JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: How RBs in NFL Draft should help Seahawks this offseason

Feb 24, 2022, 1:48 PM
Seahawks Rashaad Penny Russell Wilson Chris Carson...
Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson and Russell Wilson celebrate a Seahawks TD in 2019 in Philadelphia. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Seahawks, like every team in the NFL, are waiting to get to the rookie combine that starts Monday in Indianapolis.

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The Seahawks still have to sort out their running back position. Will they re-sign Rashaad Penny? Is Chris Carson gong to be healthy enough to start next season? They have to figure it out.

What will be interesting about the combine is that running back might be the best position in the 2022 NFL Draft. General managers are saying you can get a good running back in the first five rounds. You watched it in college games last season. There were so many running backs who broke long touchdown runs with great speed.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if none were drafted in the first round, though. Why rush it? In the first round you can get your offensive tackles, wide receivers, edge rushers and cornerbacks, then start looking for players to run the ball.

The depth of the running back position in the draft will water down the running back free agent market. The idea was that no unrestricted free agent running back would get more than $6 million a year. This draft class will make it even tougher for the backs to get big paydays. The top unrestricted RB signing two years ago was for an $8 million salary, while last year it was $5.5 million.

For the Seahawks, that means they could get Penny back at a favorable number. They could also wait until the third or fourth round to get a running back. It puts them in a good position.

First, we have to see if the agents for running backs will let their clients run at the combine and show their skills. Some may hold back and wait until college team workouts.

The Seahawks should have an interesting week in Indy to see what’s available, though.

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