CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson: Seahawks draft ranks higher in NFL than you’d think
The Seahawks were far more quiet in the 2021 NFL Draft than in previous drafts due to limited picks, but it appears that Seattle made the most of its three selections.
After sitting out Day 1 due to not having a first-round pick, the Seahawks selected speedy Western Michigan D’Wayne Eskridge late in the second round on the second day of the draft. Then, on the third day, Seattle took small but feisty Oklahoma cornerback Tre Brown in the fourth round and massive offensive tackle Stone Forsythe in the sixth round.
According to Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com, the Seahawks came away with the 12th-best draft class in the NFL.
Because of the Seahawks having only three picks, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Seattle rank near the bottom of post-draft ranks or grades. But Wilson shared why he likes what Seattle did in this year’s draft to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob.
First, it’s important to note how Wilson made his list.
Rather than assigning grades for each pick, Wilson compared where a player was ultimately drafted with pre-draft rankings as far as where he felt they were going to be drafted or should have been drafted. And with each team, he shared his favorite pick, the team’s best value pick, and then their most surprising pick.
For the Seahawks, who, again, Wilson ranked 12th out of 32, his favorite pick and best value pick for Seattle was Forsythe and his most surprising pick was Eskridge.
“I thought the Seahawks took Dee Eskridge a little high – I had him as a mid-third-rounder – but they got him late in the second and that’s fine (in terms of value),” he told Wyman and Bob. ” … And Stone Forsythe, who I liked a lot as a developmental guy who could be a legit starter one day, I had him (as a) middle of the third-round (prospect) and he obviously went late sixth, so a ton of value.”
And as far as the pick that Wilson didn’t choose for any of those superlatives, Brown, Wilson also felt the Seahawks got good value with that selection as well.
“I thought they got a bargain on Tre Brown,” he said. “I had him (going) early (in the) fourth (round) and they got him late (in the) fourth.”
When it comes down to major team needs, Wilson thought the Seahawks filled them with the additions of Brown and Forsythe. And even though he though Eskridge was a slight reach at the end of the second round, he’s excited to see him in Seattle’s offense.
“Eskridge, I liked him a lot too,” he said. “… (In 2019) he just torched people with the speed and I love the idea of him and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the field at the same time. Despite limited resources in terms of resources for what the Seahawks had over the draft weekend, they did exactly what they needed to do.”
So how does the Seahawks’ three-man haul compare to the rest of the NFC West?
Well, Wilson ranked the Los Angeles Rams dead-last in his draft rankings and the San Francisco 49ers were 23rd. The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, were second. Wilson loved Arizona’s selection of Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins with the 19th pick and he felt that the Cardinals got two intriguing cornerbacks in Florida’s Marco Wilson (fourth round) and Central Florida’s Tay Gowan (sixth round).
But even with the impressive draft class, Wilson doesn’t see the Cardinals competing with the Seahawks for the NFC West title this year.
“We’ll see how this works out. I don’t think this team is quite ready to challenge for the division (title) – it’s going to be an incredibly tough division – but they did a lot of good things in that draft to help themselves,” he said.
And with the Rams, they, like the Seahawks, didn’t make their first pick until the end of the second round. And L.A., like Seattle, chose a speedy receiver in Tutu Atwell from Louisville with the team’s second-round pick. But Wilson thought that was a pretty big reach, and he feels that the Rams didn’t do enough to add talent to a playoff-level roster.
“They’re a team that’s obviously going in the right direction, but I thought they could have filled out that roster a little bit better than what they did in the draft,” he said.
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.