Christine Michael visiting Seattle

Christine Michael is an interesting case. He could easily be a second round pick based on talent. He’s been talked about as such during the off-season. He turned up at the East/West Shrine game and stuck out like a sore thumb. He dominated, looking like he didn’t belong at the game. Observer’s seemed to be impressed with his combine too, where he ran a 4.54 at 220lbs. He also had the best vertical jump (43 inches) ever recorded by a running back.

Count Mike Mayock as a fan:

“His talent is crazy. … I have trouble seeing him getting out of the second round just because his physical traits are so good.”

Then there are the reasons why he might fall. His season ended early in 2010 due to a broken leg and he picked up an ACL in 2011. When he eventually returned in 2012, he quickly worked his way into Kevin Sumlin’s doghouse. He was suspended for the SMU game for violating team rules and was ejected from another for punching an opponent. It’s safe to say coach and player never saw eye-to-eye.

And if that wasn’t enough, he overslept at the combine and missed two meetings with teams.

Despite all of that, he’s still a 220lbs runner with nice cut back ability, lateral agility, vision and balance. One of my favourite players in the league is Chris Ivory. If I was the St. Louis Rams, I’d be trying to work on a trade to get him out of New Orleans where he’s sorely underused. Michael’s running style reminds me a little of Ivory’s and for that reason, I’m a fan.

The Seahawks might not consider drafting Michael early. He might be considered a value gamble later on. However, he’s someone to keep an eye on next week. It stands to reason that they will add a running back at some point and Carroll regularly stockpiled talent at the position in SoCal. Take a look for yourself (tape below) and let me know what you think.

You can also hear a Sirius interview with John Schneider conducted today by clicking here.


  1. Kip Earlywine

    Matt Scott? BJ Daniels? Now Christine Michael? These visits are making me very happy. I hope Luke Marquardt is on the docket.

  2. Hawksince77

    I am glad they are having him in to visit. The biggest question about him is his character. If they decide he is a fit, I would love to see him drafted. He would essentially take Washington’s place as the third RB on the team.

    Great value in the 3rd, I think, and a steal in the fourth (if they want him at all). Given current circumstances, I wouldn’t suggest using Seattle’s first pick on the guy. If they are going to go offensive play-maker at 56 (instead of DT, LB, SS or OT) I would think a WR or TE would be more valuable than a RB.

    But if they can get a top-end RB in the 3rd or 4th, I think it would be worth the pick.

    • Miles

      I love his tape. Can he return punts?

  3. Hawksince77

    I think Lattimore another good mid-round option. Montee Ball as well.

    Murray is really tall for an NFL RB, and ranked somewhere in rounds 6-7. The other late-round possibility is Knile Davis. You could take either of these players as low-cost, high-reward options. But Michael, Lattimore and Ball are much better draft options as low-risk, high-ceiling prospects.

    • Sam Jaffe

      Why is being too tall a liability for a RB?

      • Ben

        it affects the pad level that you play with. general rule is that the lower guy wins.

        • williambryan

          Maybe I missed something… Is Michael the guy being talked about as maybe being too tall? In the picture he tweeted he is about the same size as tiny Earl Thomas.

          • Miles

            He has great size for a running back. He’s 5’10”. It’s not so short that he’s going to be destroyed but he’s tall enough that he still packs a wallop. I’m still not sure I believe his 43″ vertical. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

          • Hawksince77

            A deleted comment brought up a RB in the draft named Murray. He is 6’3″ and I commented on his height, and the original poster asked what was wrong with tall RBs.

            Not in reference to Michaels.

      • Hawksince77

        That’s a good question. I don’t think there are that many at 6’3″. But let’s take a look (facts, always the facts):

        Brandon Jacobs is the first tall RB that comes to mind and he is 6’4″. Marshawn Lynch is 5’11”

        I pulled up a list of the top RBs ever and this is what I found:

        Barry Sanders: 5’8″
        Jim Brown: 6’2″
        Earl Campbell: 5’11”
        Walter Payton: 5’10”
        Adrian Peterson is 6’1″.
        OJ Simpson: 6’1″
        Marcus Allen: 6’2″
        Bo Jackson: 6’1″
        Eric Dickerson: 6’3″
        Gale Sayers: 6’0″
        Emmitt Smith: 5’10

        Not sure what conclusions you draw. Dickerson was 6’3″, and he was simply phenomenal. Most top backs are around 6′, the average probably a bit lower. Hell, I will figure it out, including Jacobs and Lynch.

