In the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era, the Seahawks have averaged 9.54 picks per draft. However, in the 2021 iteration of the event, they entered with a league-low three selections and exited with a league-low three prospects in tow.
Quantity was never going to be the name of the game for Seattle this year, given its unideal situation and the uncertainty of the draft as a whole. Many of the prospects had either opted out of their respective 2020 seasons, or played just a handful of games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Private medical evaluations were either limited or entirely prohibited, leaving teams with very little to go off of.
The Seahawks made their discomfort well known, firing off first and third-round selections in 2021 to the Jets for safety Jamal Adams last summer. That was preceded by a deal for cornerback Quinton Dunbar, in which they sent a fifth-round pick to Washington. Then, after a disastrous effort from their pass rushing unit through the first half of the season, they dealt a seventh-rounder and center B.J. Finney to the Bengals for defensive end Carlos Dunlap.
With Adams and Dunlap still on the roster, the Seahawks don't see this year's draft as a wash by any means. And they feel the three players they ended up coming away with last weekend - D'Wayne Eskridge, Tre Brown, and Stone Forsythe - fill both short and long-term needs of theirs.
Not only do these three players boast intriguing traits that should translate well to the NFL, but they showed how it can all come together on the field in college rather consistently. Each, frankly, dominated at one point or another in their collegiate careers, earning the attention of pro scouts—particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.
So with the draft in the rearview mirror, let's take a look back to when these three players were trying to land on the NFL's radar. And in doing so, we'll be checking out each of their best season in college and what they were able to accomplish that year.
WR D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan - 2020
Throughout his career at Western Michigan, Eskridge proved he'll do whatever it takes to see the field as much as possible and help his team win. Coming off a year in which he filled in at cornerback, the Seahawks' second-round pick took on another new challenge in 2020: kick returning. The former track star grabbed the role and - no pun intended - ran with it, averaging 27.5 yards per return with a touchdown, which earned him MAC Speical Teams Player of the Year honors. Oh, and did we mention he had a career-high 768 yards and eight touchdowns on 33 receptions in just six games? Yeah, pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.
CB Tre Brown, Oklahoma - 2019
Brown put up an incredible 2020 campaign, but he was arguably a better all-around player the year prior with fairly comparable - or even better, in some cases - coverage numbers. Allowing an opponent passer rating of just 71.0 in 14 games, this was the year Brown truly became a smothering presence in Oklahoma's defensive backfield. In that time, he registered career-highs in pass breakups (13) and catch percentage (44.8 percent) and didn't shy away from contact, making 40 combined tackles. He was also a special teams ace and served as the Sooners' primary kick returner. Capped off by a valiant effort versus LSU's dominant offense featuring the likes of Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Thaddeus Moss, Brown rode that momentum into a strong encore season and a fourth-round draft slot in 2021.
T Stone Forsythe, Florida - 2020
You could make a decent argument for Forsythe's 2019 season here, but he was just ever so slightly better in his final year at the University of Florida. Allowing just two sacks on 16 total pressures in 862 snaps, the towering 6-foot-8, 307-pound tackle put up the fifth-best pass blocking efficiency total in the country at a mark of 98.2. Perhaps having his best game in the Gators' SEC championship loss to Alabama, Forsythe - despite his self-admitted woes in run blocking - proved to be one of the most accomplished tackles to come out of this draft class, which made his fall to the sixth round all the more head-scratching.