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Scouting Report: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

Scouting Report: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

Home run hitter
By: Pete Davidson : February 14, 2014 5:31pm

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Yesterday we introduced you to Mr. Upside.  Today's player, tailback Lache Seastrunk, is also a high ceiling talent. In fact, if he can iron out some of his kinks, we are talking about a player who could win a few rushing titles in the NFL. Really. The Baylor product is that elusive and that quick. There are times when he evokes memories of backs like Reggie Bush and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, here’s the rub.... Seastrunk is not a complete player at this point in his development. He has a little too much Isaiah Pead in him for one thing. He lacks patience and fails to trust the play at times. He has a tendency to get too horizontal, but he’s a young back and it’s an area that he can improve in.

Improvement and development are the key words for this player. He’s a bit green, so it’s not easy to distinguish between the things that will improve with time and the things that will become career-long issues. My personal inclination is to bet on the player in this case, but Seastrunk is a projection no matter how you slice it. You have a lot of blanks to fill in as a evaluator, as we'll discuss.  

Seastrunk could struggle if he lands in the wrong system or with the wrong coaching staff, because he may require some patience as he develops. Then again, as I mentioned, if he clicks with his new surroundings, he could post high-end statistics very quickly.

Let’s look at the things we really like about Lache.

  • Speed - He can definitely run well enough to be a force at the next level. We’ll find out just how fast next week in Indy, but I expect a sub 4.50 time and perhaps a very fast time. We’ll see, but speed is not a problem for Seastrunk. This much we know.
  • Acceleration - I have seen very few backs that can accelerate and switch gears like Seastrunk. He is a truly special talent in this regard.
  • Agility - I’ve mentioned the speed and the acceleration, but Seastrunk is agile all-around. He can stop on a dime and then accelerate to full speed like nobody’s business. He has outstanding lateral agility, which we will see at the Combine and he’s an underrated inside runner, with the ability to make people miss -- even in confined areas.
  • Big play ability - This one sort of goes without saying, but you often hear people talking about players who can score from anywhere on the field. Well, Seastrunk is that kind of tailback. He sets up would-be tacklers very well in the open field and he’s very rarely brought down in one-on-one situations.  Once this guy gets into space, he is as dangerous as they come.
  • Vision - While he makes some poor choices behind the line of scrimmage, he will make some outstanding choices in the open field and runs to daylight well.
  • Size - When you consider how good Seastrunk is in terms of his speed, acceleration and agility, you have to be impressed that he’s probably going to weigh between 210 and 215 pounds at the Combine. That is the total package. Players that move as well as Seastrunk are generally in 195-200 pound range.

Here’s a highlight reel with solid resolution. You can see all of the positives here.

In this clip, you see a game breakdown against West Virginia.

There’s plenty to like here, but you can see that Seastrunk has a tendency to go for too much and tries to bounce some plays outside at the wrong time. These are coachable areas to be sure, especially for a young player, but some backs struggle for years with the same problems, so it bears watching.

The other areas of concern to us are pass protection, receiving skills and durability. I bring up pass protection because doing it well it keeps you on the field.  It’s still largely an effort skill, like individual defense in the NBA. Most good athletes can do it, if they apply themselves fully.  Seastrunk will have to improve here if he is to gain a major share of an NFL backfield.

Seastrunk only caught nine passes at Baylor over his two seasons and none in 2013. It’s not that he can’t catch the ball, but he’s clearly got some question marks here based on lack of production. It’s already easy to envision him being more of an early down back at the start of his career.

As far as durability is concerned, you can look at Lache from a few angles. He did miss some time (two plus games last season), though he’s not hurt now and has no continuing health issues. On the plus side, he's a low mileage back, with only two seasons under his belt and he’s never carried the ball more than 158 times in a season. The negative side is that you have no proven durability as you have with a guy like Carlos Hyde, who had 208 carries in 2013.

So, we have some unknowns with Seastrunk to go with the obvious top shelf talent. This player is a wildcard for both NFL and fantasy GMs alike. As I always say, we’ll have a better feel for his short term and long term fantasy value once we know where he lands. That’s from a depth chart perspective, but also from a fit perspective.

This scouting report will be updated after the Combine.

 

 

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