BROCK AND SALK

Seahawks Draft Prospects: RBs and WRs who Brock Huard loves

Apr 23, 2022, 9:08 AM
Seahawks Breece Hall...
Running back Breece Hall of the Iowa State Cyclones runs for a touchdown during the first half of the college football game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Brock Huard’s dive into prospects the Seahawks could wind up drafting continued this week during the latest Brock & Salk Podcast for Seattle Sports 710 AM.

Seahawks Draft Profiles: A trio of top O-linemen

After looking at cornerbacks and linebackers two weeks ago and offensive and defensive linemen last week, Huard’s focus this week? Playmakers on offense and running back and wide receiver.

Wide Receivers

When looking at potential Day 2 (second and third rounds) or Day 3 (rounds four-seven) picks for the Seahawks at receiver, two players Huard likes both hail from the Big 10 Conference.

“The two that pique my interest the most that I think are going to be very good pros are (Jahan) Dotson (from Penn State) and David Bell from Purdue,” he said.

David Bell, Purdue

That’s especially the case with Bell, who was one of the most productive receivers in all of college football the last few years.

But despite that high level of production at Purdue, Bell’s draft stock has reportedly taken a hit in recent months. Huard pointed to his showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He ran 4.65 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) at the combine,” Huard said. “… The reality is it sets a baseline and it says to these guys how explosive are you? And when you run 4.65, you have seen him plummet (down draft boards).”

But what Bell showed at the combine versus what he’s shown on the field are two very different things, Huard said.

“Watch the tape. This guy was (the Big Ten) freshman of the year (in 2019) and had 1,000 yards as a freshman,” Huard said.

And most recently, Bell was the Big Ten receiver of the year in a conference loaded with stellar receivers, particularly at Ohio State. The Buckeyes have two receivers expected to be high first-round picks and have more next year who will likely be drafted early as well. Bell had over 1,200 receiving yards in 2021.

“It was David Bell, who has had immense production every second since he’s been on the football field,” Huard said. “Super, super talented. (He’s) 6 foot 1 or 6 foot 2 and he’s going to be a great pro. ”

The Seahawks have a stellar receiver duo in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and they also drafted Dee Eskridge in the second round last year. There’s also Freddie Swain, a solid No. 3 or 4 receiver who’s played well since being drafted in 2020. But Huard said Bell has good body control, powerful hands and should be a good pro the Seahawks should consider.

“If he’s sitting there in the third or fourth round … how about (adding) just a baller, just a flat-out, put-them-on-the-field baller,” Huard said. “David Bell is a mid-round guy that I would find very intriguing.”

Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Jahan Dotson is someone Huard views as a mid-second-round pick who he thinks could be interesting if the Seahawks were to trade back from pick 40 or 41 to the mid-50s.

The issue? Eskridge.

“Unfortunately he’s too similar to Dee Eskridge. (Dotson is) 5-11, 178 (with a) 36-inch vert (and ran) 4.43 at the combine,” Huard said.

Because of Eskridge’s presence on the roster and his status as a recent second-round pick, Huard doesn’t think Dotson will be a member of the Seahawks.

“I think because of that, they’re gonna give (Eskridge) an opportunity. So you would need somebody different,” he said.

Dotson had 884 receiving yards in nine games in 2020 and 1,182 in 12 during the 2021 season.

Running backs

So how about running backs?

The Seahawks have drafted running backs in eight of the last 10 drafts, and the running back room has some uncertainty heading into 2022.

Seattle re-signed Rashaad Penny after a stellar finish to 2021, but he has a lengthy injury history. And speaking of injury history, Chris Carson is signed for next season but he’s had several notable injuries in his career and missed nearly all of 2021 with a neck injury.

The Seahawks still have Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas on the roster, but both have mainly been special teams contributors and occasional third-down backs.

So if the Seahawks wanted to really boost that room, who could they target?

Breece Hall, Iowa State

Breece Hall is the best in class by far,” Huard said of the Iowa State star. “(He had) 24 straight games with a rushing touchdown. I think I saw him four or five times over the last three years at Iowa State.”

Hall, who is 5-11 and 217 pounds, rushed for roughly 900 yards as a freshman in 2019. He exploded for over 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2020 and had 1,472 rushing yards and 20 scores in 2021. He also compiled over 800 receiving yards during his three years with the Cyclones. Hall finished sixth in Heisman voting in 2020 and 10th in 2021.

Huard said Hall was a guy who really elevated the Iowa State program and was a key part in the team’s recent success.

“That dude is he’s going to be a monster. And he ran incredible (at the combine),” Huard said, referencing Hall’s 4.39-second 40-yard dash. “And I think he ran better and then tested better than anybody thought he would because most Iowa State guys don’t. But he did. And he’s going to be off the board before 40 or 41.”

Kenneth Walker, Michigan State

Speaking of top-10 Heisman finishes, that’s what Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker did in 2021, finishing sixth in voting after rushing for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Spartans. That was Walker’s first and only year at Michigan State after starting his college career at Wake Forest before transferring after the 2020 season.

So how good of a prospect is Walker, who is 5-9 and 211 pounds?

“Kenneth Walker (ran a) 4.38 40,” Huard said. “Unbelievably fast and dynamic (in the) open field.”

Huard thinks Walker will be available when the Seahawks pick at 40 and 41. Why?

“Because he’s not a great receiver and he’s not a great pass blocker,” he said. “But he is just a runner that you can’t tackle.”

Walker’s pre-draft evaluation reminds Huard of star NFL running back Jonathon Taylor, who led the league in rushing last year for the Indianapolis Colts. Taylor was a second-round pick in 2020.

“I remember when Jonathan Taylor came out of Wisconsin, everybody said ‘he can’t pass block, can’t catch, can’t do this.’ But what can he do?” Huard said.

Huard, who is a college football analyst for FOX Sports, said he heard nothing but great things about Walker the last two years while on the road.

“I don’t think there was a player the last two years that was more beloved by their institution than Kenneth Walker,” Huard said. “He (transferred from) Wake Forest and turned the entirety of the program (around) there at Michigan State with the head coach and went from two wins to 10 wins. He was the bell cow, they hung their hat on him. Phenomenal, phenomenal player. If he’s there at 40 or 41, I’m going to be deeply deeply intrigued.”

Rachaad White, Arizona State

Huard said it’s unclear who the No. 3 running back in this draft is behind Hall and Walker. But someone he likes a lot is a Pac-12 standout.

“I’ll tell you an intriguing one that has a little Chris Carson feel to him is Rachaad White down at ASU,” Huard said.

White started his college career at Division-2 Nebraska-Kearney before transferring to a junior college and then winding up at Arizona State. Carson started his college career at a junior college before playing at Oklahoma State.

“(White) bounced everywhere, and yet at each turn (shined),” Huard said. “At ASU, the dude averaged 10 yards a carry in the COVID year (of 2020). He had 42 carries for 420 yards.”

In his first full Pac-12 season in 2021, White was still a top running back, rushing for 1,0006 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 456 yards and a score receiving. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 recognition.

“Last year he ran for 1,000 yards amidst all the dysfunction and issues at ASU,” Huard said. “… He’s 6-feet tall, 215 (pounds) rocked up and jumped 38 (inches) and ran 4.47 at the combine.”

Listen to the full Brock & Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.

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