny on their roster, but both players had their season cut short with injuries. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith reported that Pete Carroll admitted that the team could add a running back during the offseason.
“We have to make sure that we have enough depth,” Carroll told Sports Illustrated. “Chris should be absolutely fine. We won’t overdue it with him, he’s had two great back-to-back seasons. We’re going to take care of him throughout all the way to game time when it comes up, so that means we’ve got some spots available for guys to compete for, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Taylor was one of the top performers at the NFL Combine thanks, in part, to running a 4.39 second 40-time. If the Seahawks want to draft Taylor, they would likely have to select him in the first round and there is even a chance Seattle would need to trade up from No. 27 in order to select the Badgers running back. Taylor rushed for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns in his final season at Wisconsin. He also added 26 receptions for 252 yards and five touchdowns.
The Seahawks Met With Jonathan Taylor, A.J. Dillon & Zack Moss at the NFL Combine
Taylor is not the only star running back the Seahawks met with at the NFL Combine. The Seahawks also met with Boston College’s A.J. Dillon and Utah’s Zack Moss who both project to be Day 2 or Day 3 picks. While meetings do not necessarily mean the Seahawks will draft any of the player, it does show the Seahawks at least have some interest in signing another running back.
There are a few additional factors to consider that point to the Seahawks targeting a running back in either free agency or NFL draft. Carson is not only coming off an injury, but he is entering the final year of his contract. Depending on how things play out, Carson can become a free agent after the 2020 season.
Rashaad Penny Is Unlikely to Be Ready for the Start of the 2020 NFL Season
All indications are Penny is a longshot to be ready by the start of the 2020 season. This makes running back even more of a priority with so much uncertainty surrounding the position.
“It would be an extraordinary accomplishment if he was ready by the time we got to camp and all that,” Carroll noted at the NFL Combine, per Seahawks.com. “So we will see what happens. We’re not going to set any deadline on it, just see how he develops. But this is the kind of timing that might take in the PUP thing.”
Marshawn Lynch’s Future for the 2020 Season Is Unknown
The Seahawks signed Marshawn Lynch just before the postseason started. The Seahawks and Lynch both remain non-committal about his future for the 2020 season. Seahawks GM John Schneider noted that the team would have to see how the offseason played out before making a decision on Lynch.
“I don’t know that [Lynch’s future],” Schneider noted, per Seahawks.com. “We’ll see how the offseason goes.”
Carroll reiterated Schneider’s uncertainty on Lynch’s future but praised the veteran running back for how he played in his return to the field.
“Marshawn made an exceptional impression coming back, starting with me,” Carroll said, per Bleacher Report. “He worked very hard to get to the point to have the chance to be available, how he got to that spot that maybe he could play later in the season. He reported in good shape. He performed well. Scored four touchdowns in the last few games. Did a great job for us just picking things up and showing how, what it takes to be available and all that. He was gracious and great to all the young guys. It didn’t matter how old you were, he was just great to everybody. I just thought he did an extraordinary job.”