JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Seahawks get what they need even with just 3 draft picks

May 1, 2021, 3:42 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm
Seahawks WR D'Wayne Eskridge...
The Seahawks used their second-round pick on speedy WR D'Wayne Eskridge. (Getty)
(Getty)

It was fitting that Seahawks general manager John Schneider traded up Saturday in the sixth round of the NFL Draft to take Florida offensive tackle Stone Forsythe.

Seahawks Draft Breakdown: A detailed look at each Seattle pick

After trading down earlier Saturday in the fourth round to get a sixth-round pick, the Seahawks traded that plus their final selection in the seventh round to get the 6-foot-8, 307-pound tackle.

Because of the pandemic, opt outs, limited medical information and no combine, Schneider was concerned about this draft. If there was ever a draft to have only a few picks, this was it. Why push it? And that trade up ended this draft for the Seahawks. It was possible they could trade a pick from next year for a seventh-rounder this year, but why?

With over 1,046 players going back for an extra senior season in college known as the “Super Senior” year, this draft was thin. Many of the seventh-rounders will have undrafted grades. The undrafted class is also weak.

If you only have three choices, the key is focusing on getting the players you really want. Schneider filled what he wanted when it came to Seattle’s needs. He needed a receiver to compete for the No. 3 job. He needed a cornerback who would be here past the 2021 season. He needed a tackle to groom to the future. That’s what he got.

Let’s review.

In the second round, the Seahawks chose wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge from Western Michigan.

Draft Story: Seahawks stay at 56, draft WR D’Wayne Eskridge

Eskridge is small at 5 foot 9 and 188 pounds, but he’s fast and versatile. His speed is 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His versatility is such that he played some cornerback in college. He’s dangerous after the catch and most likely projects to the slot, though he should have a good chance to compete for the No. 3 receiver job that opened up when David Moore went to Carolina.

The bonus is he was one of nation’s best return specialists. That job should be his this season.

In the fourth round, the Seahawks traded down eight spots and selected cornerback Tre Brown from Oklahoma.

Draft Story: Seahawks take CB Tre Brown in 4th round

He doesn’t fit the size dimension Pete Carroll typically likes in cornerbacks. He’s not 6-1 or 6-2 with 31 1/4-inch arms. He’s 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds. But he is fast. He has 4.42-second speed in the 40-yard dash.

Brown played outside and in the slot in college, though Carroll said Seattle picked him to play on the outside. One of the big traits with Brown is his toughness. He’s also very good on special teams.

In the sixth round, the Seahawks got an interesting prospect in Forsythe. He has trimmed down to 307 pounds after being roughly 330. The Seahawks have Duane Brown at left tackle and Brandon Shell at right tackle, but Brown is getting older and Shell is a free agent after 2021. It was important to get a tackle for the future.

Draft Story: Seahawks trade up for big Florida OT Stone Forsythe

Naturally the nation isn’t going to give good grades to the Seahawks with only three picks, but this was a draft class that didn’t excite the front office. Now it’s up to the coaches to develop three players.

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