        The average height for this sample was 6.025, or six feet and a quarter inch.

        • Davison Phipps

          A lower center of gravity means that a back is both more maneuverable and can get better leverage during collisions.

        • Sam Jaffe

          The next question is this: Why are there so few tall RB’s? Is it because their height is a disadvantage? Or is it because most kids that are 6’1″ or taller and very fast get funelled to the WR position? I would imagine that the taller you are the harder it is to lean low to the ground when running forward, but you also have more mass at a higher level to push through arm tackles and chip blocks. It would seem to me that Murray should be a much higher pick than 6th or 7th round if he’s that big and that fast. Unless maybe the real football guys know something about why being a tall RB is a bad thing.

          • Belgaron

            Coaches don’t like RBs that run tall or literally are tall because they make it easier for defenses to diagnose plays. They prefer speedier shorter types who run very close to the ground to make it harder for the defense to find and tackle them.

      • Nolan

        Easier to see and more body to tackle, smaller player has an easier time fitting through gaps, lower center of gravity makes it harder to tackle would be my guess but I don’t really know

      • Miles

        Easier to get stood up and pushed back.

    • Ray graham

      I would be fine with the hawks drafting micheal as high as 56. Who knows what the future holds for marshawn. With his violent running style and his history of back issues he might be closer to replacement then we know. The other thing i wonder about is how this new helmet rule will impact him, it may not but it could very well reduce his efectivness. As far as spending that pick on lattimore, his two serious knee injuries are far bigger red flags to me then anything micheal has on his resume. Im intrigued by monte ball but why is this guy not rated higher? He was uber productive at wisc. He seems to be an ideal fit for the zone blocking scheme that the hawks run. Any thoughts on monte rob?

    • Hawksince77

      That’s weird – the comment I was responding to is gone. Did Bobk3333 get dismissed?

      • Rob Staton

        Yes. He’d been warned.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Makes me wish there was a quote feature. Now my reply doesn’t make nearly as much sense 🙂

      • HawkMeat

        Rest in Peace.

  4. Robert

    And the Draft draweth nigh…Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Rob and Kip for all the great articles. And to thank the entire community for all the great feedback. This community is unbelievably awesome at politely disagreeing, while posting well thought out, alternative opinions and ideas.
    In the 3 previous years, we were rebuilding and had glaring holes to fill. This year is tougher for armchair Scouts/GM’s because our Draft strategy has evolved. I think this year, a lot of our Draft objective focus will be more along the line of positioning talent to replace FA’s that we must cut loose in favor of keeping other FA’s deemed as core players. Go Hawks!

    • Dan

      Could not agree more Robert. This is the best site for my Seahawks fix and the community is very insightful and non-hostile. Big thanks to Rob and Kip. You guys put a lot of work into this blog and are great at keeping the peace in the comments section.

    • Nate

      Exactly! Thanks indeed!

      • AlaskaHawk

        I love the analysis and draft picks. We are moving into the later rounds now. It is like Christmas in April. Love the free agents we have picked up. I really feel like we are ready for a run at the Superbowl.

  5. Attyla the Hawk

    I don’t know. I mean as a Seahawk fan, I love it when they bring in James and take out Gore.

    Also, James was pretty much the only player SF drafted who produced even one series worth of production for the entire year. He was the #3 RB and was very sparingly used.

    He wasn’t even remotely as productive as Robert Turbin was for us, despite being taken 2 round later.

    I personally think Lamichael James helps the Seahawks more than the 49ers. As does AJ Jenkins. Here’s to hoping SF gets 15 more guys just like their day 1 and 2 picks of 2012.

  6. AlaskaHawk

    Given the modern pass oriented NFL a less than elite running back equals 4th round or lower. Given Michaels history I would say 6th or 7th round is about right.

    • Jon

      that depends on the year and your definition of elite. But I agree in general with this thought.
      Actuall elite talent (as the unprofesional eye sees it) is not likely to get out of the first round.

  7. Mark

    Interesting post. I didn’t know much about Michael, though I’d heard the name before. He sounds promising.

