The Redskins went into the draft looking for a pass-catching running back who could help on third downs. They may have found their guy but there’s just one problem.
Lache Seastrunk hasn’t caught a pass in competition since 2012. And he didn’t catch very many that season.
A look at his stats from Baylor reveals that he had zero receptions in 2013 and only nine for 107 yards in 2012. But a closer look reveals that this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with his hands. Throwing to running backs just wasn’t a part of the Bears’ offense.
Seastrunk’s nine catches in 2012 led all running backs. Two other backs combined for nine receptions. Last year all Baylor backs had a combined five receptions.
This doesn’t mean that he has bad hands, just untested hands.
“We feel like he can catch the ball good enough,” said Gruden. “We saw him at the pro days, obviously, and at the combine. He caught the ball fine and obviously Robert knows him and we did our work on him.”
Robert Griffin III was in his final year at Baylor when Seastrunk was sitting out for a season after transferring from Oregon. It seems likely that Griffin and Seastrunk will spend some time this summer playing catch.
Gruden knows that it’s no sure thing that Seastrunk will ever be able to be an asset catching passes out of the backfield. Even so, he believed that the player was worth the risk of a sixth-round pick.
“If there’s a reach about him, it’s projecting him to be a third down guy who’s catching the ball,” said Gruden. “What we’re envisioning for him early on is not so much a third down guy but a guy that can spell [running back] Alfred [Morris] and hit the home run. He’s got the breakaway speed and hopefully in time he will be able develop into a pass blocker/receiver.”
Blocking is just as important as pass catching when it comes to being a third-down back and that is something that Seastrunk will have to master as well. For 2014 his role might be a few carries per game and some special teams duties. He should get a chance to develop and display some versatility in 2015.