In April when the Seahawks drafted a RB out of Utah State with the 11th pick in the 4th round, the main focus was on his freakishly large biceps that have earned him the nickname, “The Hulk”. Now with anywhere from 2-8 games of Marshawn Lynch’s season being in jeopardy, the questions are not if Robert Turbin can be a capable change of pace back but if he can carry the offense should Lynch get suspended for his recent DUI arrest.
Turbin is a good sized back, at 5’10” and 216 lbs, and has decent speed, running a 4.48 at the combine. A review of some highlight videos confirms the scouting report that he runs with a low pad level and has displayed some nifty footwork that gives him great balance and even an ability to shake and bake a bit. One of the knocks on Turbin is that while he does display a quick burst, his “long speed” is questionable, meaning he can be caught from behind. However, Lynch’s most memorable runs with the Seahawks left the field littered with defenders wincing in pain…not eating his dust, so maybe the “long speed” knock isn’t that important.
Turbin also projects well in the zone blocking scheme that the Seahawks use. When he sees the hole, he will cut once and hit the opening at full speed. He is widely touted for his work ethic, especially coming back after missing two seasons with injury. Turbin missed all but one game in 2007 with a torn big toe capsule but bounced back in ’08 with 1296 yds and 13 td’s on 207 attempts along with 30 receptions for 418 yds and 5 scores receiving. Turbin missed all of 2010 after tearing his ACL during an offseason conditioning drill, but once again came back strong in ’11, rushing for 1517 yds on 249 carries and 19 td’s.
Turbin is a high character kid who has no history of off the field problems, he is a hard worker and very athletic. Not only was he the WAC offensive player of the year in 2011, he was also the Mission Valley Athletic Conference Defensive player of the year while playing DB for Irvington High in Freemont California. While Turbin has the size, burst and agility to be a very good NFL running back, the game is much faster and more violent at this level, and there is a little added pressure to quickly pick up the offense in the case that he is the opening day starter @ Arizona. The threats of a possible suspension for Lynch, watching Turbin learn and a competition at QB will make this Seattle Seahawks pre-season one to watch.
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