With the vast network of team-specific sites on SB Nation, we decided to reach out to some of the teams that former Clemson players will be playing for in the NFL. Today we had a chance to talk with Danny from Field Gulls, the SB Nation site covering all things about the Seattle Seahawks. A big thanks to Danny for answering these questions and we'll have a few answers up on their site later this week.
STS: What was your reaction when hearing the Seahawks drafted Zac Brooks?
FG: Initially I was pretty surprised, first because the Seahawks had already drafted two running backs in earlier rounds (C.J. Prosise in the 3rd, Alex Collins in the 5th), and secondly because frankly I hadn’t really heard of Brooks. With a little bit of research, it started to make sense why the Seahawks liked him — his workout numbers were outstanding and the way he was used, as kind of a receiving back — makes sense for the role Seattle is trying to fill with the departure of Fred Jackson.
STS: What has been the reaction of the fanbase to Brooks being drafted by the Seahawks?
FG: Honestly it’s been pretty overshadowed by the rest of the draft, so there hasn’t been a ton of conversation about Brooks specifically. He remains a bit of a mystery pick considering the log-jam at the running back position right now. It’s looking like he’ll have to impress enough to unseat Christine Michael, which isn’t necessarily saying a lot, but initial looks at the roster make it seem like he’s a bubble player at best. And, obviously, that is pretty standard as far as 7th round picks go.
Nonetheless, there’s definitely some intrigue about him. The speed is clear, and the fact that he was a “personal favorite” of a number of Seattle personnel guys there in the 7th round (which is why they took him over a few other players, per John Schneider after the draft) piques my interest. There’s obviously something they really like about him, and they may believe they unearthed a hidden gem. It’s obviously a little concerning that he did not factor in a whole lot in the Clemson offense, but the hope is that is more because of injuries and depth chart issues.
STS: How will Brooks fit in with the current Seahawks depth chart at RB?
FG: I think initially he’ll be a 3rd-down back type, just based on his receiving ability and size. Typically “bell-cow” style backs for Seattle are more around 220 pounds. He’ll have to carve out a niche for himself behind Thomas Rawls, Alex Collins, C.J. Prosise, Christine Michael, and any other veteran guys they may pick up. It’s gonna be a battle to make the roster.
STS: Seattle has some history with unheralded picks doing well on both sides of the ball. What does Brooks have that could make him the next success story?
FG: Speed is the big thing. Explosiveness. Versatility. We don’t know enough about him at this point to really know if he’s got a shot, but Pete Carroll and his staff tend to like guys that have special skills or can fill unique roles. We’ll see if Brooks has that.
STS: For you what are the big concerns about Brooks and what does he need to do to be successful in the NFL?
FG: Size is concern, considering the Seahawks typically feature bigger backs, more in the 215-220 pound range. Obviously, getting caught in the logjam behind some higher picks and more experienced players could hurt his chances.
STS: Do you think Brooks will end up sticking in Seattle? Or is he most likely just going to get a look in training camp and then move on?
FG: Right now it’s looking like he has longer odds at making the initial 53-man roster, but I would not put anything past him. I didn’t really expect Thomas Rawls to make the roster last year either (it was 50-50 to me at best, previous to the season), so nothing would surprise me. He does have the advantage of being younger, with more club control, than Christine Michael.