Over the past week plus we’ve looked through eight of the nine draft picks of the Seattle Seahawks from the 2018 NFL Draft in order to attempt to grade the most recent draft class with the benefit of a season of hindsight. So far we’ve gone through the selections of
- First round running back Rashaad Penny,
- Third round defensive end Rasheem Green,
- Seventh round quarterback Alex McGough,
- Sixth round defensive end Jacob Martin,
- Fifth round tackle Jamarco Jones,
- Fifth round punter Michael Dickson,
- Fifth round linebacker Shaquem Griffin and
- Fourth round tight end Will Dissly.
That leaves just one member of the 2018 Seahawks draft class left to be evaluated, and that is obviously Cornerback Tre Flowers, a sixth round selection out of Oklahoma State University.
Flowers was yet another in a not short line of college safety to professional cornerback conversion projects for Pete Carroll, following in the path of players like Eric Pinkins and Mike Tyson. However, the path for Flowers has been far different than that of Pinkins and Tyson, who never successfully made the transition to cornerback in the NFL for the Seahawks. And for those who know what they are looking at and analyzing, the selection of Flowers by the Hawks did not come as a surprise, as Field Gulls own Matty F. Brown predicted back in the spring on the morning of day three of the draft.
Players I expect to be Seahawks by the end of the day:— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) April 28, 2018
Guard Wyatt Teller.
Tight End Ian Thomas.
Linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
Safety (cornerback) Tre Flowers.
(Author’s note: Matty may well have been correct on Wyatt Teller and Ian Thomas, but we’ll never know. Thomas, a tight end, was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round, and with their next pick the Hawks selected Will Dissly. Teller, an offensive lineman was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round, and two picks later the Seahawks drafted Jamarco Jones. So, has anybody ever seen Tony Romo and Matty F. Brown in the same room?)
Flowers, as would be expected, struggled at times during his rookie season, but he also showed enough to warrant hope for the future. Add in the fact that he played much of the season as a member of an extremely young secondary, and it is no surprise that the team struggled at times to stop opposing offenses. However, Flowers remains extremely young, as he and Shaquill Griffin team up to make a starting cornerback pair that combined is about the same age as Tom Brady.
Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration, as Brady is 41 years old, and both Griffin and Flowers are set to turn 24 later this offseason, it’s not as much of an exaggeration as one might first imagine.
However, looking past just his age and his status as a conversion project, Flowers played a significant amount as a rookie in 2018. Specifically, his 903 defensive snaps were the most that any Seahawks draft pick has played on either offense or defense since Justin Britt logged 1,058 snaps as a rookie in 2014. Just to put how many snaps Flowers logged in perspective, here’s a sampling of some other recent Seahawks draft picks and how many snaps they have played since being drafted:
- 2016 3rd Round Pick TE Nick Vannett: 890 offensive snaps
- 2016 3rd Round Pick RB C.J. Prosise: 251 offensive snaps
- 2016 5th Round Pick DT Quinton Jefferson: 707 defensive snaps
- 2016 6th Round Pick C Joey Hunt: 181 offensive snaps
- 2015 6th Round Pick LB Eric Pinkins: 5 defensive snaps
- 2015 5th Round Pick TE Luke Willson: 2,564 offensive snaps
- 2015 5th Round Pick CB Tye Smith: 125 defensive snaps (with the Tennessee Titans in 2017)
So, that’s just a sampling of some other draft picks and how much they have contributed since being drafted. Obviously, Flowers will need to continue to show growth and development to maintain his starting role, but if he can do that and get good injury luck, there’s no reason to doubt his ability to be a long term contributor for the Seahawks.
In any case, it will certainly be interesting to watch the defensive back group continue to develop in the coming seasons. The Hawks are loaded with young potential in the secondary. and after consecutive seasons of a middle of the road scoring defense it will certainly be fun to watch what Carroll can do as the league continues to move more and more towards a passing league.
How do you grade the selection of Tre Flowers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft?
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