The Seahawks have moved to bolster their run game with a few of their off-season additions. Doing that again in the draft is still likely as they look to get it back on track in 2017. Amongst those to keep an eye on is former Pittsburgh Panther RB James Conner.
Conner is a big bodied running back who was a productive player over his college career. But above all of that is his story.
During his junior year after a knee injury ended his year in the season opener. His rehab medicals showed he had Hodgkins Lymphoma. The diagnosis was made public and Conner became a figure for far more than the Panthers team. His battle was a constant source of inpsiration for the wider game and culture. Over the following nine months Conner underwent intensive chemo treatment. That treatment didn’t keep him off the field as a video of him working out with a surgical mask on went viral online. With the treatment a success and him given the all-clear, Conner returned to the field for one more season for Pitt.
In 2016, he barely skipped a beat. Another 1,000yd season (1,092) was remarkable comeback for Conner. His decision to return to school for another year after his illness certainly smart with the production, his 3rd year of play, surely helping his draft stock.
In Seattle, with the addition of Eddie Lacy, the team may look for another big-body back. Conner fits that bill. Over 240lb and a physical downhill runner is definitely on the Lacy-track. His running style bringing another layer to ‘bullying’ defenses with the run game.
Over three years of play for the Panthers, Conner shows a consistent ability to out-physical his opponent and would-be tackler. That never give up mentaltiy Conner shows is something which fits also.
One other thing Conner showed something to ponder is as a receiver. With Thomas Rawls, Marshawn Lynch and C.J Prosise, that penchant for catches out the backfield really has given the Seahawks offense a different layer. In 2016 Conner clutched 21 catches for over 200 yards and four touchdowns.
He has the overall game which fits in Seattle. His story makes you want him on your team and to be a success in the short and long term. The Seahawks have the mentality in the building Conner would fit in with. A pick, like Conner, on the 3rd day would be a great addition to the backfield in Seattle. With Conner having it all to be a success at the next level.