Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor (5-10, 210)
The number three running back prospect in the country out of high school and Oregon recruit, Lache Seastrunk transferred to Baylor in 2011, after getting lost in the Ducks’ backfield shuffle. Sitting out his first year in Waco due to NCAA rules, Seastrunk gradually forced his way into the lineup in 2012 before finishing on a tear, picking up 843 yards in the final six games. Established as the starter for 2013, he continued his fine form to begin the season by rushing for 589 yards and eight touchdowns in the first four games, averaging an astonishing 11.1 yards per carry.
That type of production quite predictably brought up Heisman talk and, though the redshirt junior’s production has tapered off somewhat since, while missing games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State due to a groin injury, there’s no doubt that he remains one of most intriguing offensive weapons who could be available come the 2014 draft.
Seastrunk is a great athlete and excels once he reaches the second level, where his low pad level and center of gravity lets him redirect in an instant. He has that jitterbug step needed to hide behind blockers and burst through tight holes and possesses multiple types of moves to trick defenders and make them miss. He has the footwork and balance to make sublime cuts and his quickness changing direction or stop-starting is up there amongst the best in the ’14 class. – 9/10
Can carry the ball under either arm and generally keeps it high and tight. Is however prone to exposing it to hits at times which, in the NFL, will be seized upon by defenders. If Seastrunk fails to address this flaw in the future then it could be an issue at the next level but he has looked much better protecting the ball this year than in 2012, when he had four fumbles. – 7/10
Seastrunk generates an explosive second gear out of his stance and cuts, with the ability to burst through the hole and accelerate and separate once in the open. He possesses that short, pitter-patter step style to slip through and avoid traffic and is a very quick darter in space, reminiscent of some of the NFL’s best in that regard, such as LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles. – 9/10
With only nine catches last year and zero this season, Seastrunk isn’t much of a factor in Baylor’s passing game, so it’s difficult to fully gage his ability here. As a Chip Kelly recruit coming out of high school, he had a good reputation as a pass-catching back but needs to prove during the draft process whether he can make an impact in this department on an NFL roster. – Incomplete
Seastrunk generally seems to struggle in pass protection and his technique and diagnostic skills are lacking. He’s able to cut block effectively and can chip bigger pass rushers off their angles but doesn’t offer much as a stand-up blocker or when attempting to pick up the blitz. – 5/10
Seastrunk shows decent strength relative to other backs of his size but he certainly won’t be mistaken for a power back at the next level. While he’s tough and obviously not afraid of contact, constantly churning his legs and fighting for those extra yards deep into games, it doesn’t take too many defenders to bring him down and he can be stopped by initial contact. – 6/10
Again, Seastrunk’s clear absence in Baylor’s passing attack makes it hard to get a reading on his ability here, as he’s rarely been asked to run much outside a flat route as a check down option. The likes of Frank Gore (who had a combined 23 catches during his three seasons at Miami) have proved however that the transition is wholly possible for a back who has done little in terms of route running during college. With his speed and athleticism, Seastrunk is certainly a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands in open space and, if he proves himself a smart route runner and consistent receiver, then he could be a solid dual-threat in the pros. – Incomplete
While Seastrunk may not be the pure speed merchant that the likes of Reggie Bush or C. J. Spiller were considered coming out of college, his burst and acceleration make him a threat to score on almost any play. He combines his quickness with his slippery style to separate from defenders and forces them to adjust their angles with his second gear off the corner. – 8.5/10
Seastrunk displays the vision to easily spot the cut-back lanes and is patient waiting for blocks to develop. However, he needs to develop more as a north/south runner, as he too often tries to break a big play to the corner, getting lost in the backfield and ending up losing yardage. That’s not to say he shies away from contact but he needs to understand that sometimes it’s better just to take the ball up the middle for a few yards, rather than making things difficult for himself. – 7.5/10
Outside of any concerns mentioned above, Seastrunk’s size may have some worried whether he can carry a heavy workload in the pros, but similar backs have gone on to establish themselves as verified workhorses in the NFL. Furthermore, with only one season as a starter, he clearly lacks the wear-and-tear that some enter the draft with. Likely more of a concern is the fact that he has seemingly feasted on poor defences while struggling somewhat when coming up against superior opposition – taking the majority of his snaps from the shotgun, behind a great offensive line. Is Seastrunk’s efficiency just a product of Baylor’s system? That assessment would seem mightily harsh but some will no doubt be wondering it by the time we get deep into draft season. – 7/10
While Seastrunk has a few obvious questions to answer in certain areas, his athletic ability and skills as a runner mean he’ll likely enter the 2014 draft as one of the top backs. The concerns over whether he can be a genuine three-down player are valid but there’s no doubt that he’s a prospect who offensive coordinators will want to find a way to get the ball to. In today’s NFL, where smart offenses can hide any of his potential deficiencies, Seastrunk could certainly see 15 plus carries on the right team and, even worst case scenario, would prove a nice change of pace in a running back-by-committee system. – Pro Comparison: DeAngelo Williams
59/80 – Second /Third Round