After losing Mike Davis to the Bears in free agency, the Seahawks were presumably going to add a running back to throw into the third down back mix. In the sixth round they did just that with the selection of Travis Homer, a big play offensive threat with the skill set that suggests he may not have reached his ceiling as a pass catcher yet.
Seattle’s archetype at running back is well established, but they have made a bit of a habit out of dropping below that mold for pass catchers. J.D. McKissic is the best example of this, and Homer is similarly undersized at 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds. Beyond his size, Homer has the explosiveness the Seahawks crave (39 1/2” vertical jump, 10-foot-10 broad jump) and more than enough speed (4.48 second forty).
Where Homer Wins
Homer wins by playing into his strengths, exploding into space after making decisive cuts. He has great burst through the line of scrimmage—with the power to get through arm tackles there—and the long speed needed to break a big play at any moment.
Do you know why the #Seahawks drafted Travis Homer? Because he can hit HOME(R) RUNS.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 27, 2019
(Sorry, somebody had to do it.) pic.twitter.com/I152akrJhg
Where Homer Loses
Seattle’s sixth round running back is in a good spot because, ideally, he won’t be put into a position to have his weaknesses exposed. Homer isn’t going to grind out three or four yard carries inside, or churn his legs to finish plays off with a couple extra yards. He’s a space back who excels in the open field; in a backfield dominated by Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, that’s exactly what he’ll be asked to do.
Year One Role
Despite saying otherwise last offseason, the Seahawks clearly did not have a plan for how to utilize C.J. Prosise in 2018. Similarly, McKissic was a non-factor upon returning from injury. Both players’ roles in the offense are unclear, and there’s a chance neither make the team. Homer will have a chance to fill that pass catching role immediately.
Best Case Scenario
Homer displayed a great understanding of space and separation in college, and consistently showed a natural ability to catch the football. His small production (37 catches in college) shouldn’t be a concern. He has the skill set to be a great, versatile pass catching running back. If he reaches that ceiling, Seattle will be in a great spot with their backfield.
Worst Case Scenario
As a sixth round pick, Homer isn’t a lock to make the team. The worst case scenario would see him fail to impress in preseason and get beaten out by McKissic, Prosise or another back. Perhaps his ball security issues continue to plague him, as well.
Though there were other options available, Homer fills a spot of need for the Seahawks. He has a high upside for where he was selected, and there’s real reason to believe he’ll produce at a much higher level in the passing game than he did at Miami. He was a team captain and clearly has the makeup Seattle looks for.