D’Wayne Eskridge | WM 5’7” 190 lbs. 3/23/1997 (Age 24)
D’Wayne Eskridge was drafted 56th overall by the Seattle Seahawks, becoming the seventh wide receiver and 56th overall player in the 2021 NFL Draft.
D’Wayne Eskridge had 121 receptions for 2,244 yards in his five-year college career at Western Michigan. He is one of the older wide receivers in this class at 24 years old and played an extra season as a super senior after being converted to a defensive back in 2019 and suffering a clavicle injury that ended his year. Eskridge didn’t truly break out until his sophomore season and comes in with a BOA of 20.5 (52nd percentile). He finished the 2020 season with 33 receptions for 768 yards and eight touchdowns, accounting for an incredible 45% of his team’s offensive production and 5.95 adjusted yards per team pass attempt. The offense ran through him.
Eskridge plays like his hair is on fire and while he lacks a diverse route tree he is a former sprint and long jump champion and exhibits exceptional burst. It’s as if he were shot out of canon when he turns up fields or finds just a little bit of space. He is the definition of big-play ability even though none of that really showed up during his athletic testing.
At his Western Michigan Pro Day, D’Wayne Eskridge measured in at 5’7” and 190 lbs. Which equates to a BMI of 28.06. His best 40-yard dash time was 4.38-seconds which equates to a 103.25-Speed Score, and at 5’7” that is a 95.35-Height Adjusted Speed Score. His Speed Score placed within the 73rd percentile indicative of his ability to get open on crosses and slants. He posted a solid 35-inch vertical, which makes sense giving his explosiveness.
Eskridge may have an appealing profile from a surface level but he has plenty of obstacles ahead of him. Firstly, 24-year-old incoming wide receiver prospects rarely hit. For perspective, the data shows 23-year-old prospects picked in any round on average have about a 14% chance of at least one top 24 finish. He’ll also need to expand his route tree and improve his ball skills as there were just too many drops and issues with ball tracking on tape to have any hope of succeeding at the professional level. He’ll almost certainly be used in the kick return game immediately and could see playtime in the slot.
Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Above-Average
Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Above-average
D’Wayne Eskridge was selected with the 56-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Eskridge receiving second-round draft capital bodes quite well for his potential success. Being drafted as the seventh wild receiver overall vaults him into the early second round of rookie drafts and possibly the first for some although that’s far too high for me.
While Seattle is a favorable landing spot for him from a usage perspective there is stout competition for targets. The good news is he plays a different role than Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, so he’ll certainly be involved but the consolidation of targets will limit his volume and overall production. Eskridge has plenty of upside but with the elite talent in front of him, it’s hard to see him as anything better than a fantasy WR3 unless the Seattle wide receiver room were to drastically change.
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