Western Michigan wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge has a new home in the Pacific Northwest. Eskridge’s NFL dream came to fruition Friday night when the Seattle Seahawks selected him as the 56th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 draft.
Eskridge, the first Mid-American Conference player off the board, is the first Western Michigan wide receiver drafted since his former teammate Corey Davis was selected as the fifth overall pick in 2017.
The electric playmaker caught 33 passes for 768 yards and eight touchdowns in an abbreviated 6-game season in 2020. He caught three touchdowns of 70 yards or greater while leading Western Michigan to the No. 10 scoring offense in the country. Eskridge added 43 rushing yards, 467 kick return yards, and one special teams touchdown to his stacked résumé and won the 2020 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.
Eskridge, a former track star and usually the fastest player on the field in college, began his Western Michigan career at wide receiver in 2016. After emerging into a starting wide receiver role in 2017 and 2018, Eskridge briefly experienced a stint as the team’s No. 1 cornerback for the 2019 season. Eskridge suffered a season-ending clavicle injury four games into the year but returned to Kalamazoo for a rerun at a senior campaign in 2020. After producing five 100+ yard games in six outings last fall, Eskridge benefited from the resurrected 2020 MAC season more than any other draft prospect.
He will begin his NFL career hauling in receptions from future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson, and join a Seahawks depth chart which consists of the dynamic receiving duo of Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. As a second-round pick, he will likely see ample playing time as a rookie. Eskridge’s initial role should involve lining up as a speedy weapon out of the slot in addition to potentially returning kickoffs for Pete Carroll’s squad.
The Seahawks will be getting a versatile player with experience as a starter in all three phases of the game, who can contribute right away to a team that needs young talent to emerge as rotational options.
For our full draft profile on D’Wayne Eskridge, click here.