The Seattle Seahawks placed Dontae Johnson on IR on Saturday, leaving them with these five cornerbacks after a corresponding roster move: Shaquill Griffin, Justin Coleman, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, and Akeem King. As expected, unless the Seahawks thought that their next-best option at outside corner was the guy they just pulled off the practice squad, Seattle is going to start Flowers opposite of Griffin.
With Dontae Johnson on IR, the Seahawks are expected to start rookie fifth-round pick Tre Flowers at CB today. Flowers off to a good start in Seattle so they’re excited to see him vs. Denver.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 9, 2018
Thus far in his football career, Flowers has only been a safety on the defensive side of the ball. He’s going to play his first game at corner as a starter against Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and/or Courtland Sutton. It’s a hell of a way to make an introduction.
While I can’t say for sure that Flowers did not play corner in high school, he was always listed as a safety recruit. During four years and 51 games at Oklahoma State, Flowers only played safety. The Seahawks selected Flowers in the fifth round this year, fully intending to move him to cornerback due to his 6’3, 202 lb, 33.75” arms measurements with a 4.45 40, 33” vertical, and 10’2 broad jump. Theoretically that transition would be most ideal if it’s taking place over the course of a year and a half while learning and growing behind a more experienced starter, which is why the team brought in players like Byron Maxwell and Johnson and had a workout with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but Maxwell and Johnson got hurt and clearly DRC didn’t wow them.
Now it’s on Flowers to show if he’s that fast of a learner and at least capable of not getting beat with any damaging consistency. You would have to at least think that Pete Carroll wouldn’t put him out there if he thought that there was a high probability of that; the curve here has obviously been much different than their attempted transition of Mike Tyson, a sixth round safety-turned-corner a year ago who could not stick with the team in either of the last two seasons.
At this point, it’s no a longer a question of “if” Flowers can start. He’s starting. Now we wait to find out if he can start next week. And the week after. Or if Seattle’s corner search continues.