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Seahawks Fell in Love With Prosise’s Receiving Ability

Source: Seattle Seahawks banking on C.J. Prosise to make offense more dynamic – Seattle Seahawks Blog- ESPN

“He is a guy that I fell in love with because when I went back and watched him play at receiver, he ran all of the routes,” Carroll said. “He was a regular receiver. He had 50 targets or something two years ago. He’s a natural football player at that position that became a running back. That’s really unusual that happens like that and that he would be so dynamic as a player at the running back spot.” So going into this draft I was hoping that we would get this guy so we could do the things that we can do with him.”

C.J. Prosise is currently being drafted in the range of 12th overall in dynasty rookie drafts. But I’m honestly amazed we don’t already have an article on the site titled “C.J. Prosise is Your Dynasty RB Zero in 2016,” simply because Prosise checks a number of boxes that you’re going to look for when you’re hoping for a lower depth chart guy to become a league winner. First, consider that you could almost say that Prosise has the best draft pedigree among the Seahawks running backs. He was drafted 90th overall, while Tom Rawls went undrafted. Christine Michael is a former second-round pick but he’s also a former Washington Redskins practice squad player.

Then consider that Prosise is easily the best receiver among the SEA RBs. Receptions have been noticeably absent from the games of both Tom Rawls and Christine Michael. This issue also showed up in their prospect resumes.

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It’s true that Tom Rawls was very good in 2015 and thus it would be easy to tell yourself a story that Prosise only has change of pace/passing-game specialist upside. However, Rawls was only good on a small number of touches and he wasn’t that much better per touch than Christine Michael. Rawls could be in for a decent amount of mean reversion – that might have even manifested if he’d been given more than 156 touches in 2015. I ran a quick PFR screener to find RBs who saw between 125 and 175 touches, while averaging over 5.25 yards per carry, so that I could see what happened to their rushing average in the following year. I also limited the results to backs under 25 years old so that I wouldn’t catch late career backs who are on limited touches due to being past their prime.

Name Year Age ▴ Tm Lg G GS Att Yds Y/A TD Y/G N+1 YPC
Jonathan Stewart 2011 24 CAR NFL 16 3 142 761 5.36 4 47.60 3.6
DeMarco Murray 2011 23 DAL NFL 13 7 164 897 5.47 2 69.00 4.1
Ben Tate 2011 23 HOU NFL 15 2 175 942 5.38 4 62.80 4.3
Tatum Bell 2005 24 DEN NFL 15 1 173 921 5.32 8 61.40 4.4
Maurice Jones-Drew 2006 21 JAX NFL 16 1 166 941 5.67 13 58.80 4.6

These players averaged a slightly lower YPC average than Rawls did last year, but if you just took the percentage drop that each saw in yards per carry going from one year to the next and applied it to Rawls, you would get 4.35 yards per carry as a rough estimate for 2016. This is consistent with what we know about YPC as a stat that sees a lot of mean reversion.

So if you make an assumption that the Rawls we see in 2016 will not be the under-efficient version that we saw in 2015, and also that he’ll have a somewhat pedigreed RB taking snaps away for passing game purposes, it’s a lot easier to see a situation where Prosise gets on the field for passing down work but then parlays that into more total work. Kevin Cole and Nick Giffen discussed this idea on the Numbers Game podcast, which is an excellent way to pretty much get RotoViz articles in audio form.

Before Prosise ran a slow three cone at his pro day Shawn Siegele speculated that Prosise resembles David Johnson in some ways. Also be sure to check out Dr. Jeff Budoff’s update on Rawls’ ankle. Please do not google “rotoviz christine michael.”

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