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Seahawks draft WR D’Wayne Eskridge with No. 56 pick

Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge goes to the Seahawks with the 56th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Will he be a fantasy football asset to start his career?

 D’Wayne Eskridge #7 of the Western Michigan Broncos reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half on September 3, 2016 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. the Western Michigan Broncos won 22-21. Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

D’Wayne Eskridge was one of the best players in the Mid-American Conference this past season and will look to his talents to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks selected Eskridge with the No. 56 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Eskridge played on both sides of the ball over his five-year career with the Western Michigan Broncos. But he’s a dynamic wideout with explosive speed that could possibly make him an instant playmaker as a rookie in 2021.

This past season, Eskridge had a bounce back redshirt senior campaign after playing in only four games in 2019 because of a season-ending clavicle injury. The 5-foot-9 wideout had 33 receptions for 768 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns in six games. Out of those six games, he had 100 receiving yards or more five times. The only game Eskridge did not pass the 100-yard threshold was on Dec. 5 against Eastern Michigan (3 recs. for 53 yards, 1 TD).

Scouting Report

Despite his lack of size, Eskridge lined up consistently on the outside in college and made plays. But he’ll likely be used more inside/slot in the NFL, which could create more big plays for his next team. He also does a good job catching the ball with his hands and isn’t afraid to go over the middle of the field.

Additionally, Eskridge is explosive and has solid run after the catch ability, especially when he catches the ball in stride. However, for him to become a complete wideout, Eskridge needs to show more diversity in his route running. Some of his big plays came out off slant routes on RPO plays. But that will not work against better defensive back competition in the NFL.

Fantasy football impact

Rookie

Eskridge is going to the perfect place where his skillset will be used appropriately with the Seahawks. The 5-foot-8 dynamo joins a wide receiver core that has DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Eskridge has speed for days, has good solid run after the catch ability, and will likely be used on special teams. The former WMU standout is likely a WR4/FLEX play in fantasy football.

Long-term

If Eskridge can become a weapon in the slot, then the sky is the limit for him. He might be older and is smaller than most slot wideouts, but you cannot teach that speed. With Lockett getting older, the Seahawks eventually need a replacement with his skillset.