The Seattle Seahawks selected running back Chris Carson in Round 7 of the 2017 NFL Draft and already he's the starter. In fact, he started Week 1.
Despite poor offensive line play, Carson has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and is in the Top 15 in the NFL in rushing yards.
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Part of the fun with rookies is projections and comparisons, so let's do that with Carson.
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Now, those mean very little without context, but we'll get back to that.
Prior to the draft, the consensus on Carson among draft analysts was very much about Day 3, if he gets drafted at all.
Here's Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:
Runs with tight hips and low-knee action. Runs too upright. Missing the flexibility to sink and cut sharply… Burst through line of of scrimmage is average. Lacks explosive, playmaking potential.
Here's NFL.com on another NFL running back entering the draft several years ago:
Does not have the vision to consistently find open lanes and looks to bounce the ball outside too soon. Runs a bit high and lacks the power to get the difficult yards between the tackles. Lacks the agility to always make the first man miss in the hole.
'Runs too upright' is essentially 'runs a bit high.' Carson showed a lack of explosiveness, Player B lacked the power to get tough yards.
This exercise isn't to shoot down the analysts, it's to demonstrate how players develop, change and erase negative points on their scouting report. It happens all the time.
Player B, by the way, is former Oklahoma star DeMarco Murray, a third-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. Murray not only entered the NFL with some similar questions, but he's very similar physically at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds — 213 on draft day — and played in the Big 12, just like Carson.
Both also had some durability concerns.
Murray has run for nearly 7,000 yards in six-plus seasons with Dallas and now Tennessee, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
The traits don't stop there, however:
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Murray clearly had a step on Carson in the speed department. Everything else is very similar. Carson actually tested favorably in other measures of athleticism, including the vertical jump.
The two aren't identical by any means and Carson is a long ways from getting it done like Murray has the past six seasons. There are probably better performance comps for Carson since there will be questions until he answers them all, and there are certainly better physical comparisons, such as Deuce McAllister, Carnell Williams or Sedrick Irvin.
But if you're looking for the upside of the Seahawks new bell cow, Murray might be it. If Seattle figures things out up front, Carson could put up some big numbers in the running game, and he showed Week 3 at Tennessee he can block, run routes and catch the ball, too.