The annual NFL draft is officially in the books and the Seahawks believe they made picks that have bettered them for the present and future. But how well do these picks really fit their needs?
The NFL offseason is slowly coming to an end and teams are starting to finalize their roster before training camp this summer. The final stage of this was the NFL Draft two weekends ago where teams selected the top players from college football to earn a spot on their roster. After being completely virtual the year prior, the draft was able to return in person and players were able to go on stage after being picked.
For the Seahawks, this year was unique as they entered the draft with only three picks available due to prior trades with other teams. Most thought they were sure to wheel and deal their way to more picks, but head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schnider ended up deciding to make only three selections.
Three selections in the draft are tied for the second lowest in the modern draft era. This makes it even more important that these picks do well and contribute right away for the Seahawks. So, how well do I see these picks turning out and how well did they meet the team’s needs?
Round 2, No. 56 overall: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
One of the Seahawks biggest needs heading into the draft was a wide receiver. After David Moore left for the Carolina Panthers in free agency, this opened the WR3 position behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Some thought that second year Freddie Swain could be the guy, but it was clear that Carroll and Schnider were hoping to add a bigger threat for Russell Wilson and the passing game.
This is where D’Wayne Eskridge out of Western Michigan comes in with the potential to be an instant playmaking threat in the deep passing as well as the return game. In the shortened 2020 season, Eskridge racked up 25 receptions for 660 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 28.8 yards per kick return and took one back for a touchdown.
In my eyes, Eskridge is exactly the type of wide receiver this team needed. He is someone who will require a lot of over the top help from defenses with his elite speed and will hopefully open up space for Metcalf and Lockett. He will also most likely open the season as the team’s kick returner where the Seahawks haven’t been very successful since Lockett stopped returning kicks. Many people were raving about this pick and I completely agree with them.
Round 4, No. 137 overall: Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma
The next selection for the Seahawks did not come until day three of the draft in the fourth round, which ended up being Oklahoma corner, Tre Brown. Following the departure of Shaquill Griffin — who signed a multi year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars — the Seahawks were a bit thin in the corner room.
Tre Brown had a very successful career at Oklahoma totaling four career interceptions, including three in 2020. He’s also known to be a good special teams player and will likely make an impact on the Seahawks’ right away. Additionally, he also earned second team All-Big 12 in 2020.
Overall, I like this pick. Brown is about the best a team could get when drafting a corner this late. He will definitely be a work in progress and is unlikely to compete for a starting outside corner spot right away, which is where Carroll envisioned him. Surprisingly, at only 5’10”, he is much smaller than your prototypical Seahawks corner. I see Brown becoming a solid special teams contributor with the potential to eventually develop into a solid #2 corner.
Round 6, No. 208 overall: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
The Seahawks final selection of the draft came in the sixth round with Florida offensive tackle Stone Forsythe. As you may know already, our quarterback was publicly upset with the ways management has handled the offensive line and had already made a couple of moves in the offseason to address it.
At 6’8”, Forsythe is the perfect body type for an NFL offensive tackle. He started 28 of his 40 games played during his four years at Florida, and started all 12 in 2020, anchoring one of the best lines in the nation with the elite Florida offense.
Many had a second round grade for Forsythe due to his tremendous size and pass blocking ability where he only allowed two sacks in 2020. This was a great selection by the Seahawks, as he should be able to compete for the starting right tackle spot with Brandon Shell. Even if he does not start right away, he will have time to learn from Duane Brown who will be 36 this season and may be his eventual replacement.
Although there were only three picks made by the Seahawks in this year’s draft, I think this can end up being a very successful class. Eskridge will be an elite playmaker right away while Brown and Forsythe are likely to contribute right away as well while developing into eventual starters. Schnider and Carroll are sure to be active in signing undrafted free agents as well where they have been known to find gems in the past.
Final Grade: A-