Seahawks add to secondary, take Oklahoma CB Tre Brown in 4th round
Cornerback was seen as a top position of need for the Seahawks entering the 2021 NFL Draft, and they addressed the position with their second pick, taking Oklahoma cornerback Tre Brown in the fourth round.
Seattle entered Day 3 of the draft with a fourth-round pick (129 overall) and a seventh-round pick (250 overall). Thanks to a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Seahawks moved down from 129 to 137 overall and also picked up the 217th pick, which comes in the sixth round.
The Seahawks used pick 137 to take Brown, who got a lot of in-game experience with the Sooners in his college career and was named second-team All-Big 12 in 2020.
Brown played in 51 games for Oklahoma and recorded four interceptions, 31 pass deflections, two sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss along with 141 total tackles. Brown played in 10 or more games each of the last three seasons. As a senior, he recorded a career-high three interceptions in 10 games.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) April 29, 2021
Like the Seahawks’ second-round pick, Western Michigan wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, Brown has value in the return game as well. He returned 55 kicks for 1207 yards at Oklahoma, good for 21.9 yards per return.
While Brown fits a clear position of need for the Seahawks, he doesn’t fit what’s been seen as Seattle’s prototype for an outside cornerback. The Seahawks have historically coveted corners who are at least 6-feet tall with 32-inch arms or longer. Brown checks neither of those boxes, as he’s 5 foot 10 with 30 3/8-inch arms and weighs 185 pounds. According to the OU Daily, Brown ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein describes Brown as “very strong” for his size, very physical, “a special teams demon” and someone who is good against the run.
Zerlein did note, though, that Brown’s lack of length can be an issue, as can penalties. Brown was flagged for holding or pass interference 14 times between 2019 and 2020, per Pro Football Focus.
Brown’s size would typically fit the nickel cornerback position for the Seahawks in most years, but with 2019 draft picks Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi on the roster, Brown’s best path to playing time may come on the outside.
Despite not fitting Seattle’s typical size requirements, the Seahawks did play a shorter corner on the perimeter in 2020 and found great success. That was D.J. Reed, who is 5-9 with 31 5/8-inch arms. Reed enters the 2021 season likely as the Seahawks’ No. 1 cornerback, so Brown may be fighting for playing time on the outside with 2018 pick Tre Flowers and free-agent signing Akhello Witherspoon.
Regardless of when and where Brown plays on defense, he will be one of just three corners on the Seahawks roster under contract beyond 2021, joining only Amadi and Blair in that regard. Reed, Witherspoon, Flowers, Ryan Neal and Damarious Randall are all set to be free agents next offseason.