Zac Brooks heads into team workouts for the Seahawks in competition for carries. After flashing excellent natural ability, what can the inexperienced running back bring to the table?
Zac Brooks was a virtual unknown heading into the NFL Draft Combine. He only ran for 596 yards in three seasons with Clemson, mostly as a backup. Brooks really wasn’t on any draft radars for teams until he put in an excellent pro day workout. He was timed as fast as 4.32 in the 40-yard dash. Any human that fast will garner the attention of NFL scouts.
Still, Zac Brooks’ lack of experience caused most teams to look elsewhere for help at running back. When the Seahawks stepped up to take him in the seventh round, they got another player who fits their typical draft tendencies. John Schneider and Pete Carroll love to draft players with raw physical ability. They trust their coaches and trainers, and they’d rather take a chance on someone like Germain Ifedi, the huge but slightly raw offensive lineman they drafted in the first round of this year’s draft, who they can coach up in their scheme rather than paying for polish.
Zac Brooks is another example of the Seahawks’ drafting and player development strategy. An Arkansas native, Brooks showed versatility in high school, catching passes out of the backfield and he showed excellent acceleration ability and speed in the few games he played for the Clemson Tigers. If Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and company can fit him into the Running Back By Committee that appears to be forming behind starter Thomas Rawls, he just may snatch carries away from more experienced rookie backs like Alex Collins and C.J. Prosise.
Zac Brooks should at least have the talent to supplant Christine Michael from regular action on the roster. He may have the most to prove out of the stable of rookie backs the Seahawks collected during the offseason because of his inexperience in college. And that might just give him the edge he needs to win a position battle as workouts start to pick up over the summer.