BYU running back Harvey Unga reportedly worked out for 20 teams today in Provo, Utah. Unga is one of four players expected to be available in this year’s supplemental NFL draft, which takes place next Thursday, July 15.
At 6-1, 244 pounds, Unga could be the short-yardage back the Seattle Seahawks are looking for to complete their running back rotation. Unga rushed for over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons for BYU, and averaged 5 yards per carry during his college career.
Unga was expected to return to BYU for his senior season, but announced he was leaving BYU in April. Unga apparently violated the school’s honor code for having premarital relations with fiancée, former BYU women’s basketball player Keilani Moeaki. The couple had their first child, Jackson, on July 4th.
According to this report from the Salt Lake Tribune, the Seahawks were in attendance and were one of the more interested teams.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com reports that only four players will be in this year’s supplemental draft – Unga, running backs Quentin Castille (Northwestern State, Nebraska transfer) and Vanness Emokpae (Truman State) and defensive tackle Joshua Brent-Price (Illinois).
Rang said Unga has a similar skill set to former Seahawks fullback Leonard Weaver.
“Unga’s powerful downhill running and surprising lateral agility make him an ideal candidate for any offense in need of a big back,” Rang said. “Unga’s soft hands and willingness to block means that he can contribute on all three downs – a relative rarity for rookie backs.”
Unga’s 40-yard-time was in the mid-4.6s. His standing high jump was 35 inches and his long jump was 9 feet, 6 inches. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times and was clocked at 1.65 seconds in first 10 yards, 2.75 seconds in the first 20 yards.
Unga’s agent Eric Metz noted that Unga had a sprained ankle, which could have affected his numbers. He expected Unga to run in the 4.5 range in the 40-yard dash.
Unga is projected to be a mid-round pick (5-7th round) in this year’s supplemental draft. If the Seahawks use a pick in the supplemental draft, they must forfeit their choice in the corresponding round of the next year regular draft. Seattle already has lost next year’s third round pick in the Charlie Whitehurst deal, so they may be unwilling to give up another pick in next year’s draft.
However, Unga could be a solid player who helps fill a need for Seattle this season, and is a natural fit in the West Coast offense with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Quinton Ganther's recent DUI arrest also could weigh into Seattle's decision to pursue another running back.