JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: One thing may hold top Seahawks pick D’Wayne Eskridge back

Jul 8, 2021, 12:38 PM
Seahawks D'Wayne Eskridge...
D'Wayne Eskridge has dealt with a toe injury this offseason. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire - Getty)
(Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire - Getty)

The Seattle Seahawks have been unlucky in recent years when it comes to some of their top draft picks staying healthy.

Bumpus: Hawks TE Gerald Everett to ‘flash’ in ways unseen in some time

In 2019, first-round pick L.J. Collier’s career got off to a slow start as he missed five game and started none after the defensive lineman injured his ankle in training camp.

A year before, running back Rashaad Penny, Seattle’s first-round selection in 2018, missed most of training camp with a hand injury and had a disappointing rookie season of his own.

Defensive end Darrell Taylor, a second-round pick in 2020, still hasn’t played in an NFL game due to his recovery from leg surgery following his final college game.

And then there’s Malik McDowell, Seattle’s top pick in 2017, who never appeared in a game for the Seahawks following an ATV accident.

Now in 2021, the Seahawks’ top rookie is wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, who Seattle selected in the second round out of Western Michigan. He’s both speedy and strong, leading many to believe he could contribute right away for the Hawks.

Football 101: What D’Wayne Eskridge will add to the Seahawks’ offense

Except there’s one problem that’s all too familiar for Seattle, and it’s that Eskridge is dealing with a toe injury that limited him in OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

“As I look at D’Wayne Eskridge, the biggest question mark for him at this point in time is not how he’s going to be able to handle the playbook, not how he’s going to be able to catch the football, run routes – the role that he will have within this offense,” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps said Wednesday. “It’s going to be, can he be healthy?”

Eskridge joins the Seahawks with a big opportunity in front of him, as Seattle’s No. 3 receiver spot behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett is open following David Moore’s departure in free agency. But that also means Seattle can ill afford another situation like it had with Collier and Penny where Eskridge is unable to get up to speed in training camp due to injury.

“He missed out on some valuable reps and opportunities with the team and with Russell Wilson in OTAs and minicamp,” Heaps said. “That is the one thing I think every Seahawks fan should be worried about when it comes to D’Wayne Eskridge. Can he recover from his injury that he had, and can it be something that he puts behind him and doesn’t creep back into the picture when it comes to training camp, preseason? Because I believe that D’Wayne Eskridge has the ability to be a true impact player for this team this year.”

You can hear Heaps’ full thoughts and more on the Seahawks in the Four Down Territory segment from Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Clayton: Not much risk if Seahawks give Josh Gordon another chance

Jake and Stacy

Seahawks Gerald Everett...
Jake Heaps

Heaps: How Seahawks can — and why they need to — get TEs more involved

In his latest Chalk Talk video breakdown, Jake Heaps looks at the encouraging use of tight ends by the Seahawks against the Steelers.
3 days ago
Seahawks RB Alex Collins...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: Seahawks ‘don’t really have a choice’ but to be a run-first team

Whether the Seahawks want to be a run-first offense or not, Jake Heaps explains why they don't really have any choice but to try right now.
4 days ago
Seahawks Tre Brown...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: Have the Seahawks found the answer at CB in rookie Tre Brown?

How encouraging was the play of rookie cornerback Tre Brown for the Seahawks in his first ever NFL game? Jake Heaps breaks it down.
5 days ago
Seahawks Alex Collins...
Stacy Rost

Rost: The good, the bad and the ugly for 2-4 Seahawks

Stacy Rost puts the Seahawks' loss and 2-4 record into perspective, looking at Tre Brown's strong debut, the offense's slow start and more.
6 days ago
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett...
Brandon Gustafson

Tyler Lockett on playing with Seahawks under Geno Smith, where offense must grow

Star Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett joined The Huddle on 710 ESPN Seattle to break down what QB Geno Smith brings to the table.
8 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy shares why Mitch Haniger's message from his column in The Players' Tribune makes him excited about the Mariners.
10 days ago
Heaps: One thing may hold top Seahawks pick D’Wayne Eskridge back