— Plays bigger than listed size. Consistently displays toughness and competitiveness in his physicality in blocking and on routes.
— Good athlete who has the ability to take any catch the distance. Top-end straight-line speed with good acceleration.
— Consistently generates yards after the catch. More of a one-cut and split runner with the ball in his hands than one who makes several guys miss in a phonebooth.
— Has lots of experience playing on the outside, even with size limitations.
— Had production as a kick returner his senior year and was a two-way player as a CB and WR in 2019.
— Not asked to run an extensive route tree. Played multiple positions in college and will need to keep refining his routes, especially if asked to work more from the slot.
— Below-average size and plays small when has to work over the middle. Uphill battle for him to consistently win on the outside.
— Fights but gets overmatched physically at times, even vs. lesser competition.
— Limited laterally. Can be a bit rigid in movements. Shows in routes where he can appear robotic on course.
— Will be a 24-year-old rookie.
— Tons of production due to scheme and versus defenses with no safety help.
6 G, 34 rec., 784 yards, 23.1 avg., 8 TD
— 2020 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year
D'Wayne Eskridge stepped back into a primary role on Western Michigan's offense after moonlighting as a two-way player in 2019. Despite his undersized frame, Eskridge consistently produced on the outside with his competitive and explosive play.
The Western Michigan offense is simplistic in nature, so Eskridge will need to continue working on adding to his route tree due to the lack of routes he was asked to run. He also enjoyed big production in this offense versus defenses that had safeties playing extremely low and not in a position to make a tackle when he had the ball in his hands, leading to plays where the next thing he could run into was the goalpost.
Eskridge is a tough player who maximizes his size, but he still has a below-average frame that is already filled out and will get overmatched physically. Because of his size and strength deficiencies, Eskridge will have to find production out of the slot, but his limited lateral quickness and bend may limit his tree to something more intermediate and vertical.
Overall, Eskridge has straight-line athleticism, toughness and adequate catching ability, but he is a bit of a tweener who has a big man's game in a small man's body. Having kick-return ability helps, but developing enough inside and out route-running nuances will determine his role in an offense. His team will have to figure out if the upside is there with a 24-year-old rookie.
GRADE: 7.2/10 (Round 4-5)
OVERALL RANK: 141/300
POSITION RANK: WR20
PRO COMPARISON: Diontae Johnson
Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice