In the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks added running back Travis Homer with pick 204, which marks the first addition the team has made at the running back position this offseason, a stark departure from years past.
It was barely a year ago that many fans of the team were up in arms, in the wake of the Hawks using their first round pick on Rashaad Penny. Penny looked like a rookie at times and played very well at times during his rookie season, which is not surprising from young players, and his addition to the team continued a pattern of the team adding multiple running backs during the offseason.
Looking back past 2018, in 2017 it was Eddie Lacy being signed as a free agent and a late round flyer on Chris Carson. In 2016 it was C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins and Zak Brooks. In 2015 the team brought in multiple undrafted free agents, including Thomas Rawls and Rod Smith. In contrast, so far during the 2019 offseason Homer has been the only running back the team has added. On the flip side, Carson’s backup, Mike Davis, left to join the Chicago Bears, and J.D. McKissic has been redesignated as a return specialist rather than a running back. On top of that, fullback Tre Madden remains unsigned as a free agent.
That means the running back room is actually smaller than it was at the end of the 2018 season, when the team had Carson, Davis, Penny, McKissic, Madden and Bo Scarbrough on the roster. With just players at the position, it certainly seems that the team is fully content to roll into OTAs later this month with the players they’ve got.
This is interesting for multiple reasons because of the simple fact that they certainly have a solid group of talent at the position, but it seems a little short on depth to me. We’ve all seen how many injuries have been suffered by the team at the running back position, and how the Hawks had to sign backs off the street in 2015 and 2016.
It seems highly unlikely that this is the final group of running backs the team would roll with into training camp, given that history of injuries. However, as of writing I have yet to see any reports of backs signed as UDFAs or waiver claims from other teams. Than can certainly change when the official list of UDFA signings is released, but for now it appears as though the Hawks are happy with the backs they’ve got.