DANNY AND GALLANT

Bumpus: The small-school WR the Seahawks should consider drafting

Apr 25, 2021, 9:48 AM | Updated: 2:10 pm
Seahawks WR D'Wayne Eskridge...
D'Wayne Eskridge averaged over 23 yards per reception in six games in 2020. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks may have one of the best wide receiver duos in the entire NFL, but after those top two wideouts, the rest of the depth chart is very unproven.

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Seattle got 1,000-yard seasons in 2020 from both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, both of whom set franchise records. Metcalf had the most receiving yards in a single season franchise history (1,303) while Lockett set the record for most receptions in a single season (100).

But after those two, the Seahawks only had one player with more than 300 receiving yards. That was No. 3 receiver David Moore, who left Seattle for Carolina in free agency this offseason. With Moore’s departure, the Seahawks will need a new No. 3 receiver in 2021.

Seattle has in-house candidates like 2020 rookie Freddie Swain, 2019 seventh-round draft pick John Ursua and Penny Hart, but Swain is the only one of those three with more than one career reception.

As things currently stand, it would appear Swain has the inside track to be Seattle’s No. 3 receiver once Week 1 rolls around, but the NFL Draft is less than a week away and the Seahawks could use one of their three picks to add to the receiver room.

If the Seahawks do draft a receiver next week, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus knows who it should be. He shared his choice on Wednesday with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant.

“There’s this kid out of Western Michigan, D’Wayne Eskridge, who I like,” Bumpus said. “He’s a smaller receiver – he’s 5’9 and 190 pounds – and the dude is fast. He had 34 receptions for 784 yards and eight touchdowns (in six games in 2020).”

Eskridge was a home-run threat during his time at Western Michigan, averaging 18.5 yards per reception during his career and over 20 yards per catch from 2018 to 2020. He also averaged over 27 yards per kick return during the 2020 season, and he returned one for a touchdown. According to The Battle Creek Enquirer, a Michigan newspaper, Eskridge ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in late March. Eskridge told reporters he can get that down to around 4.29 seconds.

Bumpus thinks Eskridge’s play style and speed could fit “beautifully” in the Seahawks’ offense starting in 2021.

“We talk about Tyler Lockett playing the slot, DK moves to the slot sometimes as well, but they’re not slot receivers. They can play in the slot, but I just don’t see them as slot receivers,” Bumpus said. “This guy is a slot receiver. He’s shifty, he gets down into space, he can make something out of nothing, and he’s not making a lot of noise (ahead of the draft) … No one’s talking about this guy.”

The fact that there isn’t a ton of hype surrounding Eskridge as a draft prospect makes Bumpus think he’s a guy the Seahawks could be eyeballing with one of their draft selections.

“These are the types of guys that the Seahawks go after,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Look, I don’t care where you went to school or what your name is. Can you fit in this offense?’ And I see what (new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron) has done with the Rams and I think this guy can fit.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

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Bumpus: The small-school WR the Seahawks should consider drafting