The Seahawks have had great success with turning late-round defensive backs into very good players. Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were both fifth-round selections, and Bryon Maxwell was a sixth-round pick. Pinkins is the latest attempt find that same kind of magic with a late-round pick.
Unfortunately, before his fit with Seattle can be defined, his position in the NFL must be determined.
Eric Pinkins said Seattle wants him to be a cornerback.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) May 10, 2014
Pinkins as a cornerback is an interesting idea. His size and speed are very similar to strong safety Kam Chancellor, but it appears that the Seahawks are going to try and develop him into a cornerback like they did with Sherman. Sherman was only a cornerback in college for a short time, and he came to the NFL needing to make serious changes to his technique.
Pinkins could be like DeShawn Shead. Similar body types and both guys the Seahawks alternate between safety and corner.— Jayson Jenks (@JaysonJenks) May 10, 2014
Pinkins certainly has the straight-line speed to play cornerback, but there are concerns if he has the agility to stay with NFL receivers. Derek Stephens of CBSsports believes that ultimately Pinkins will end up at strong safety.
Pinkins is an impressive straight-line athlete with huge size for the position and who is well-suited playing up in the box, closing on plays in front of him. He's a bit stiff when asked to change direction, and has room to grow in terms of recognition, but he should be a good fit in Seattle where Kam Chancellor - a similar athlete - has succeeded despite many of the same criticisms when he came out of Virginia Tech
Pinkins will be given plenty of time to make the transition before he is asked to contribute to Seattle's defense. The Seahawks already have established players at all four starting secondary positions, as well as the nickel corner position.
Sherman wasn't asked to play until Week 6 of his rookie season, and that was only because of injuries to two other corners. Pinkins will likely sit at least that long before he sees the field.
The one place where Pinkins will be expected to make an impact in 2014 is on special teams. There his combination of size and speed should allow him to make an instant contribution.