Seahawks

2021 NFL Draft: Instant grades for the Seahawks 'curious' pick D'Wayne Eskridge

Seahawks

After Day 1 coming and going and the Seattle Seahawks without a single first-round pick, the team finally was on the clock Friday.

With the No. 56 overall pick in the second round, the Seahawks snagged D'Wayne Eskridge out of Western Michigan. 

[RELATED: D'Wayne Eskridge predicted he'd get drafted by Seahawks]

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The 5-foot-9, 190 pounder earned first-team All-Mac Honors as a receiver and kick returned in addition to MAC Special Teams Player of the Year. Eskridge had 25 catches for 660 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in just five games. 

Over his career with Western Michigan, the speedy wideout had 113 catches for 2,136 yards and 14 scores in 44 games. 

Here’s a look at the grades NFL experts have handed Seattle for their second-round selection.

 

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports: A-

"Burner who can win from in the slot and hit home runs and runs angry after the catch. Like his route-running skill. Older prospect."

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic: B-

"Eskridge (5-foot-9, 190) was prolific last season with 784 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in six games, and he can fly (ran 4.39). But he is an old prospect (turned 24 years old in March), and durability is a concern, given that he missed time in 2019 after fracturing his collarbone. The Seahawks have probably earned the benefit of the doubt with wide receivers (Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf), but this is a risky pick for a team with just three overall selections."

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News: C

"Seattle made a curious first pick by reaching a bit for Esrkidge, a speedy slot type very much in the Tyler Lockett mold. Sure, he will help Lockett and DK Metcalf make more big plays, but the Seahawks needed to think offensive line first with limited capital to help and appease Russell Wilson. It’s a mild luxury pick, and even a receiver built more of the outside would have made more sense."

Here’s a look at what other media outlets are saying about Eskridge's fit with the Seahawks:  

NBC Sports Northwest's Joe Fann:

"That home run ability, particularly in space, should make him a perfect complement to Metcalf and Lockett while being a versatile weapon Shane Waldron can deploy in a myriad of ways."

ESPN's Louis Riddick:

"D’Wayne Eskridge will absolutely eat you up in a hurry with his speed. He is a flash. Down at the Senior Bowl, all I saw him do was spin defensive backs around. Over and over and over again. He’s just a big play waiting to happen. Great deep ball tracking skills. You want to run him on wide receiver reverses? He’s gonna make house calls on ya. Over and over and over again. ... He’s someone you can deploy in so many different ways. He’s just electric."

Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune:

"They didn’t trade, for a change. They didn’t get Russell Wilson the offensive lineman, particularly a center and left tackle, he needs for beyond 2021. They got him a third wide receiver. A supersonic one."

 

Jake Ciely of The Athletic: 

"Eskridge has elite speed, and you just need to get the ball in his hands. There is work to be done in his routes but he can get deep immediately. Unfortunately, no one saw more than 47 targets after DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, which means even if Eskridge is the clear No. 3 (and it may take time for that to happen), he’s nothing more than a boom/bust matchup play and DFS gamble."