Position: Cornerback, Safety
School: San Diego State Aztecs
Measurables: 6’3″, 220 lbs
How Acquired: Selected in 6th round of NFL Draft
How can the Seahawks use him?
Eric Pinkins represents all that is great about the Legion of Boom; tremendous size (nearly Kam Chancellor size), good speed at 4.45 that leads to his ability to have terrific slot coverage skills, decent edge cover skills as a CB and good safety skills. This is also a kid who was undervalued enough by league-standards (didn’t fit the general mold) that the Hawks could grab him in the sixth round and still get everything they love in a secondary player.
The fact that Pinkins played the “Warrior” position (a safety/corner hybrid that spends much of their time covering the slot or providing edge pressure/seal) at SDSU will translate well to his new role in Seattle. He will basically start out by either immediately replacing Walter Thurmond in the nickel role or sitting behind newcomer A.J. Jefferson and biding his time while learning the system. My money’s on the ladder, but in the meantime he can be a terrific option on special teams.
After this season the Hawks will begin to branch him out and eventually he would have a chance to become the full-time replacement for Byron Maxwell on the edge. If he picks everything up quickly or somebody gets injured at corner, he may find himself moving sooner than expected, but chances are the solid Jeremy Lane will step in before that happens unless Pinkins really shines. Did I mention he could step in at safety if the Hawks need him there?
As it seems to be with most of the L.O.B members, Pinkins’ best attribute is his ridiculous size and mix of athleticism. I mentioned he is nearly Kam’s size, but he also is nearly the exact size of one Brandon Browner (6’4″, 221). The biggest difference is that Pinkins runs a 4.45 40-yard dash while Browner ran a 4.63. Richard Sherman‘s time is 4.54 seconds, so if you can imagine Browner size with better-than-Sherman speed on the other side within the next couple years…
Bottom line, if this kid can translate everything he is into this system the Seattle Seahawks will make him yet another late draft star.