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Pete Carroll explains choice to add two RBs in draft despite Seahawks already having Kenneth Walker

Fifteen NFL teams declined to take any running backs during the 2023 NFL Draft. Sixteen clubs selected one RB. The Seattle Seahawks drafted two.

Despite using a second-round pick on Kenneth Walker in 2022, Pete Carroll's club double-dipped at running back this year, selecting UCLA's Zach Charbonnet in the second round (No. 52 overall) and Georgia back Kenny McIntosh in the seventh (No. 237).

Carroll explained Monday on Seattle Sports Radio’s Bump and Stacy part of the rationale for adding assets at the position, particularly in the second round when there were needs elsewhere.

“I have so much respect for that position and so much regard for what that weighs into our football team and how we play and the mentality and all of that. It's a really important spot for me, too," Carroll said. "We do a nice job. … We've had some terrific guys over the years and I think we just put this class back together in a really good spot for this position."

The Seahawks used the No. 41 pick last year to grab Walker, a battering runner with home-run ability. Walker rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns while narrowly missing out on Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. However, Walker missed two full games due to injury, and the rest of the Seahawks RB corps missed time or was ineffective. Rashaad Penny played in just five games. DeeJay Dallas saw just 35 totes for 186 yards and pass-catching back Travis Homer played in just 10 games.

Given Carroll's preferred offensive plan, the inconsistencies at running back wouldn't work. You could visibly see the coach's frustration at points last year when the run game was stymied.

With only Walker and Dallas signed before the draft, adding more to the stable was a clear goal.

In Charbonnet, the Seahawks grabbed a back with good vision who can keep balance through contact and bounce off tacklers. Despite the RB not having otherworldly receiving stats in four seasons in college, Carroll has cited the team's belief in the rookie's pass-catching skills as one reason they were comfortable pairing him with Walker. Charbonnet is also a good pass protector for a college player entering the pros.

"He's so versatile. He just will fit in and be a great addition. And really, we're gonna find out how far he can take it in terms of the receiving part of it. We know he's really good at it. But so is Kenneth, so those guys will be battling," Carroll said of Charbonnet. "And we also went all the way down to get Kenny McIntosh because of his versatility. There's so many positives about these guys."

The hand-wringing from some Seahawks fans was expected when the club used a second-round pick on another RB, but it was a need entering the draft.

Given the injury issues experienced last season and the violent style Carroll prefers in his backs (which can lead to more injuries), it shouldn't have been a surprise at all that the Seahawks chose a runner so high.

Seattle found its home-run hitter in Walker, its consistent doubles-hitter in Charbonnet and a potential shifty pass-catcher in McIntosh in the past two drafts.

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