Texas A&M running back Christine Michael offers the type of risk/reward proposition that sometimes lures Seahawks coach Pete Carroll into risking a gamble.
The risk? Michael suffered a broken leg in 2010 and a torn ACL in 2011, cutting short his seasons.
On top of that, Michael had a rocky relationship with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin that resulted in him plummeting to the bottom of the depth chart. Michael was held out of the Aggies’ 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl — the final game of his college career.
After a shaky report from college, Michael reportedly overslept during his most important job interview — the NFL combine in Indianapolis — missing two interviews with NFL teams.
So is Michael a changed man?
“Oh, definitely,” Michael said. “You take the guy who was at the end of last season and kind of compare him to the guy I am now. I’ve learned a lot.
“That’s the thing — you live and you learn. For the next time those things come about, you know how to handle those things. But for the most part, I feel like I handled it pretty well.”
The reward for Seattle could be a first-round talent for the price of a second- or third-round pick.
At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, Michael is a power runner who would be a good fit in Seattle’s zone-blocking scheme.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, pushed out 27 repetitions at 225 pounds on the bench press and posted a 43-inch vertical jump.
“His talent is crazy. … I have trouble seeing him getting out of the second round just because his physical traits are so good,” said Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for NFL.com.
Michael’s athleticism is one of the reasons the Seahawks had him in for a visit last week, giving the coaching staff a chance to ease concerns about his character.
However, selecting Michael would be a luxury for the Seahawks. Starting running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for a career-best 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, and he’s heading into the second season of a four-year, $32 million deal.
Utah State product Robert Turbin, a fourth-round selection last year, showed promise as Lynch’s backup, finishing with 354 yards on 80 carries.
Seattle released change-of-pace running back Leon Washington because Percy Harvin will handle kick returns, so Michael could compete with UCLA product Derrick Coleman for playing time as the third running back.