    I also liked the seven (six?) round mock yesterday. One of the side benefits of the Harvin trade is that it seems to have freed everyone up to talk about their favorite prospects in the later rounds. I was wondering, is there any chance we could get a breakdown by position of notable prospects for each round? I’ve noticed that, in the past, Eric Williams and Rob Rang do something similar to this in the week leading up to the draft over on Seahawks Insider, and I think it’s an interesting way of educating readers about who is out there and who the team might be looking at. Just a thought.

  8. dirk

    Murray seems alot like Marcel Reece, but faster. He could be a nice movable piece for Cable and Bevell (RB/FB/H-Back)

  9. Trudy Beekman

    Quinton Patton or Christine Michael at 56 if you have to take one of the two? I think you go Michael as he’s an upgrade to Turbo and could be the heir to Marshawn. That said, there are 4 other backs that could bell-cow upgrades in Lacy, Franklin, Ball, and perhaps Bernard that have looked impressive. Even though we carried more of a scat back in Leon these last few years, it doesn’t feel like they will target Barner or K. Williams though I think it makes sense.

    I can’t say I’d be thrilled at taking a RB in the 2nd with a decent amount of depth in this draft and a serviceable backup in Turbin on the roster. This draft is going to be wild, and I’ll still be holding out hope that a DT, specifically one of Hankins, Short, or J Williams is there at 56. A Branch/McDonald replacement is still the biggest hole that makes sense to address at 56.

  10. MattH

    Man his cut-backs are elite level. I hadn’t seen any tape for this guy before this, thanks for sharing Rob. I really hope they get this guy 3rd round or later. 2nd is probably high based on positional value alone, but having this guy under rookie salary club control will be a real boon after this season when we need to start cycling skill position players for cap purposes.

  11. Scott Allen

    I’m glad to hear the Chris Ivory comment. I also love watching him run. He hits holes with furious power. I’ve never understood why he’s 3rd in line on the RB depth chart. I know Pierre Thomas is legit and he has decent hands but truth is he is past his prime. Sproles is basically a reciever. Mark Ingram is overvalued like all bama backs.

    The only reason I can think they would keep him and his superior y/pc out of the game is that he must have crappy hands and be a poor blocker. In a pass first offense like NO, that could be a real liability. Ivory should most certainly be on a run first team.

    • williambryan

      I also love Chris Ivory, and have thought for sometime he would be the best possible backup to Lynch. I also like him, and Michael, because of how much they remind me of Ricky Watters in the second half of his career. Probably not going to break many 50+ yarders (neither does Lynch) but there will be ALOT of +10 yarders. I would love to see Michael drafted. I do wonder about having three starter quality backs at one time though… Surely Lynch won’t be around forever but I wonder if Turbin (or Michael in a year or two) would be tradeable?

      • Maz

        Yes, everybody not starting is tradable for the right compensation. This is one of the ways we keep building a young, competitive team. We would probably prefer to trade some aging vets, as the guys below them on the depth chart, approach a level of equal talent. We have shown the capability to work with the guys we trade, to try and put them in the best situation possible, for both parties. Sometimes we will end up cutting a player, instead of getting compensation, if it makes the player happy, I.E. Leon Washington. This shows the rest of the league that we are not only about the business, but also have compassion for our guys, and care about their happiness as much as winning. This creates a rare, and very attractive environment for players. It is an environment that breeds opportunity. I think this current offseason, is truly displaying this quality about the Seahawks. Which has been the difference between a guy choosing Seattle, vs. another destination to play, along with the opportunity to win a title.

    • Clayton Russell

      Shaun Alexander went to Alabama was he overvalued?

  12. drewdawg11

    Taller running backs take shots more directly, and they aren’t usual as nimble. Change of direction is the name of the game. Christian Okoye was another rb who was huge, but highly effective. That dude was a beast! I like Michael a lot. I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t playing more this past season. I figured he was still dinged up. The talent is undeniable.

  13. SHawn

    I havent really been too keen on the idea of a RB early this year, but Michael and Montee Ball are just too good for me not to get excited about. Those are my top 2 backs this year, even ahead of Lacy, who will most likely be a Ram sometime on Thursday night. Both could slip into the 2nd or possibly 3rd round. Could. Both would be upgrade over Turbin and possible heir to The Beast.

