Seahawks taking D’Wayne Eskridge should make Russ happy
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks stood pat at pick number 56 in the 2021 NFL draft and chose receiver D’Wayne Eskridge. Eskridge is a great fit for Seattle. Seattle needed a third receiver and one with exceptional speed and this is exactly what Eskridge supplies.
At Western Michigan, the 5’9″ and 190-pound Eskridge put up raw numbers that might not jump out. But look beyond the number of catches each year and yards. Eskridge averaged more than 20.4 yards per catch in 2018 through 2020. In 2020, Eskridge averaged 23.3 yards a reception and 8 of his 33 catches went for a touchdown. Why? Because Eskridge can fly.
Eskridge ran a 4.38 40 at Western Michigan’s Pro Day. As a third option for Russell Wilson, he is the near-perfect check down to D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Lockett and Metcalf are going to get theirs and they are going to score touchdowns. But if defenses have to focus on a speedy third receiver, Lockett and Metcalf get better.
Seahawks choose a third receiver with their first pick in the 2021 NFL draft
New offensive coordinator Shane Waldron should also know how to use a smaller receiver with speed. The Rams did this extremely well during Waldron’s time as passing game coordinator the last several years. Eskridge on jet sweeps should be explosive and produce yards and points.
Eskridge can also return kicks and do so very successfully. When given the chance to do that in 2020, Eskridge returned 17 kicks for an average of 27.5 yards a return including a touchdown. Eskridge should instantly fit the slot receiver role but also might be the game one kick returner for the Seahawks.
Seattle had several needs heading into the draft but no obvious must-have choices. A third receiver was a need and D’Wayne Eskridge fits that need perfectly. Lockett and Metcalf are going to have more freedom because of Eskridge and Russell Wilson is going to be a happier quarterback.