What to make of the Seattle Seahawks backfield?
The Seattle Seahawks backfield remains a giant question mark. Chris Carson is the long-time starter, but his career is in question after a neck injury, Rashaad Penny came back from an ACL injury last season, and the rookie Kenneth Walker III. Right now, Rashaad Penny has the opportunity to make this his backfield. He showed in the final five games the talent level he has. If Seattle did not draft a running back, Penny may be going in the first five rounds in all formats.
Penny signed a one-year deal in March worth up to $5.75 million, paying him in the top half of NFL starters. Penny had a great stretch to end last season. Over the final five games, he rushed for 692 yards and six touchdowns coming off of an ACL injury, proving he can produce.
However, Kenneth Walker was drafted pick 41, with being the running back of the future in mind. With Penny having never logged a full season, Seattle drafted insurance at the running back position. We are looking at a pure committee approach here, but it depends on health. Both running backs have missed time this spring due to hamstring injuries. Right now on NFC, Walker’s average draft position is 77, which is a round six to seven pick. Penny is going pick 90, a mid-seventh round pick to an early ninth.
While I think Penny is the early favorite to lead this backfield, I think Walker ends up being the workhorse by mid-season. This pick reminds me of Michael Carter last year. He was drafted high and dropped before he took the backfield over. If you draft Kenneth Walker in the single-digit rounds, be patient with him, do not drop him if he isn’t seeing the workhorse type carries. Rashaad Penny is going to be a good pick early on as well. He should start day one, and may provide a few weeks of RB1 play. I would sell high if this occurs. Walker was drafted to be the running back of the future here and if given a chance I think he takes over and doesn’t look back.