Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: DB Eric Pinkins

Otto Greule Jr

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As is usually the case during and after a John Schneider/Pete Carroll draft, there were a lot of "what?", "who?" and "from where"'s flying around twitter, as well as filling my email box throughout the course of last few weeks, with regard to several of Seattle's selections - particularly in the mid-to-late rounds.

Thus, I thought I'd take some time to go back and look closer at several of these players myself, and then offer an in-depth scouting profile on each one, as I see them on tape.

Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: OT Garrett Scott - Field Gulls
Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: OT Justin Britt - Field Gulls
Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: FB Kiero Small - Field Gulls

*****

Eric Pinkins

DB
SDSU
#27
6'3, 220lbs
4.44 40-yard dash

Positives:

Possesses rare size/athleticism combination with long, muscular, well-proportioned frame and impressive fluidity in reverse. Strong athlete who takes on much bigger blockers with good leverage and extension. Versatile DB who routinely demonstrated the ability to mirror slot receivers with a smooth backpedal and quick hips to flip and run, while also possessing good recognition and downhill closing speed to finish on plays in front of him from a traditional safety spot.

Takes blocks personally and fights off opponents with active hands. Loves to make the hit count as a tackler with impressive "thud" on contact. Good read-and-react to the run, and exhibits an ability to get low through traffic and maintain balance through contact in pursuit. Utilizes his length to extend and wrap up his target. Physical, confident and heated competitor who plays and talks like he's already the best. "Plus" straight-line speed for his size.

Negatives:

Struggles to generate first-step burst when asked to plant and drive to either sideline from a backpedal, leading him to give up too much space when attempting to mirror sudden receivers on crossing routes. Limited agility and range when moving laterally. Despite demonstrating the ability to fight off blocks and finish plays near the line, Pinkins approaches too high at times and needs to become more consistent in terms of bending and getting under his opponent.

Relies on the hit too often rather than routinely wrapping up his target. Will over pursue against the run, leaving him susceptible to the cutback. Lacks redirect suddenness that you'd like to see in a corner, despite being adequate in this area for a linebacker or in-the-box safety. Gets a bit too physical down field at times, and will extend battles past the whistle. Didn't press much, if at all, at SDSU, despite possessing a frame and style that suggest he could be successful at jamming receivers.

Summary:

Pinkins may not be as raw as some might think when projecting him as a corner for the Seahawks. He's fluid and quick enough athletically to function in Seattle's press-bail scheme on the outside, and I don't think anyone doubts he's strong enough to become a dynamic jam artist at the line. He also has extensive experience covering receivers one-on-one.

But pressing isn't as simple as getting your hands on the receiver and knocking him around. That's part of it, but in this system, the first concept that Pete and company need to see all of their corners "get", is how to win the leverage battle. That is to say, how to "redirect" the receiver off the snap in order to funnel said receiver into the defense correctly so that the scheme as a whole works.

This will be the biggest learning curve for Pinkins, as the utilization of footwork in concert with explosive hands and precise hand position are the biggest factors in determining if a corner will be routinely successful as a presser. Don't be surprised if Pinkins jumps right in as one of the top special teams contributors for Seattle, but takes a couple of years to develop into a serviceable starting-caliber corner in this system.

Byron Maxwell would be a good comp in that sense, although Maxwell pressed a ton at Clemson before coming to Seattle. So the learning curve could be even steeper for Pinkins. If he's able to develop though, you're looking at guy with the upside to become a Browner-"plus" corner considering his superior movement skills and fluidity to the now-Patriot.

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