By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – Short? Maybe. Keiro Small, the fullback Seattle drafted in the seventh round out of Arkansas, doesn’t quite reach 5 feet 9.
“Five-eight and a half,” he said. “Don’t forget the half.”
But small is not a word that should be ascribed to either his build nor his running style.
“He’s a total thumper, man,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said.
The rationale: He’s a physical runner and proven blocker with history playing in the country’s toughest football conference. Schneider complimented Small’s vision, and said his lower center of gravity will actually be a benefit as a blocker.
“He just digs people out,” Schneider said. “It’s very natural for him, he’s so low to the ground.”
Seattle is one of only half a dozen or so teams in the league that still uses a traditional fullback. Last season, the Seahawks had two on the roster. However, Michael Robinson is not back on the team, which leaves an opening coach Pete Carroll said Small may fit perfectly.
“He’s kind of the epitome of the fullback,” Carroll said.
The risk: He’s the fifth running back the Seahawks have chosen in the past three drafts, and not only did Derrick Coleman earn a job with the team last year, but Spencer Ware is someone Seattle used in 2013 before an ankle injury cut his rookie season short.
Earning a backfield job on this team is going to be tough.