Last year, as the Seahawks season got out of hand and the curtain was closing, we introduced "2009 Tuesdays," a day to stop dwelling in the suck of the Hawks and look forward to all the pretty possibilities of the Draft, free agency, and so forth. Right around January, of course, that becomes the whole aim of the blog, but until then, one day a week ain't too shabby. Inaugural edition of 2010 Tuesdays: Running Backs.
Depth Chart: Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Louis Rankin, Justin Griffith, Owen Schmitt
Julius Jones is not the answer. He hasn't been given a fair shot behind this offensive line, but he was never great and probably never will be. The Seahawks need someone who can compliment their current #2, Justin Forsett. Jones will almost certainly be cut unless he really shines in the next few weeks, but I don't see that happening with a bruised lung and cracked rib.
Justin Forsett will be a Seahawk for awhile. He is impressive everytime he gets a chance to impress. Forsett is a shifty back and he is arguably the most powerful small guy in the league this side of Maurice Jones-Drew. He breaks tackles and runs hard. He's a piece to build around, but not as the every down back. 15-25 touches a game is right for Forsett, probably closer to 15 than 25.
Louis Rankin needs to flash in a big way to stay on this team. He had a terrible game on Sunday, losing a fumble, dropping a pass, blowing a play-action pass up (to save Hasselbeck's butt, but still), and didn't get anything going in the return game.
The fullback position is set for at least another year with Griffith and Schmitt. We're not concerned about the fullbacks.
Free Agents of Interest [read more]
Now, it's really too early to say who will be free agents and who won't be due to the franchise tag, voidable years, and the potential for an uncapped year and some players becoming restricted FAs rather than UFAs. Still, there aren't really any free agent RBs that are going to jump off the page at you: Chris Brown, Kevin Faulk, Ahman Green, Edgerrin James, Aaron Stecker, Chester Taylor, Willie Parker. Darren Sproles was franchised this year, and could be again next year. The problem with FA running backs is that their prime years are usually already behind them, and if they aren't, they get re-signed. In other words: fail.
The 2010 NFL Draft
Now we're talking! There is a slew of potential star running backs who will come out for the 2010 NFL Draft.
C.J. Spiller (Clemson): he may be the running back prize of the draft. Spiller has good size (5'11", 195 lbs) and is probably the fastest RB in the draft. He's a track star as well as a potential Heisman winner, and has done nothing but produce at Clemson. Spiller has all sorts of ridiculous stats, and figures to be a mix between Chris Johnson and Reggie Bush in the NFL. Whether he's more Johnsonian or Bushesque remains to be seen. He's likely too high a pick for the Hawks to consider, unless he just blows us away. I think he's worth it, as Spiller would instantly aid the running game and fix the return game.
Jahvid Best (California): Best is excellent, but his super season has hit a snag due to a) his team stinking up the joint and b) his injury a few weeks ago. Best is an underclassman and could opt to return for the 2010 season, but as a lock to go in the first round, it seems unlikely.
Toby Gerhart (Stanford): Gerhart is huge, he's fast, and he creates big holes when his O-Line can't. He's an absolute beast, and would have a fun time bruising up and beating down opponents all day. Same size as Miss State's Anthony Dixon, but Gerhart ran for a few hundred more yards and TDs and showed up in a big way for every big game the Cardinal had.
Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State): At 6'1", 235, Dixon is big, powerful, and pretty fast -- 4.59 projected 40-yard dash. He would be the thunder to Forsett's lightning, but the Hawks would remain without a legit speed threat.
Mark Ingram (Alabama): Just kidding, he's a sophomore, but he's damn good. If we somehow pass on a running back in 2010, maybe we'll suck enough to be in position to take Ingram in 2011.