Seahawks rookie D’Wayne Eskridge brings similar skill set to Tyreek Hill – Seattle Seahawks blog
SEATTLE – NFL teams typically don’t make public comparisons between their draft picks and current players, wary of the unrealistic expectations this can create. So when Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider was speaking to reporters about West Michigan wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge after taking him to the second round, he stopped just as he was on point. to compare Seattle’s top pick to someone else.
“You can tell, he has – I don’t want to compare him to people, so I guess I won’t,” Schneider said. “But he has some really cool attributes.”
Schneider wouldn’t reveal the mysterious player when in a rush, so we can only make an educated guess who he had in mind.
Here’s one: Tyreek Hill.
Granted, Eskridge would have been long gone by the time the Seahawks took him to 56th overall if he was certain he will have the kind of career Hill had for the Kansas City Chiefs. The point is, Hill might be the best-known example of the Seahawks’ receiving style in the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Eskridge and how they can use it.
“Just a really explosive guy,” Schneider said of Eskridge. “Can really slow down his speed. Hard. We have a guy who can play a number of different positions. He’s a kickoff returner, could be a shooter… We have a guy who is competitive, hungry, intense. is gave him a dog. “
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Eskridge’s speed and versatility were perhaps the two attributes that forced the Seahawks to take him with the first of their three lowest picks in the league. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player after averaging 213 versatile yards (the second-most FBS) as a catcher and kick-off returner during the his school’s six-game 2020 season.
He also replaced the cornerback in 2019 before a collarbone injury ended his season, displaying a physicality that the Seahawks believe will serve him well in race blocking assignments and potentially in coverage of the. punts. They admired the team attitude Eskridge initially displayed when playing both ways, especially since he had shown the potential of the NFL as a receiver.
Coach Pete Carroll’s mention of the creative ways the Seahawks can pass the ball to Eskridge on offense sounded like how the Chiefs use Hill.
“He’s definitely a guy, as you can see in the highlights you’ve seen, that we can give him the ball, we can return it to him, we can do things with him behind the line of scrimmage,” Carroll said. “He ran very effectively on backhands and stuff like that, and the returns show that too. We’re looking for a receiver who would have all that kind of versatility and he was really exciting to draft.”
This desire involved more than so-called gadget games. It was also about what the Seattle offense will require from receiverships under new coordinator Shane Waldron.
The Seahawks haven’t revealed much about the system Waldron is introducing, either out of secrecy or because they won’t fully know until they’re on the pitch. But it’s no mystery that they plan to step up the pace more frequently, something Waldron knows well about his four seasons as Rams assistant under Sean McVay and something Russell Wilson has always loved to do.
Since offenses are not a substitute for rush mode, recipients need to know more and do more.
“We want guys who can do it all because our guys have to block, we use them in splits and moves and all kinds of positions, maybe [with] more emphasis than we have in the past, “said Carroll.” There are a number of things that require these guys to be able to do. That means they have to recognize fronts and who’s who, linebackers and DBs and all that sort of thing while they’re doing their missions.
“I think you will see in time that you get to see D’Wayne, you are going to see that he can do it all. He’s a physical kid. He could be well-rounded. If you look at it. rear with what they integrated into the Rams system with Cooper Kupp and Robert [Woods], they had guys on the ground who stay there because they can do a little bit of everything. “
Carroll said Waldron stressed the importance of always having at least three legitimate receiving threats on the pitch in passing situations to make it harder for defenses to pull an option. That’s why they considered Rams tight end Gerald Everett an important addition to free agency.
In four seasons under McVay, the Rams have played more games with three receivers on the field than any NFL team, according to ESPN charts. This has been a hallmark of the Seahawks’ recent infractions – they have run the fifth most games of this type in the same period – and could be more one under Waldron. That’s one more reason it makes sense to invest in another receiver, even though they have one of the best duos in the league, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
A source said the Seahawks believed the Rams, who took Louisville wide receiver Tutu Atwell at No.57, would have taken Eskridge instead if Seattle had died at 56.
Eskridge will be No.3, provided he beats Freddie Swain and any veteran the Seahawks add to compete for that role. If so, there may not be another NFL team with more speed among its top three receivers than Seattle. Lockett has been one of the league’s best deep threats over the past three seasons, though he says his leg injury in 2016 left him half a step slower than he was. when he entered the league with a time of 4.40 on the 40-yard dash. Metcalf runs a 4.33 and competes in the 100 meters at an American track and field event this weekend.
The Seahawks officially clocked Eskridge at 4.39.
“He brings elite speed, he brings elite explosiveness, shortcourt quickness, which allows him to be such a big guy after the capture,” said Jake Heaps, a former quarterback for the team. Seahawks who is now Wilson’s personal trainer a host on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“He reminds me a lot of Tyreek Hill in terms of not only their game but also their build. Small guy, 5-9, 5-10 but extremely well built, built muscular, built really strong so they can break tackles. and cross. tackle, someone who is also a factor in midfield. “