While wide receiver may not be at the very top of the list of needs for the Dallas Cowboys, anytime you can make a passing game even more explosive than it already is, you have to do it.
The Cowboys did just that in 2020 with the selection of CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick. While it’s tough to see them going wide receiver in the first round of the 2021 draft, if an opportunity presents itself to add a big-play, explosive, speed-threat at receiver, they will definitely consider it.
That’s where Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge comes into play.
Name: D’Wayne Eskridge
School: Western Michigan
Class: RS Senior
Projected to run one of the fastest 40-times in the 2021 NFL Draft class, Eskridge is a rare-blend of speed and explosiveness packed into his 5’ 8” 188-lb frame. Crisp route-runner who excels at both in-breaking routes, and stop-routes in all three-levels of the field. Showed the ability to sink his hips out of his breaks to gain separation. Footwork was very efficient working out of his breaks. Did an excellent job of attacking defensive backs blind-spots throughout his routes to put corners in a blender. Plucked the ball out of the air with ease, and catch radius was impressive for a smaller receiver. Route-pacing allowed him to run routes at multiple gears, and really give DB’s fits with his ability to play and run routes at different speeds. Played a fair share of snaps on the boundary, and did an excellent job of attacking the football, and winning at the catch point in contested catch scenarios. He enjoyed getting involved in the blocking game, and had great success as a kick-off returner at Western Michigan. Absolutely dynamic makeup as a wideout and ball carrier after the catch - showcasing elite speed, elusiveness, and explosiveness with the football in his hands.
He will often be knocked for his size, but he really plays much bigger than his listed size. Had a handful of concentration drops at the Senior Bowl, but shouldn’t have concerns about his hands at the next level. He lost his balance coming out of breaks a few times on tape, and at the Senior Bowl. He’s an older prospect coming in, and teams will want a clean check on the clavicle injury he suffered in 2019, that forced him to miss all but four games in the 2019 season.
In today’s NFL, every team is looking for the next Tyreek Hill, and D’Wayne Eskridge has that profile. Eskridge is an excellent athlete, who can play both inside, outside, and do a lot of work in the jet-sweep game. Eskridge brings a dynamic level of speed to the table, and that makes him dangerous in all three levels of the field at the next level.
Eskridge’s route-running ability showed great improvement from the 2018 to 2019 season, and after returning from injury in 2020, he broke out big time. One of the more impressive aspects of Eskridge’s game is his advanced maturity and competitive toughness, and he showed both of those qualities in 2019, where he started games at both wide receiver and cornerback for the Bronco’s. Over his career at Western Michigan, Eskridge averaged 26.4 yards per reception, and has the ability to dominate all areas of the field at the next level.
D'Wayne Eskridge is so much fun! pic.twitter.com/pAUFaj2GBO— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) January 25, 2021
D’Wayne Eskridge can work all three levels. Explosive playmaker ... this one went for 57 yards. pic.twitter.com/nTA19i8w4J— Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) January 27, 2021