Will The Seattle Seahawks Draft C.J. Spiller?

Can Seattle Seahawks afford to use one of its first-round picks on a situational back?

That’s one of the biggest questions surrounding the Seattle Seahawks entering Thursday’s draft. Seattle’s need for a home-run threat on offense has prompted some to project the Seattle Seahawks will choose Spiller as high as sixth overall.

Seattle has drafted three fullbacks in the previous five years compared to only one tailback, which helps explain why coach Pete Carroll said his team needs to find firepower in this year’s draft.

“Players who can score touchdowns,” he said.

Spiller would certainly fit the bill in that regard. He scored 21 touchdowns that covered 50 yards or more at Clemson, including eight kickoff returns.

At USC, Carroll kept a stable of running backs, and the fact Spiller doesn’t project as a workhorse like Adrian Peterson doesn’t preclude the Seahawks from drafting him. In fact, Carroll would prefers that power-in-numbers approach that kept backs hungry.

“I never wanted them to be happy,” Carroll said of his running backs. “I wanted them to be champing at the bit for another and more opportunity and stuff. If they were happy, then they weren’t the right guys.”

Over the previous four seasons, no USC running back under Carroll totaled more than five games with 20 or more carries.

Seattle currently has Justin Forsett and Julius Jones in the backfield, and while Carroll has said he’s happy with that group, he is also eager to add to the arsenal.

“We’d like one more guy that could really add something to us and that come in different packages, too,” he said. “We’d always like to have a physical presence at the running-back position … We always look for guys that can do things and playmaking ability. Wonderful speed guys in this draft, extraordinary speed guys. Guys that have catching abilities.”

Those are the two flavors the running backs break down to.