See A Hawk: Tre Brown

Tre Brown

Tre Brown was a very atypical pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for the Seattle Seahawks, as he does not have the typical measurements of an outside cornerback for the team from the Emerald City. However, Pete Carroll and John Schneider announced to the public that they plan to use Brown as an outside cornerback. The past and good season of D.J. Reed seems to have stayed in the minds of the responsible persons and thus softens the otherwise so strict requirements for a cornerback a bit.

Tre Brown is regarded as self-confident, loves competition and is not at a loss for words. This again sounds very much like the profile of former Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks.

Cornerback Tre Brown

Brief information:

  • College: Oklahoma
  • Age: 23 (24.September 1997)
  • Height: 178 cm
  • Weight: 83 kg
  • Arm length:
  • Hand size
  • Draft: 4th round, Pick #137

College Statistics (2020):

  • Games: 10
  • Tackles (solo/collective): 31 (25/6)
  • Tackles for loss of space: 1
  • Sacks: 0
  • Passes defended: 6
  • Interceptions: 3

Career

Tre Brown spent four years at the University of Oklahoma, a true powerhouse in college football. During his time at the university, Brown missed only two of a possible 52 games. In the last two seasons, the cornerback was able to establish himself as a starter.

On October 14, 2018, Brown's mother passed away from heart failure. A few days later after the painful loss, Brown returned to the team and played in the October 20, 2018 game against TCU. He expressed that his mother had to get through many things in life, she never lamented and always carried her head up. He said that his mother wouldn't have had it any other way and he wanted to show the world that he had the strength to play. Through this tragedy, Brown found new motivation to keep pushing himself to the maximum.

Video analysis

Tre Brown is a cornerback who can help the Seattle Seahawks with experience in both press and off-coverage. Brown is very good in press coverage, can make contact early and is not easily beaten by more physical wide receivers. He plays "bigger", is very aggressive. In general, his coverage work is reliable, he is often very close to the opponent and does so for long distance or duration of the play. Brown has clean footwork, agile hips, which is especially noticeable when moving out of the backpedal into a sprint (the so-called break), when he detects plays underneath early and then leaves his zone. A clean tackle technique rounds off his profile.

The small size is especially noticeable in contested catch situations. Here Tre Brown has problems at the catching point of the ball. This weakness could be concealed with better positioning and improved timing. Brown also often makes a lot of contact with the opponent, presumably to compensate for his physical dimensions. That's basically not a bad thing for now, but it could lead to more flags in the NFL than in college. This is where he needs to adjust at the next level. Brown is often over-aggressive in run defence support, sort of running past the play or the ball carrier.

Greatest strength

In the following scene we see Tre Brown in coverage work. The wide receiver of the opposing team tries to run a crossing route. Brown is in press coverage and interferes with the opponent right at the line of scrimmage. He then follows the opponent closely - with admittedly a lot of contact, which could also result in a penalty in the NFL. On the play to the wide receiver, Brown is able to get his arm in front of the opponent and deflect the pass.

Biggest weakness

To pick up on one of Tre Brown's weaknesses, this time, due to a lack of suitable video material, I am using filmed footage from the Senior Bowl week and the training sessions that took place there. It should be noted that the drills massively favour the wide receivers (quarterback without pressure, cornerback in one-on-one, no help from the safety).

Tre Brown fails to disrupt his opponent Nico Collins at the line of scrimmage on the following replay. This allows Collins to create some separation. In the course of the play, Brown is able to catch up. In the direct duel at the catch point, however, Brown simply has no chance against one of the better and physical receivers in this year's draft class. Collins uses all his physicality and his size advantage and secures the ball in the end zone. Players with those measurements will be aplenty waiting for Brown in the NFL. With tighter coverage or better timing in the air, he could mask this weakness.

Conclusion

Tre Brown will compete for a regular spot in a Seattle Seahawks cornerback group that has little to no way to gauge his ability. The best chance at one of the two outside-cornerback spots might be D.J. Reed, who held the position well in the second half of the 2020 season. Akhello Witherspoon, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, was signed in free agency by the Seattle Seahawks for one year and a salary of four million. Should Witherspoon remain fit, he should have the best chance to start. Tre Flowers, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, I don't think has much chance of getting much playing time. But for depth, Flowers is a decent backup who knows the system.

And then there is still the great unknown, who is not so unknown in Seattle: Richard Sherman. The rumours and reports about a possible signing of the veteran do not die down. And so it is quite conceivable that Richard Sherman could be added to this group and thus presumably be a clear regular for one to two years, provided he is physically fit. At the very least, that would probably make Tre Brown's rookie season a very uneventful one.

But at few positions like cornerback is the depth of the position group as important. D.J. Reed was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks via the waiver wire due to injury. Akhello Witherspoon played with multiple injuries last season by his own admission, playing 11 of a possible 16 games. And if a player like Richard Sherman were to be signed, there would have to be some injury susceptibility and down time factored in with him as well. For each of these cases, Tre Brown would be the "next man up".