The "Seahawks Sleepers" series is a flurry of quick scouting reports on some players that I've identified as potential targets for Seattle. My goal with this series is to highlight a few players that John Schneider, Pete Carroll and their scouting team might be interested in, and to give a brief synopsis as to why. For the most part, I'm high on the guys that I'll be pointing out - and I'll be monitoring them during the Draft and in Rookie Free Agency. Also, for the most part, these are mid- to later-round prospects because let's be honest, you're probably sick of reading about first- and second-round type guys.
RB Christine Michael, TAMU - 5'10, 220
This just makes too much sense. Michael has fallen a bit because of a character concerns and reportedly had issues with his previous coaching staff. However, he is very fast (4.54 40) for his size (220) but he's also probably the most laterally explosive running back in this class. Michael's 6.69 3-cone drill was tops among RBs, his 4.02 short shuttle was tops among RBs, and his 125" broad jump was 2nd among RBs. At 220 pounds.
His 43" vert was tops.... among all players at the Combine. Lower. Body. Explosiveness. Quick-twitch athlete on a world-class scale.
Luckily, - and this doesn't always happen - this quickness and agility shows up in his running style and from my untrained eye, makes him a perfect candidate for a zone blocking scheme. His downfield cut would be explosive, but once past the offensive line, it's improvisation time, which is where the lateral agility comes into play. As Tom Cable put it once, the Seahawks expect their running backs to do what they're supposed to do from Point A to Point B, but once you get to Point B, how you get to Point C is up to you.
Michael excels at sifting through the chaff on the second level and his open field shiftiness helps him break tackles. If he's got a guy in front of him that he can't evade, he's not afraid to put his head down and barrel through him.
I like Michael. He reminds me of a more athletic, shifty version of Robert Turbin, which is saying a lot. I don't know if the Seahawks will be in the market for another running back this year (I kind of hope they are), but Michael certainly fits their profile as a 'big back' that can put the hurt on a defense. If Michael's character concerns drop him into the third round, keep an eye on him. Some draft analysts have Michael above Eddie Lacy as the Class' top running back.
The Seahawks have seemed to target former blue-chip recruits and/or recent big-school transfers that have seen their stock fall in recent months or seasons. Michael, prior to 2012, might've been in the first-round discussion, but issues with the coaching staff led to his benching for large swaths of time at TAMU this year. I just have the feeling Seattle could look past this.
Video courtesy of the excellent DraftBreakdown.