This past April, the Seattle Seahawks threw caution to the wind during the 2013 NFL Draft, picking for value and novelty rather than need. Considering how deep and talented their roster was beforehand, the blatant disregard for common sense was understandable.
So what exactly do the Seahawks have planned for sixth-round pick Spencer Ware?
A former LSU running back who will make the switch to fullback, Ware has shouldered a big burden since joining the Seahawks. Known for his bruising running style and short-yardage effectiveness, the 21-year-old fullback has little experience out of a third-point stance.
The biggest hurdle that Ware must clear during training camp is figuring out how to be a lead blocker. Having not lined up at fullback since his freshman year with the Tigers, the rookie will have a tough time proving that he’s worth a spot on the 53-man roster, especially with team captain Michael Robinson already entrenched as the starting fullback.
With a standout showing during training camp, Ware could carve out a niche for himself as a short-yardage specialist for the Seahawks. He doesn’t have the speed or elusiveness to unseat anyone on Seattle’s talent-laden running back depth chart, but his power and strength make him an intriguing option in jumbo packages.
Despite the obvious crutch, Ware has taken this opportunity with the Seahawks in stride while greeting every chance to see snaps with a smile. Whether it has been carrying the ball, catching it out of the backfield, lead blocking or covering kicks on special teams, Ware has tackled every task handed to him with enthusiasm during OTAs and appears primed to make a strong push for a roster spot during training camp.
Ware may never crack a running back rotation that includes Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, but will get every chance to make his versatility and tenacity work for him in the NFL.
It’s going to take some time to see, but there’s plenty of untapped potential in Ware that the Seahawks should be excited about.