A RB in the first round? Todd McShay's first mock draft has Seahawks taking Derrius Guice

ESPN's Todd McShay released his first 2018 mock draft on Wednesday and it has the Seattle Seahawks taking LSU running back Derrius Guice at No. 24.

McShay says Guice (5-foot-11, 212 pounds) isn't the same caliber of running back as LSU product Leonard Fournette, last year's fourth overall pick, but describes him as having "great quickness and the ability to break tackles."

McShay's mock draft uses ESPN's Football Power Index to project the first-round order. So that could change between now and NFL draft time along with, more significantly, Seattle's perceived needs. McShay notes that offensive line could be another option in the first round; that makes sense with left guard Luke Joeckel set to become an unrestricted free agent and Germain Ifedi no lock to remain the starter at right tackle.

In the meantime, there's an interesting discussion to be had about Seattle using an early pick on a running back -- not necessarily Guice in particular but the idea in general.

On one hand, the Seahawks seem well-stocked with talented young players at that position. Mike Davis has been very good since he was promoted from the practice squad last month. Chris Carson looked like a starter before he was hurt in Week 4. J.D. McKissic has been effective in a complementary role.

Carson, a rookie, is signed through 2020. Davis (restricted free agent) and McKissic (exclusive-rights free agent) will be under club control after this season. Thomas Rawls will be an RFA as well. It's hard to imagine the Seahawks making a huge effort to retain him given how he's fallen out of favor, but his contract status means they could bring him back as long as they want to.

Already having Carson and Davis in the mix might make drafting another running back in the first round seem unnecessary. Then again, those are two players who have been injured and have yet to prove themselves over a full season.

Carson had an injury history in college before suffering a fracture in his leg and a high-ankle sprain that required surgery. Rawls should be a cautionary tale for Carson. He looked similarly promising as a rookie in 2015, leading the NFL in yards per carry, but hasn't been the same since he suffered a nasty ankle injury in December of that season.

The lesson there is that there are no guarantees with running backs coming off serious leg injuries. Carson already had a setback in his recovery that will likely prevent him from returning before the playoffs if he returns at all this season.

Davis, meanwhile, has played only one full game out of a possible four with Seattle due to groin and rib injuries.

One more thing to consider is that having a strong backfield already in place hasn't stopped the Seahawks from addressing that position early in the draft. Recall that in 2013 Seattle chose Christine Michael in the second round -- with the team's first pick -- even though Marshawn Lynch was coming off his best season and Robert Turbin had been drafted in the fourth round a year before.

Taking all of that into consideration, drafting a running back with an early pick doesn't seem entirely unlikely.