D’Wayne Eskridge Draft Prospect Profile and Scouting Report

W. Michigan WR D'Wayne Eskridge is profiled in advance of the 2021 NFL Draft

Name: D’Wayne Eskridge

School: Western Michigan

Year: rSR

Position: Wide Receiver

Measurements: Height 5’9 ⅛”, Weight 188 pounds

 

Stats

 

 

General Info

Eskridge was a three star prospect out of Indiana, and the no. 23 overall prospect in Indiana in 2015 out of high school. He was Bluffton High School’s all time leader in touchdowns. Eskridge was a 2015 All-State honorable mention by AP, running for 1,020 and 16 TDs. He won the 100m, 200m, and long jump at Marion boys track regional in 2015 and 2016.

In 2020, named a preseason first team All-MAC by Phil Steele. Eskridge was a member of the Paul Hornung Award watch list. He was invited to and participated in the 2021 Senior Bowl.

 

Positional Skills

 

Strengths

Dynamic is the best word to describe Western Michigan wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge. He’s the type of player teams will covet in a league built on explosive plays. Eskridge is quick off the line of scrimmage with his releases, often using a well-timed jab step to sell inside or outside and work the other way into his stem. He has great acceleration into his stem, making him a vertical threat at all times. Eskridge has very good short area quickness and agility, and he works efficiently in and out of his breaks. As a route runner, he can work to all three levels. Eskridge can create separation quickly with his burst and agility, and he separates with speed down the field. He sinks his hips well to change direction and works back to the football well. 

When it comes to catching the football, Eskridge is as reliable as they come. He’s always a hands-catcher, and never lets the football into his frame, always plucking it out of the air. His catch radius is impressive for his size, and he high points the football extremely well. While he doesn’t have the biggest frame as mentioned, he’s still comfortable working over the middle of the field and catching through contact.

Eskridge’s acceleration and long speed make him dangerous after the catch, and he can turn any play into a score. His cognitive ability to set up defenders and make them miss in space is impressive. Eskridge has the competitive toughness to be effective at the next level, especially after the catch and as a blocker.

Let’s not forget about his contribution on special teams. His long speed, burst, and experience make him a threat on special teams at the next level as well.

 

Weaknesses

Eskridge doesn’t have a ton of weaknesses on film, but he won’t ever be the receiver to consistently win in contested spots. Bigger, longer corners will make that difficult for him. He also is a little inconsistent separating against press coverage, which may limit his role to the slot. Eskridge could also work on tracking the football more consistently when working vertically.

 

Fit with the Packers:

The Green Bay Packers look pretty set on their receiving core on the boundary, but Eskridge would fit very well in the slot for Green Bay at the start of his career. He has experience at running back as well, and his ability to be a home run threat after the catch and separate quickly would make him a star in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Eskridge could fit into the slot role, get reps in the backfield, and fit into the “Tyler Ervin” role. As he continues to build up his release package, he can take more and more snaps on the perimeter and become a WR2 in the offense.

NFL Categories: 
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Comments (23)

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albert999's picture

February 22, 2021 at 05:29 pm

Alshon Jeffrey is coming available off the Eagles squad. Could get him cheap?!

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TheBigCheeze's picture

February 22, 2021 at 05:32 pm

gute has got to hit a bunch of home runs in the draft this year, cuz other than Alexander, he's been striking out...

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:35 pm

Jenkins, MSV, Lazard,Tonyan, Patrick.....all played significant roles in the league’s #1 offense. Except for Jenkins, they were low picks or UDFAs that the GM got on the team.

Defensively, we’re looking at Alexander and Savage as real good picks. We also have Keke, Martin, Barnes and Sullivan...who all contributed this year. Holliman and Scott might develop into contributors.

I can’t agree with the premise that we’ve struck out . That looks like some good players to me.

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Johnblood27's picture

February 23, 2021 at 06:11 am

ummm... AND Gary

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Turophile's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:45 pm

The Packers really like their receivers either tall (St.Brown, MVS, Lazard) or chunky ( Adams, Taylor), but they have had smaller guys in the slot before (Randall Cobb was very effective there).

They do have one smaller guy (Tavon Austin 5'8", 180) but he is a RB/WR hybrid.

A quality slot guy would make a nice addition to the WR core group and as Jake said he could do Ervin-type things and add dynamism to the return game early in his career (being a good hands catcher sure helps there).

Even though he is only 5'9" tall, 188lb is a decent weight for that size, maybe enough to withstand the physicality of the NFL. He would need to have some plays designed to maximise his impact, but he could widen the possibilities available in La Fleur's playbook.

Now, if the Packers love Tavon Austin, there isn't much point in acquiring Eskridge, but if they are more neutral on Austin, Eskridge might look rather attractive.

If Erskine is around for the Packers second round pick, you have to give him consideration (or at least I would). After the tall, taller and tallest WRs with the Packers it would be kind of nice to have a good jitterbug.

