2012 NFL Draft: What Seahawks' Drafting of Robert Turbin Means for 49ers

Joe LevittContributor IIIApril 30, 2012

This man is downright frightening.
This man is downright frightening.

Mr. Turbin, you better hold onto that signing bonus—a certain teammate of yours will want his daily allotment of Tasting the Rainbow from the incoming rookie.

With the No. 106 overall selection, the Seattle Seahawks selected Utah State’s Robert Turbin in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft. The ‘Hawks now have a menacing one-two combination at the running back position with Turbin and incumbent Beast Mode starter, Marshawn Lynch.

The Skittles connoisseur rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2011, ranking No. 7 in yards, No. 3 in TDs and produced an impressive 22.1 first-down percentage.

Lynch wreaked particular havoc against the 49ers in the two teams’ hotly contested matchup on Christmas Eve. He became the first player to rush for 100-plus yards (dating back to 2009) and reach the end zone via the run against the impenetrable 49ers defense in 2011.

With their fourth-round pick, the ‘Hawks have fortified their rushing attack with the formidable 5’10’’, 220-pound Turbin. Combine that size with Lynch's, and you have 435 combined pounds of pure force challenging the heart of the Niner defense.

Turbin is a veritable wrecking ball and perceivable clone of Marshawn Lynch. Both are hard-nosed, extremely powerful backs that have tremendous vision, endless motors and will always pound out the tough yardage, carrying the pile in the process. Quarterbacks can rely on both of these grinders in the passing game as receivers.

Unlike Beast Mode 1.0, Turbin has otherworldly breakaway speed for a 220-pounder. While not a consistent home-run threat, he will surprise defensive backs upon reaching the second level, using sufficient elusiveness and aforementioned speed en route to touchdown pay dirt.

What does this entail for the 49ers' front seven?

I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman will have their hands full. The NFL’s preeminent ILB tandem are surely up to the task, but they will need Isaac Sopoaga more than ever to occupy interior linemen and have Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith set the edge and execute outside contain.

It’s also incumbent on defensive coordinator Vic Fangio that he implements a rotational strategy on the defensive line to maintain Justin Smith and Ray McDonald’s effectiveness. I guarantee they’ll refuse to leave the game—especially with Smith assuming the title of the NFL’s best defensive player. However, Lynch and Turbin are capable of wearing down any defense, even the vaunted 49ers’ unit.

Limiting these backs to under 100 yards and keeping the end-zone grass unadulterated by their muddy cleats will be a demanding endeavor.

Can they do it?

Oh, but of course. It’s just not going to be easy.