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Player Profile: D’Wayne Eskridge

He's not the most popular receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Dwayne Eskridge has sneaky upside thanks in large part to his blazing speed

Height: 5’9”
Weight: 190 lbs
School: Western Michigan

Why you’re drafting him…

Eskridge is an interesting prospect heading into the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the few players that saw action on both sides of the ball during his collegiate career. While Eskridge stuck to wide receiver duties his senior season at Western Michigan, he previously saw snaps at cornerback, which goes a long way in telling you what kind of athlete Eskridge is. He didn’t produce eye-popping stats throughout his college career, but he did put together a nice six-game senior season featuring 33 receptions for 768 yards and eight touchdowns. His size likely limits what he’ll be asked to do at the next level, but teams interested in a sure-handed, quick-twitched slot receiver will be intrigued by Eskridge’s skill set. He has game-breaking speed, he’s better than you’d imagine (given his size) at contested catches and he’s an RPO slant-catching machine with the unique ability to turn on the jets and produce solid yards after the catch. His ability to work underneath from the slot will allow him to become very quarterback friendly, and his 4.3 speed from the position will help him in winnable matchups against opposing team’s nickel corners on more of the downfield routes. If you’re looking for some of his best tape, check out last year’s game against Central Michigan where Eskridge posted a 4-212-3 stat line

Needs to improve…

His biggest downfalls are things that are out of his hands. His size will limit his ability to produce on the outside, which essentially places him into a slot-only role at the next level. Besides his size, the other knock on Eskridge is that he’ll by 24 years old by the time the 2021 NFL Draft occurs after redshirting his true senior season at Western Michigan. Not that 24 years old is considered old for an athlete, but more so that by the time he’s done getting his feet wet with the pro game, he’ll already be (likely) 27 years old. Also, while Eskridge has legit NFL speed, he doesn’t offer the elite contact balance that we see from some of the other “smaller” receivers in this year’s draft. You’d like to see him work through tacklers and basically pinball off of them, but it appears that you really only see that in flashes versus how consistent we see it with guys like Kadarius Toney and Rondale Moore

Prediction for 2021 NFL Draft…

There are mixed opinions on Eskridge heading into the draft, but as is the case with most receiver prospects, his landing spot is likely to come down to the style of receiver teams prefer to fit their need. For teams looking to acquire a consistent option from the slot, Eskridge will be higher on their draft board than teams looking for help on the outside. With that being said, I predict Eskridge to come off the board as early as the second round, but could fall to the third or fourth if the other receivers in this deep class push him down. Washington, Miami and Green Bay are a few teams to keep an eye on in the event they pass on receivers in the first round

Dynasty fantasy football spin…

Eskridge could see a bump in where he lands in rookie drafts if he steps into a lucrative situation, but for the most part, I’d say he’s likely locked into the third round. His age (24) is a bit of a turnoff when it comes to dynasty leagues, but for the cost of a mid third rounder, you probably shouldn’t let this hinder you from taking a chance on him. He has the potential to eventually turn into a nice flex play, and at the very least, should help round out some depth on your bench

Check out Matt Hicks of the NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated break down D’Wayne Eskridge with the guys on the Loaded Box Podcast (Eskridge discussion starts at the 41:10 mark of the episode)

Back to complete list of 2021 player profiles

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