However, would he be a better bet than WR Amon-Ra St.Brown ? Thedraftnetwork currently has them listed as the 61st and 62nd prospects.

Well, though I like both the prospects, I think I'd take St. Brown if I had the choice between the two in round 2. St. Brown is 6'1" and about 200lb and fits the typical Packer mold better, but HE would be best employed (mostly) as an X or Z receiver and is clever at getting deep (which Rodgers would love), but I don't think he'd have Erskine's impact on ST.

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Johnblood27's picture

February 23, 2021 at 06:13 am

I will take a hard pass on any more of the St Brown clan...

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Turophile's picture

February 23, 2021 at 07:46 am

I think that "I am not my brother, or my brothers keeper" applies here. Evaluate him separately.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 22, 2021 at 05:55 pm

Definitely an interesting player when you read about him. Sounds like he could be converted to slot corner as well. Great speed. Bigger than some. Slot receiver? Maybe. Gadget player? Definitely. Return specialist? Probably. The tough thing with all of these guys is where they get taken. Fourth round? Later? Earlier? All in all, if the Packers are impressed enough to take him at any point in the draft I wouldn't be disappointed.

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Lphill's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:16 pm

This kid is not a first or second round prospect .

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Turophile's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:23 pm

1st, no.............but late 2nd or early 3rd, maybe.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:29 pm

It's still way early but most boards I've have seen so far have him solidly in the 2nd.

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Johnblood27's picture

February 23, 2021 at 06:14 am

according to his agent he probably is...

He will be available in 3 or later

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stockholder's picture

February 22, 2021 at 09:45 pm

I'd take this kid instead. jalen Darden 5-9 N. Texas

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HankScorpio's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:28 pm

I thought I read there were some injury concerns, which affected Cobb off and on too. Did I hear that wrong? Can he return? The Packers WRs don't contribute much on STs. I'd like to see that group contribute more to shore up that weakness.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 06:47 pm

MSV and Lazard are going to be our #2 and #3. MSV is the premiere deep threat in the NFL, catching more 40 yard touchdowns than anybody either than Tyreek Hill. On many fewer targets. Despite the drops. We’ll probably end up signing him to a second contract.

Lazard is perhaps the best blocking WR in the league and has done well with his receiving opportunities.

And of course, we might end up extending Adams, too.

I don’t see any point in spending early picks on a WR. Next year could be different.

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PhantomII's picture

February 22, 2021 at 09:51 pm

Lazard was not quite as good as before injury after he came back. Hope he heals up okay. Probably pressed back too early.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:00 pm

We might extend/resign Adams, MSV, or Lazard. We have guys behind them like Taylor and ESB and Begelton. But somehow, we need a WR.

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PhantomII's picture

February 22, 2021 at 10:08 pm

We need a complementary WR next to Adams especially if Jones is not on the team. Hopefully a shifty guy who runs in the 4.3's and catches everything thrown at him. all the WR's you mentioned are not a #2 and barely #3. That doesn't mean I don't like them , they are decent. MVS is fast and ESB is in the high 4.4s. MVS played extremely good in the Championship game..Kudos. More speed, shifty runner. We have enough tall guys. Adams-contract up 2022, MVS, Tonyan will take money also.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 10:32 pm

Why aren’t MSV and Lazard complementary? They’re too tall?

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Duneslick's picture

February 22, 2021 at 11:17 pm

No both of them are inconsistent and not good enough to be a number 2

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PhantomII's picture

February 23, 2021 at 02:39 pm

They are not #2 Wr's with #1 potential. When Adams is covered or injured we leaned on A. Jones, now Jones may be gone. Without a true #2 WR Adams will get more attention which can stymie our offense and even more so without Jones. Tonyan is going to have to be at least 2nd RD tendered or he will get snapped up and he had 10 TD's. A lot of our WR group is getting close to being FA or RFA so if we don't get pro active and get more quality depth ASAP we are missing the SB window. I could tell one thing for sure to fix on offense during the championship game. OL needs to block better and we needed to run 4 high quality WR's out there to beat that defense. Our current Offense runs multiple TE's and although they can catch, this team made them block more often than not and limited the number of guys running routes so their secondary had them all covered up. If you run 4 wide and a RB you can spread out the defenders and increase the open areas of the field and clear out areas if even for the RB to dump it off to and larger areas to run the ball. I think our offense needs to morph into this as a different look when needed against a team like the Bucs. We need WR's with speed. Another slot guy running in 4.3's would be great. Slower guys are easier to cover when Defenses are Elite.

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Slim11's picture

February 23, 2021 at 06:40 am

Begelton doesn't impress me. I was concerned about him coming out of the CFL and it seems those concerns were justified. ESB had a so-so season following a missed 2019.

Eskridge could be a Randall Cobb.v2. That comparison and his skill set make him a valid consideration at #3. The Packers don't need to draft a WR in the first two rounds given concerns at LB, DT, CB and LT/RT.

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buddrow53's picture

February 23, 2021 at 03:37 am

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