As Tre Flowers went through the pre-draft process, the Oklahoma State safety didn’t really talk with teams about the possibility of moving to cornerback. Well, most teams at least. That topic did come up with the Seahawks, and sure enough, Flowers was on the practice field this weekend for rookie minicamp as a cornerback for the Seahawks.
“I felt like the Seahawks would (talk to me about playing cornerback), and I’m here now,” Flowers said with a laugh following Day 2 of rookie minicamp.
Flowers figured the Seahawks might at least consider him at cornerback because, as a tall, long-limbed defensive back, he grew up watching Seattle’s vaunted secondary from afar, so he knew what a Seahawks cornerback looked like.
“I always looked up to them, because you don’t see a lot of 6-3 DBs,” said Flowers. “They try to convert you to receiver, or they say you don’t have the hips, you’re too stiff, so I always watched this defense. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
And while the 6-foot-3, 203-pound, long-armed Flowers certainly looks the part of Seahawks cornerback, he knows he still has plenty to learn.
“First day was a little rough,” Flowers said when asked about the kick-step technique the Seahawks teach their corners. “Second day I feel like I got better. I’m going to keep getting better every day.”
Flowers is the second Seahawks draft pick in as many years who played safety in college before being moved by Seattle to cornerback, joining 2017 sixth-round pick Mike Tyson, and it’s easy to understand why looking at him—the guy just looks like a Seahawks cornerback.
“This is one that I’m really excited about,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Flowers. “We spotted a player that we thought had special qualities that could be a corner. He’s played safety basically his whole life. I think he’s been a three-and-a-half year starter at Oklahoma State, and I really liked the way he played there. But because he’s so tall and because he’s so agile and he’s a good tackler and a good all-around player, I think we’ve got a chance to have a really nice prospect. Next to BB (Brandon Browner), this is probably the tallest guy we’ve coached (at cornerback), so it’ll be fun to work with him.”
Asked why Flowers in particular was a good candidate to convert to corner, Carroll said, “His overall savvy for playing the position was one, that’s after we assessed the size and the speed and all that other stuff. We found a guy who looked like he could be one of these guys potentially, then I dug in real hard on the way he played, as John (Schneider) did and we all did, and we saw he was a really good all-around ball player. He had been in a lot of situations, a lot of different coverage situations and game situations, and he just has a lot of experience. That general preparedness is special. Often guys get pigeonholed and they don’t have as many things to draw from. He had a lot of good positive experiences and a lot of tough chances and stuff too. He’s a good tackler, an open-field guy, he has made plays on the ball, all of that, been a leader, good communicator. All of that added to it. Then when you’re 6-3 and your arm are almost 34 inches long and you run 4.4 and your feet move quick, OK, we’re putting a story together here. From this point on we’ll see how well he can learn and focus and take to it.”
Two days into camp, Carroll has focused a lot of attention on Flowers, something that has meant a lot to a rookie who in college played for an offensive-minded head coach.
“It’s great,” Flowers said of Carroll’s one-on-one coaching. “Coach Gundy was an offensive coach. No knock on Coach (Mike) Gundy, but he was a quarterback in college, so Coach Carroll giving me any advice. I’m going to take it and run with it.”
Seattle is a long ways from Oklahoma State or Flowers’ hometown of Converse, Texas, but the rookie said he “feels at home” after just a couple of days here. It helps having family in town this weekend, a group that includes his adorable 1-year-old daughter Bailee, but he also just feels comfortable in this new setting.
“It’s everything, it’s the city, it’s Coach Carroll. I feel at home here,” he said. “… It was really surprising. I’m from Texas and this is pretty far from Texas, I thought everybody was going to be weird or a little different from me, but everybody is the same and I love it.”
Photos from the second day of the Seattle Seahawks 2018 Rookie Minicamp on Saturday, May 5 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.