Seahawks Sign Pair of Running Backs Including Ex-Bama Rusher: Report

Pete Carroll

Getty Pete Carroll's Seahawks are making changes this offseason.

With only three draft picks, undrafted free agents took a more important role this year for the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks did not draft a running back but signed a pair of undrafted rushers in Florida Atlantic’s B.J. Emmons and Louisiana Monroe’s Josh Johnson.

Seattle re-signed Chris Carson and Alex Collins this offseason but also lost Carlos Hyde in free agency. Additionally, the Seahawks have Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Patrick Carr on the roster. It will be an uphill battle for Emmons or Johnson to make the final roster, but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been known to give young running backs every opportunity to make an impact.

Emmons is a former four-star recruit who played his freshman season at Alabama in 2016. He left a crowded running back room in Tuscaloosa and had a brief stint at Hutchinson Community College before transferring to FAU. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Emmons missed the majority of the 2019 season with a broken ankle and played in just four games for the Owls in 2020. Emmons’ best season came in 2019 when he notched 237 rushing yards and six touchdowns in five games.

“B.J. is a very naturally instinctive guy,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in 2016, per “He works hard. He’s got a lot to learn, but he is working hard at it and has done a really good job so far.”

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Johnson Rushed for 1,298 Yards & 11 Touchdowns in 2019

Despite Emmons being a former highly-touted recruit, Johnson was widely viewed as a higher-rated prospect. Johnson rushed for 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019. He followed it up with a subpar 2020 with just 321 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler sees Johnson’s potential NFL role as being a third-down back.

“A two-year starter at Louisiana Monroe, Johnson was the featured back in former head coach Matt Viator’s offense,” Brugler noted in his draft guide. “Despite a lackluster senior year, he earned draftable grades from NFL scouts after his 2019 season with 1,298 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, ranking in the top 10 nationally in yards per carry (6.5). Johnson is at his best when he can make lateral cuts to bounce between run lanes, chipping away at the defense. However, he is too dependent on his jump-cut, making unnecessary moves and questionable decisions. Overall, Johnson can compete for a complementary role in the NFL with his quickness and functional third down skills, but his inconsistent creativity limits his upside. He projects best in an outside zone scheme.”

Here is a look at the undrafted free agents who have agreed to sign with the Seahawks. Keep in mind that undrafted free agency is fluid and players are not bound to their commitment until they sign a contract.

Seahawks Undrafted Free-Agent Reported Signings

WR Tamorrion Terry, Florida State NFL Network
WR Connor Wedington, Stanford Connor Wedington
WR Cade Johnson South Dakota State NFL Network
OL Jared Hocker, Texas A&M ESPN
OL Jake Curhan, Cal Priority Sports & Entertainment
OL Pier-Olivier Lestage, University of Montreal 3DownNation
OL Greg Eiland, Mississippi State ESPN
RB Josh Johnson, Louisiana Monroe The News-Star
RB B.J. Emmons, Florida Atlantic NFL Network
CB Bryan Mills, North Carolina Central The News-Tribune
LB Jon Rhattigan, Army NFL Network
DT Jarrod Hewitt, Virginia Tech The Draft Network