Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy: Seahawks better, faster with Eskridge and Brown
The Seahawks made only three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they appear to have added potential impact players with those selections.
Seattle’s first two picks – receiver D’Wayne Edkridge and cornerback Tre Brown – both played at the annual Senior Bowl and participated in the week of practice and drills. The man who runs the Senior Bowl, Jim Nagy, is a former Seahawks scout, so he’s someone who knows Eskridge and Brown well while also understanding what the Seahawks like to do in terms of building their roster.
Nagy joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy Thursday afternoon and broke down Seattle’s second- and fourth-round picks.
WR D’Wayne Eskridge
First off, was Nagy a fan of the Seahawks selecting Eskridge 56th overall?
“I love the pick, I love the fit,” he said. “I really like the player.”
While the Seahawks did need to add a potential No. 3 receiver this offseason, some have thought they reached for Eskridge at 56. Nagy doesn’t think that’s the case at all.
“I thought he had an excellent chance to go actually early in the second round,” he said. “Really explosive … He’s a dynamic player, I love his mentality, which I’m sure they love.”
The big question with Eskridge, Nagy said, was how his game speed would translate against better competition.
Eskridge played in the Mid-American Conference and put up big numbers against the weaker competition. He later ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.
According to Nagy, Eskridge’s speed and skills play against NFL-level talent.
“He came down here to (Mobile, Alabama, home of the Senior Bowl) and he was running away from people as well,” he said. “I think he’s going to be a guy who fits in immediately and be a factor for them.”
CB Tre Brown
The Seahawks addressed a big need by taking Brown in the fourth round. Like Eskridge, Nagy really likes what he sees from Brown when he’s on the field.
“Tre was one of our top-rated corners going back to last summer because he’s got two things that are really hard to find,” he said. “He’s got a combination of elite speed (as he was) one of the fastest players in this draft, and also finishing skills. He really just has a knack for finishing when he’s around the ball.”
While Brown is very talented and played good football while at Oklahoma, it was a bit of a surprise that he was the cornerback the Seahawks chose.
Brown doesn’t fit the typical “Seahawks profile” for their cornerbacks. Seattle has had a preference for corners who are at least 6-feet tall with at least 32-inch arms. At 5-foot-10 with 30 3/8-inch arms, Brown doesn’t meet either threshold.
But Seattle’s mentality has been changing when it comes to cornerback measurements in recent years, Nagy said.
“Even in my last couple years in Seattle we were starting to lax those standards a little bit,” he said. “I know everyone’s used to seeing the bigger, taller and longer-armed corners, but I think what really kind of changed that was (former Seattle nickel corner) Justin Coleman.”
The difference between Coleman and Brown, though, is that Coleman only played in the slot. Brown was an outside corner at Oklahoma and the Seahawks plan on having him play outside. Nagy said that Brown did get reps at nickel at the Senior Bowl and played “really well” in that spot, but as far as him being an outside corner for the Seahawks, he understands why they’d go that direction.
“They need to find a starter up there and I think they’re going to (have Brown) battle it out with (D.J. Reed) and I know they like (Ahkello) Witherspoon a bunch,” he said. “It was a good pick. He’s feisty and plays bigger than his size and measurables and he can run and really finish. Coach Carroll always wants guys who can finish when they’re around the ball and Tre can do that.”
Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy