Bumpus: How D’Wayne Eskridge stood out at Seahawks rookie minicamp
The Seahawks had their first opportunity to see first-year players compete over the weekend when they hosted their rookie minicamp at team headquarters in Renton, and 710 ESPN Seattle’s Michael Bumpus was there to take it in, as well.
Bumpus, a former Seahawks and WSU wide receiver, guest hosted Danny and Gallant with Danny O’Neil on Monday morning and shared his observations from the weekend. At the top of the list were what he saw from wide receivers D’Wayne Eskridge, Seattle’s second-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, and Connor Wedington, an undrafted free agent addition who has received some attention as a local product who starred at Sumner High School.
Let’s take a look at what Bumpus had to say about the two young wideouts.
As the highest pick from the most recent draft participating in the camp, the good news is that Eskridge looked to fit that billing. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll raved about the explosiveness the Western Michigan alum has, and Bumpus saw it first-hand.
“I look at the way a receiver accelerates and decelerates. I saw him catch maybe like a hitch and he turned up so quickly and got north/south, I saw that burst that Pete Carroll was talking about,” Bumpus said. “You see why they picked this young man up. Super explosive, I didn’t see him drop any footballs, really confident in his route running.”
It appears that Eskridge is primed to move into the No. 3 receiver role that was vacated by David Moore leaving for Carolina in free agency earlier this offseason.
“It’s apparent, this guy’s going to be on the field. There’s no doubt in my mind. I compare him to the other receivers who are still there – Freddie Swain, John Ursua. Good receivers, but he just has a twitch about him that I do not see in those guys. And he’s confident. … He looks like he belongs there and he’s showing this football staff off top, ‘Look, I’m going to be a weapon. Start figuring out ways to use me.'”
That has Bumpus thinking new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron may have some interesting things in store for Eskridge when he joins Seattle’s top receiver duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
“They can get really creative – now they’re going to have Eskridge, Lockett and DK, which has to be probably one of the fastest starting receiving corps in the NFL. I can’t wait to see the Shane Waldron offense with Eskridge running a shallow, DK running a deep cross, Lockett running a comeback, Russell (Wilson) getting outside the pocket. It’s going to be a very dynamic offense.”
After four seasons at Stanford, Wedington joined his hometown NFL team to see if he can make the roster out of training camp. Bumpus said he saw promise from the 6-foot, 204-pound native of Lake Tapps.
“The thing about Wedington is when the ball is in his hands, he’s explosive. He’s special. And you look at the way he’s built. ‘Is he a running back? Is he is a receiver?’ He looks like he can tackle somebody,” Bumpus said. “His job is to make himself as valuable as possible, and how does he do that? You stay on every special team, you take advantage of every opportunity given to you.”
Wedington’s ability to make plays on special teams will be what ultimately decides if he plays for the Seahawks this year, according to Bumpus.
“He didn’t drop a football, looked fast, looked confident, but I kinda step back and take it with a grain of salt because I’m also like alright, well, D.J. (Reed) is not out there, Jamal (Adams) is not out there. So they’re doing what they’re supposed to do against the level of competition that I saw this weekend, but again, Weddington is a guy that if he can get on special teams, he might be on this roster.”
You can hear Bumpus’ full thoughts on Seahawks rookie minicamp, including notes on 2020 second-round pick Darrell Taylor, in the podcast at this link or in the player below. The segment begins just before the 26-minute mark.