  14. Scott Allen

    Hey Rob.

    I couldn’t get that Schneider audio link to work.

    Anyone else have trouble with that?

    I would love to hear it though.

    • Rob Staton

      The link is working for me – are you clicking the play button in the top left corner?

      • Hawksince77

        When I tried it yesterday it only played 3 minutes of the interview. It didn’t seem like it was actually over.

      • Scott Allen

        Thanks for responding. When I click the ‘clicking here’ of the following sentence of your post; “You can also hear a Sirius interview with John Schneider conducted today by clicking here.” my browser never is able to load the page.

      • Scott Allen

        Nevermind. I just solved my own problem. Apparently soundcloud won’t work with Google Chrome. To hear the interview I just used Firefox instead. Thanks

  15. Wes

    Love the enthusiasm about the team. Certainly would be a plus in my book. I never thought I would see the seahawks become the ultra desirable destination team they are now. A true testament to the current regime.

    Would Michael make Turbin redundant though?

    • Miles

      I think Christine fits more of the power back role and would be a better spell option for Marshawn. In the event Christine gets drafted Turbin becomes a change-of-pace back because while he has some power, he’s much more effective in his elusiveness and ability to change directions. That’s just my perception.

      • Wes

        It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that the dude with the biggest biceps in the NFL (proportionately at least) plays running back and yet is not a power back. I can see it though

        • Maz

          Right. This is what I see happening though. I think Turbin is our third down back, unless someone overtakes him. He did a really nice job for a rookie in the role last year. He may become a more powerful runner, I think the front office probably hopes so. For now, until he proves otherwise. He doesn’t run with the balanced leg drive Marshawn does. Not many backs do. Christine Michael is a good option for us. He has the most pure physical upside from the combine @ the HB position.

  16. Nolan

    Sam jaffe you might be right tall and fast prospects might get pushed toward receiver. It might be conformation bias that tall kids can’t play running back. I do think there is a lot to the lower center of gravity of smaller backs, plus the ability to better disguise the play if the back is shorter.

  17. Michael (CLT)

    Tantalizing! As much as I would suggest otherwise, I would be stoked.

    God bless all in Boston.

  18. A. Simmons

    Interesting. I know Pete wants to be able to maintain the run game. It would not surprise me if we add a RB to learn the zone blocking scheme behind Marshawn. Other teams tend to let their run games fall off believing the RB position to be fungible. Maybe Pete puts a higher premium on the quality of the RB.

  19. HawkMeat

    Interesting. I was reading his tweets yesterday. I am a fan and to read how he is excited about the Hawks brings a bit of excitment. I think he would do well behind Lynch. He will probably be there for the Hawks in round 3-4th if he they value him at that spot, but would love to see him drafted in the 4th.
    I would still want to see a playmaker with number 56th and the WR’s I would really want to see drafted will be long gone (Hopkins), but Hunter and Patton may be there. If not a WR/TE than OT like Armstead, who will probably be drafted much earlier.

    • Miles

      I think the Hawks majorly risk losing Christine Michael if they don’t take him in Round 2; we could also lose him to the wrong team. The Rams aren’t the only team in this division that need a jack-of-all-trades runningback. A certain division rival does too.

      I would love to get Christine in the 4th round. That would be awesome! But I just think regardless of his somewhat forgettable off-the-field issues, there are 31 other teams watching this guy’s tape. And they probably like it just as much as we do.

  20. woofu

    Ebon Britton also visited. Glad to see some OL’s rolling through. If you claim to foster competition you must always lead with that idea otherwise entitlement sets in.

    • woofu

      Eben, sorry.

  21. Kenny Sloth

    Normally, I wouldn’t give a damn about RB height, but in Murray’s case, you can see on tape that he runs with very poor pad level. That’s why track speed and field speed is so deceptive, especially for RB’s. They run so much lower on the field.. Murray runs a 4.6 onfield.

    • Maz

      Murray had a good burst when he needed it. He doesn’t run 100% all the time. He has patience. It’s sorta like Madden and the turbo button. He turns it on when he needs it. I would like to see him going full speed more, however he does do a decent job. He is able to lower his pads more, I agree, but he definitely does show 4.4 speed on his breakaways.

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