Clayton’s offseason wrap-up: Seahawks’ depth at running back, receiver should yield stiff competition
The Seahawks’ six-week vacation is in its earliest stages.
Players don’t have to come back to team headquarters until the end of July, so they can spend time with family, take some vacation or just work out in preparation for training camp. It’s been a productive offseason for the Seahawks. They were aggressive in getting one-year acquisitions in free agency. Their 11-player draft class looks promising.
Let’s review some of what we learned over the Seahawks’ offseason program and look ahead to training camp:
Biggest takeaway: The biggest takeaway from organized team activities and minicamp is Seattle’s excellent depth at running back. Eddie Lacy has made two weigh-ins and is starting to do a little work in the backfield as he continues to recover from an ankle injury from last season. He’s the power back that coach Pete Carroll has been looking for since Marshawn Lynch retired. But Thomas Rawls isn’t going to concede the position. Rawls is at 215 pounds and is around 8 percent for body fat. He is working out feverishly. C.J. Prosise looks smooth running routes from the backfield and catching the ball. Alex Collins knows where he needs to be for weight. Collins as a fourth running back? That’s deep. So deep the Seahawks released Troymaine Pope, a fan favorite for what he did in the preseason last year.
Competing with Eddie Lacy? Thomas Rawls says he’s competing with himself. pic.twitter.com/QuOk5jclpk
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) June 9, 2017
Biggest remaining question: How much better is the Seahawks’ offensive line is going to be? The positive shift is what is happening on the right side. Guard Mark Glowinski and tackle Germain Ifedi are at their natural positions, the ones they played in college, and look more comfortable. George Fant has been the talk of the offseason program after adding 24 pounds and looking like a solid 320-pound left tackle. If Fant improves with his added weight and holds up better against bull-rushing defensive ends, Seattle’s offensive line could improve by 20 percent at the minimum.
Most competitive position battle. It might be at wide receiver. With Jermaine Kearse having a good offseason, the top four appear to be set: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richarson and Kearse. The competition in training camp for the final two spots will be intense. Draft choices Amara Darboh (third round) and David Moore (seventh) might have the edge, but they will have tough battles from Kasen Williams, Kenny Lawler and Tanner McEvoy.
Top positional concern. Cornerback remains a concern, but that will clear up if rookie Shaquill Griffin can nail down the outside spot on the other side of Richard Sherman. That would free up Jeremy Lane to work the slot. Neiko Thorpe, DeAndre Elliott and Pierre Desir are other possibilities. Still, it’s not out the question for the Seahawks to add a veteran.
Backup QB competition. Unless the Seahawks sign or acquire another backup quarterback candidate, count Trevone Boykin to beat out Austin Davis. Boykin is a better scheme fit in Seattle’s offense. He’s accurate and has great running skills.
The defensive line is impressive. Top pick Malik McDowell is a physical specimen. Jarran Reed has improved. Third-rounder Nazair Jones looks intriguing. Frank Clark is a rising star. This line is deep and talented.
Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.