This April, the Seahawks spent their one piece of notable draft capital (the 56th pick overall) on a smaller receiver from a non-Power 5 school. When the selection was made, many fans saw a mistake; the organization didn’t draft Creed Humphrey or Quinn Meinerz, and also didn’t trade back into the third round.
But what I saw was a kid named D’Wayne Eskridge who has the potential to transform the Seattle offense into something it hasn’t been in the past.
After learning about Eskridge’s game, I came to three conclusions that make me believe the Seahawks offense (and team in general) will be better with him than it was before.
D’Wayne Eskridge brings a new element to Seahawks offense
Number one: He fits into Shane Waldron’s scheme
In the Rams passing game, the ball is spread out more than in a typical NFL offense. While no one receiver typically has outstanding numbers, more of them are consistently supported, making the offense as a whole more successful. Just think about the Rams offense of last year, but replace Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Eskridge should look to play the Van Jefferson/Josh Reynolds role in 2021, and should contribute in a solid way.
Number two: He can play underneath: I am part of the Seahawk fan cohort that doesn’t want the amazing down-the-field play of Metcalf to go away in 2021. However, someone has to play the short game in the revamped offense, and Dee Eskridge can certainly be the guy. It’s easy to tell from his college tape that he has the 0 to 100 speed required to take a slant past the secondary for big yards. With DK drawing coverage down the field, it feels like Eskridge can cover the middle of the field for Russ.
Number three: He has special teams potential: For a rookie, special teams is a great way to contribute during the first year. While he’s been injured recently and we don’t know exactly where Eskridge fits into this year’s special teams plans, he could certainly return kicks and punts should the coaching staff deem that the most important skill during this rookie year. I believe his time spent working special teams will be based on how he recovers from his injury.
However Seahawks fans get to see D’Wayne Eskridge play in 2021, he will no doubt be a fun piece to keep an eye on. With any luck, he will keep progressing away from his toe injury and will be able to play in the final preseason game against the Chargers. If he’s able to make it into the game, make sure you pay close attention to the way he is used.