Seahawks' Draft Could Include Utah's Devontae Booker, Other Running Backs

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Feb 25, 2016 02:59 PM EST
Utah running back Devontae Booker
Utah running back Devontae Booker or Arkansas running back Alex Collins could be potential targets for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2016 NFL Draft, as Seattle is looking to create competition for running back Thomas Rawls for the starting position next season."

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's retirement has already been confirmed by his agent, and many expect running back Thomas Rawls to step into the starting role after a tremendous rookie season. Rawls' season ended with a broken ankle in Week 14, and while he proved himself as a viable starter in 2015 the role is not guaranteed.

"He definitely has the talent to (take over for Lynch), but we're going to get a couple people in there to compete with him," said Seahawks general manager John Schneider, via Pro Football Talk. "And he's recovering from a significant injury as well too. He's a fun kid and a really talented guy. I just can't tell you that (he'll succeed) right now. I'd go to (Las) Vegas if I could tell you that."

Rawls looks to be the clear frontrunner for the starting position in the Seahawks' backfield, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the team use an early round pick on a running back. Many expect Seattle to bolster its offensive line after struggles during the 2015 regular season, but two running backs who could interest the Seahawks in the second or third round are Arkansas' Alex Collins and Utah's Devontae Booker.

Both Booker and Collins are highly considered by most scouts and could make an immediate impact in Seattle's backfield. One scout said that he believes Collins is the best running back in the draft, as he can run both in between the tackles and outside, according to NFL Network's Bucky Brooks. Collins was a model of consistency for the Razorbacks, rushing for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons. There are some concerns with his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but he has drawn comparisons with Jets' running back Chris Ivory and could be effective near the goal line.

While some scouts have been outspoken about Collins, Booker has received great reviews from multiple draft analysts, and Mike Mayock has him as the third best running back in the draft after Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott. Booker tore his MCL late in his senior season, but not before rushing for 1,261 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns. The Utes' running back was one of the best players in the Pac-12 prior to the injury and was on pace to have a second 1,500-plus rushing yard season. Booker is strong pass-catching running back that recorded 37 receptions for 318 yards his senior season, and he has great vision in finding running lanes.

The Seahawks have multiple holes their front office is looking to fill this offseason, and if either Booker or Collins are available in the second or third round of the draft, either one of them could make a strong addition to Seattle's backfield in 2016.

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