Washington Redskins 2014 Draft Pick: Lache Seastrunk, Running Back, Baylor

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hogs Haven takes a deeper look at the 'home run' hitter the Redskins selected in the 6th round of the 2014 Draft.

Lache Seastrunk (Pronounced "Lake")

Running Back

Height: 5'9"  Weight: 201 lbs

Baylor

Year Games Rushing Attempts Yards Average Touchdowns Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving Touchdowns
2012 13 131 1,012 7.7 7 9 107 1
2013 11 158 1,177 7.4 11 - - -
Total 24 289 2,189 7.6 18 9 107 1

The redshirt Junior left Baylor a year early to enter the NFL Draft only to see his hopes of a mid-round selection turn into a 6th round pick.  On April 30th, I posted a draft profile for Lache Seastrunk where I projected the speedy back to go in the 4th round. Take a look at the profile and then come back here for some additional insight.

Agility- 9/10

Lache Seastrunk is explosiveness personified! Every conversation about Seastrunk has to start and end with his agility and elusiveness.  He's a joystick back if there ever was one. He posses an elite arsenal of moves, from his stop/start to a sudden juke move to weaving through space while maintaining top speed. Seastrunk's low center of gravity and footwork allow him to change direction and elude defenders with ease. Redskins fans know all too well how deflating it is to watch LeSean McCoy break ankles at the second level. Seastrunk brings that kind of ability to this offense.

Speed- 9/10

He clocked in at an unexpectedly low 4.51 second 40 at the 2014 Combine. This was disappointing in light of his 4.3 range prediction. He did improve his time in his pro day, recording an official 4.46. However, Seastrunk is definitely 'football fast' just like the aforementioned Shady McCoy. Shady clocked in at 4.50 during his pro day at Pittsburgh but you watch him on the field and he can be a blur at times. Seastrunk combines an explosive burst with a second gear; a rare speed combination. Get Seastrunk a head of steam and an open field and he will be almost impossible to catch.

Vision- 7/10

The strength of his vision can be seen when he navigates his body based on the subtle cues of the oncoming defenders. Agility is often benefited by a strong sense (vision) of where the defender's momentum is taking them. However, in the classic sense of vision, Seastrunk does an adequate job of anticipating blocks and finding cut-back lanes. He does have a tendency to bail on the protection from time to time though, choosing to bounce the run outside with the use of his speed when he should stay north.

Power- 5/10

Don't underestimate his ability to drive through arm tackles. Seastrunk is not built like your average 5'9" running back. He has a strong lower body that allows him to keep his legs moving through the phone booth. Of course, he is far from a power back and can be brought down by most wrap tackles.

Ball Protection- 5/10

Four fumbles (2 lost) in his 289 career rush attempts. This isn't all that bad considering Alfred Morris had 16 fumbles in his 4 years at Florida Atlantic. What is more concerning for Seastrunk is his tendency to allow his ball carrying arm to drift away from his body on change of direction.  At the next level the linebackers do a much better job of tracking down backs, so he will need to learn to carry the ball higher and tighter.

Catching/Route Running- 5/10

This should really be scored as an "N/A" because Seastrunk did not have the opportunities to display his skills (or lack thereof) in the pass game in Art Briles' system at Baylor. As explosive as that offense is, running backs are not targeted often.  Seastrunk did not catch a single pass in 2013, and of the 9 receptions he had in 2012, 5 came in one game. It has been well-documented that he had more drops (10) in his career than receptions (9), which is concerning.  Take the his combine drills with a grain of salt but his catching technique seemed solid.

Pass Protection- 4/10

This is where he obviously needs to improve in order to become a consistent 3rd down back.  His small frame makes him susceptible to getting bulldozed when he attempts to stand-up a blitz. He does posses some skills when it comes to cut blocking and chipping but he needs to improve his overall blocking awareness before he can be relied upon to pass block.

Durability- 6/10

Injury is always a concern with a back his size. He did have a groin injury in 2013 that caused him to miss 2 and a half games.  Also, he pulled his hamstring against Oklahoma State in 2012, however he only needed one hamstring to outrun the defense for about 45 yards on his way to a 76-yard touchdown run.

Other Notes:

  • Seastrunk redshirted his first year due to a transfer from Oregon (under Chip Kelly) to Baylor. He was forced to sit out his freshman year (2011) due to that transfer. So he was teammates with Robert Griffin III but never played with him.
  • Was at the center of an NCAA investigation regarding his recruitment to Oregon and ties to Will Lyles, a Houston based recruiter.
  • The sample size for Seastrunk is very small. He only started the last 6 games in 2012 and the first 7 games of 2013 before getting injured.  During that 13 game span he averaged 9 yards per carry! Also, all but 1 of his 18 career touchdowns came during that stretch.
  • On May 14, Seastrunk became the first 2014 Redskins draft pick to sign a contract. He signed a 4 year, $2.33 million deal with an $110,500 bonus.
  • Seastrunk will be wearing #35.
  • Seastrunk became the 6th running back drafted by the Redskins in the last 4 years.
  • He will definitely be the loudest member of the relatively quiet running back corps. Wonder how this yapper will get along with Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Chris Thompson, and Evan Royster.
  • Seastrunk has only 1 kick return (13 yards) in his 2 year career.
  • 19 of his 24 games were played on turf.
Final Impressions and Team Fit

We knew Jay Gruden would come out of this draft with his own Giovani Bernard or Tyler Eifert. Seems like he got a potential version of the former. However, Jay Gruden has tempered his expectations for Seastrunk from the beginning:
What we're envisioning for him early on is not so much a third down guy but a guy that can spell Alfred and hit the home run. He's got breakaway speed and hopefully, in time, he will be able to develop into a pass blocker/receiver.

It's already been well-publicized that Robert Griffin III was texting his coach during the draft, imploring him to take Seastrunk. Now that he is in the fold you have to side with Gruden on his assessment and expectations for Seastrunk. I see him as a spell/change-of-pace back that defenses will have to account for. There just isn't enough evidence to speculate on his hands but you have to feel good about a guy with his confidence and determination to get the job done. For that reason and his game-breaking speed, I see him has the primary kick returner to start the season. Give him 5-7 carries or 1-2 screens per game and he could prove to be the biggest draft steal in 2014.

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