Seahawks close out draft with Oklahoma State RB Chris Carson
Apr 29, 2017, 4:06 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm
RENTON – The Seahawks wrapped up their 2017 NFL Draft by taking Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson in the seventh round, No. 249 overall, which was the last of their 11 selections.
Carson is listed at 6 feet and 218 pounds. He transferred to Oklahoma State from junior college and spent two seasons with the program, rushing for 1,076 yards on 213 carries and 13 touchdowns in 21 games. He also showed pass-catching ability with 30 receptions.
He described himself as a physical runner, which Seattle covets.
“I like to break tackles, get hard yards,” Carson said on a conference call. “I just like to make people miss and I’m not afraid of contact.”
The upside: Carson is well-built, and while his overall production at Oklahoma State wasn’t overwhelming, his yards-per-carry average of 5.1 is pretty healthy. He didn’t fumble in over 200 carries, which is a big deal for a Pete Carroll-coached team that values possession as much as anything. Sounds like he was Carroll’s guy the way the coach described him. Carroll said he fell in love with how tough and physically Carson ran in much the same way he did with Thomas Rawls two years ago. “He didn’t run the ball a lot, but when he did, he, to me, made a great statement of his style and the style that we really covet,” Carroll said.
The risk: Carson doesn’t have the four-year track record of production at a Division I level that teams may prefer, and he also missed four games last season with a broken thumb. But we’re talking about a seventh-round pick here, so the risk is fairly minimal.
Bigger picture: He joins a backfield that’s pretty well stocked. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls figure to battle for early-down carries while C.J. Prosise handles third-down duties. Seattle’s backfield was already going to have a hard time finding room for Alex Collins, a fifth-round pick last year, and it gets even more crowded with Carson. That may be a reason why the Seahawks decided to use a draft pick on him instead of trying to sign him as an undrafted free agent, which could have been a tough sell given how hard it’s going to be to earn a spot in their backfield. The same thinking could have applied last year with Zac Brooks when the Seahawks chose him in the seventh round after drafting Prosise and Collins earlier.