2021 Packers Prospect Profile: D’Wayne Eskridge
Name: D’Wayne Eskridge
School: Western Michigan
Competitiveness / Football IQ
There is no doubting Eskridge’s drive and football IQ. Eskridge is a hard-nosed scrappy player that doesn’t take any plays off. Whether the ball is in his hands or not he is going hard. He takes pride in blocking for teammates and punishing the competition.
Eskridge is a smart player that can run a full route tree and he excels at finding the soft spots in zone schemes. As a former cornerback, he knows how to attack defenders to beat coverages. A true technician he, seems to always get open.
Eskridge combines savvy football smarts with plus athleticism. He is a fast explosive athlete with great hands and run after the catch skills. Eskridge’s set of gifted tools allows him to create seemless separation. His short-area quickness makes it hard for defenders to stay on his hip. With his strong plucky hands, he attacks the ball naturally. His return specialist skills are on display after the catch also. Eskridge is a problem to tackle cleanly and if he gets to open field it will be an ugly day for defenses.
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While there is no doubting Eskridge’s athletic ability, he has a smaller body for a wide receiver. His frame isn’t made to carry over 200lbs and teams could worry that the NFL grind may wear on such players over time. Also with the smaller frame, Eskridge might be pigeonholed into a slot wide receiver role only. However, These types of players have shown success in the NFL.
Coming from a small school, Eskridge was a superior player over his peers. His competition wasn’t that of the big conference schools and the jump to the pro game is large. Eskridge might need time to learn the curve before being trusted into a full-time role.
Why the Packers?
Eskridge is a perfect fit for the Green Bay Packer roster. At this current moment, the Packers do not have any wide receivers signed beyond the 2021 season. Adding young future playmakers is a must. Not only would Eskridge be in the future plans but he could also fill an immediate role. This man would play every special teams unit and would likely be the return man from day one. His dangerous skills with the ball in his hands is an element that has been a lacking sore spot for the Packers for a long time.
On offense, Eskridge brings a skill set and body type this team doesn’t have. He can play the role in which coach Matt LaFleur featured Tyler Ervin last season. In the passing game, Eskridge is a true slot Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had since Randall Cobb’s peak seasons. Eskridge is just so good at getting open. The Packers offense goes to another level with a safety valve guy like Eskridge. Alongside the weapons Green Bay already has, Eskridge can exploit any mismatch coverages. I see a lot of a Steve Smith-type player in this prospect.
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