By Alex Kozora
Our focus has shifted to the offseason and for the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on several draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and others will be top players that will be off the board before they select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Evaluation of Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk.
Lache Seastrunk/RB Baylor: 5’9/4 201
– Explosive athlete
– Excellent speed
– Reaches that speed quickly, not a build-up runner
– Quick feet
– Lower body strength gives him agility, ability to change directions
– Splash-play producer and dangerous in the open field
– Good vision and follows his blocks, capable of reading the flow of the defense
– Coordinated, balanced runner
– Productive career
– Not much wear and tear
– Short and frame isn’t anything to get excited about
– Not a powerful runner
– Tends to go down too easily
– Dances too much, runs too lateral, especially outside of the box
– Runs too upright?
– Minimal effort/ability as a pass blocker
– At times, carries the ball too freely away from his body
– Limited starting experience
– Limited workload, never been the workhorse
– Skill position friendly offense
– Virtually no use as a receiver
– First name is pronounced “Lake”
– Only 14 career starts over two seasons, leaving early as a junior
– Career 289 carries 2189 yards 18 rushing TDs
– No more than 158 carries in a season
– 2013 First Team All-Big 12
– Missed two full games in 2013 with a groin injury and most of a third
– Just nine career catches, none in 2013
– Showed explosiveness at the Combine, position highs in vertical and broad (41.5 and 11’2)
– Originally committed to Oregon, redshirted there in 2010 before transferring to Baylor, sitting out the 2011 season
– Five- star recruit coming out of high school
– Accomplished track athlete in high school
The explosion Seastrunk showed at the Combine carries over to the tape. Maintains speed through his cut, gets to the edge, and has the speed to turn the corner and dive into the end zone.
Shows it again in the bowl game against UCF.
Sees the field well as a running back. Sees the flow move to the right (from the back’s point of view), plants, cuts back, and then accelerates upfield. Makes the safety miss and finds paydirt.
Looking at that play again in photos.
If the Steelers’ stick with the zone blocking scheme, that may be the most important trait to look for. ZBS is not just about following the hole called in the huddle. It’s reading the hat of the defender and adjusting accordingly.
However, Seastrunk does tend to run too laterally. Especially in the open field. Inside the box, he’s decisive and hits the hole. But put him in space, or when the play breaks down, and he goes East/West.
This was a first down run on 3rd and 8 that showed change of direction and balance but I have no clue what he’s trying to accomplish around the 15 yard line. Basically runs straight down the line instead of downhill. Something I’d expect out of Jonathan Dwyer. That’s not a compliment.
Play breaks down but Seastrunk doesn’t do it any favors by dancing around and losing even more yardage.
Holding him back substantially is rawness and ineffectiveness in the passing game. Poor, indecisive pass blocker.
Fails to support the right tackle getting beat around the edge by the left end. Deer in the headlights. Just stands there and watches.
Doesn’t provide much help in this instance, either.
Allows pressure here.
Seastrunk failed to catch a single pass in 2013. Has only caught 21 dating back to his senior year of high school. He did show soft hands in the Combine drills but that’s obviously a different environment. Biggest area that restricts rookie running backs from seeing the field is within pass protection and becoming an asset out of the backfield.
Seastrunk just feels unusually tight hipped for a player who is as explosive as he has shown to be. That probably sounds hypocritical and it’s a thought that is hard for me to quantify. Just feel it when I watch him. Cuts can be choppy in the open field and he just doesn’t feel natural. It could be a result of him running too high. Or maybe I’m completely misguided in that thought. Let me know what you think in the comments.
He played in an offense that divided up the carries. Was never counted on to be the workhorse. And the Bears’ scheme was very conducive to creating splash plays. Spread the field, take defenders out of the box, giving the running backs a lot of space. Luxury he won’t have in the NFL.
Mixed on him as a prospect. Do see the explosiveness and the speed. And none of the negatives standing alone is a deal-breaker. But together, and again going off my gut, I don’t see a top-tier back. Someone that feels like more a product of the Baylor scheme than true talent that can transition to the next level. It’s obvious that at best, Seastrunk will take time to develop because of that rawness in protection and out of the backfield. A prospect I feel like I have to talk myself into. Never a good sign even if it’s difficult to explain empirically.
Really have just began wading through this year’s running back class but if I had to guess, there are better mid-round options than Seastrunk.
Projection: Mid-Late 4th
Games Watched: vs West Virginia, at Kansas, vs UCF (Bowl)
Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke
Louisville S Calvin Pryor
Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
Virginia T Morgan Moses
Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt
Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
North Carolina DE Kareem Martin
UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
South Carolina CB Victor Hampton
Clemson WR Martavis Bryant
Fresno State WR Davante Adams
Texas DE/OLB Jackson Jeffcoat
Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
TCU CB Jason Verrett
Louisiana Tech NT Justin Ellis