The Seattle Seahawks may need just one more playmaker if they want to secure their spot for the postseason.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Ryan Fowler, the Seahawks “should target” free agent running back JD McKissic. Fowler argues that McKissic could give the Seahawks a valuable third-down weapon — a role that he previously played for Seattle during his first tenure with the team, catching 34 passes for 266 receiving yards and two touchdowns while playing just 34% of the offensive snaps during the 2017 season.
“Take a peek at the impact Jerick McKinnon has had in Kansas City the last few postseasons,” writes Fowler. “A similar change of pace talent, JD McKissic could provide some electricity to an offense in need of a third-down piece out of the backfield.”
Why the Seahawks Could Benefit From JD McKissic
For the overwhelming majority of his career, McKissic has been a specialty back. He has started just 14 of his 70 career appearances and has only appeared in more than 45% of his team’s offensive snaps in just one season of his seven years in the NFL.
Fowler mentions how McKissic could be the “final” piece to the Seahawks’ offensive arsenal.
“Winning matchups remains of the utmost importance. And converting on third-downs in the playoffs usually paves the way for success,” writes Fowler. “He’s not the sexiest name among the free agents still on the market, but his skillset fits the modern game that could be that final piece to an offensive arsenal.”
As recently as three years ago, McKissic actually caught 80 passes on 110 targets. Not only are those stellar numbers for a running back, they would be good numbers for a wide receiver. McKissic actually ranked second in receptions and led all running backs in targets during the 2020 season.
Seahawks’ Current Running Backs Struggle in the Passing Game
While the Seahawks have one of the best running back duos in the league in Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet, they’re complete non-factors in the receiving department. Walker has caught 17 passes for just 173 receiving yards and one touchdown a year after posting just 27 receptions for 165 receiving yards as the featured back. Meanwhile, Charbonnet is even worse with 23 receptions for 103 receiving yards (4.5 yards per reception).
Adding McKissic could give Seattle an added dimension to their passing game and help out Geno Smith considering his struggles during his second season as a starter. Smith is among the middle-of-the-pack in major passing categories, ranking 15th in passing yards and 19th in touchdowns. The Seahawks have actually gone 20 straight quarters without an offensive touchdown and rank 18th in the league in points per game (20.8).
Furthermore, one of the Seahawks’ biggest weaknesses is none other than their failure to convert on third downs. Despite featuring a talented offensive supporting cast — DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba — Seattle ranks 29th in third-down percentage at 31.34%.
As Fowler mentions, people aren’t going to get overly excited about a possible McKissic signing. However, he’s the best receiving weapon when it comes to running backs on the market. And considering the team’s well-documented struggles on third down — a key to winning games — the Seahawks could greatly benefit from signing the 30-year-old back for their playoff run.