Seahawks could use RB depth to fix offensive line

Sep 17, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Through two games, the Seattle Seahawks have displayed a laughable performance on the offensive line. Russell Wilson rarely has time to sit in the pocket, resulting in a lackluster passing game. The running game, despite having great talent, is averaging only 4.0 yards per carry (this statistic is boosted by the performance of Chris Carson and breakout runs from Wilson). Offensive line struggles are no new issue for the Seahawks, but they are at risk of putting up the worst offensive line numbers in the entire league. If the offensive line does not improve, it could cost a great Seahawks roster an opportunity at a run in the playoffs, or even a shot at them.

The Seahawks could be in the market to trade for an offensive tackle to secure a side for Wilson to have more opportunities to sit in the pocket. Currently, the running back corps is loaded with potential talent. Seattle could sway a team by offering Thomas Rawls or C.J. Prosise, two backs who have shown bursts of potential. While Seattle would like to retain their backs for as long as possible, they would not be handcuffed if they were to deal one of them for offensive line help. The emergence of Carson in the backfield makes Prosise and Rawls worthy trade candidates and could net a positive return overall.

One of the obvious trade candidates is long-time Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas. The Seahawks are one of several teams to be linked to Thomas in the past, but the Browns have a high-asking price. It would likely cost Seattle either their 3rd or 4th round draft pick, plus a player like Rawls or Prosise. It is unclear whether the Browns are interested in acquiring running back help, but current starter Isaiah Crowell has only averaged 2.5 yards per carry. If the Browns want rookie DeShone Kizer to develop as a starter in his rookie year, they must ensure that he has a running game to lean on.

Another potential trade partner for Seattle is the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have seen great play from backup left tackle John Wetzel after starter D.J. Humphries went down with an injury. Arizona could be interested in acquiring a back like Rawls or Prosise after David Johnson went down for at least half of the season with a dislocated wrist. If Arizona has three worthy offensive tackles between Wetzel, Humphries, and Jared Veldheer, they could be willing to move one of their tackles to the Seahawks.

Unfortunately for Seattle, there are few teams who are lacking in running-back depth and teeming with offensive-line depth. The lack of quality of offensive linemen in the NFL has recently been a discussion across the NFL. There are other teams in the NFL that have struggled to field an offensive line that can keep their quarterback upright. It will be harder to fix the Seattle offensive line than many expect.

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  • Dale

    The Seahawks do not have any extra running backs to trade at all. Trading Rawls or Prosise would be a big mistake, especially if there are any injuries, as the running back area is very thin. If they are not going to use Jimmy Graham, perhaps he is the only trade candidate on the offense. A better idea would be to trade the offensive coordinator, although, to be fair, we should get nothing in return. Your suggestions seem to indicate you must be a closet Cleveland or Arizona fan.