Heaps: Dee Eskridge will be Seahawks No. 3 receiver, contribute right away
The Seahawks used their second-round draft pick this year on speedy receiver Dee Eskridge, who has been slowed down this training camp by an injured toe. He began practicing this week, however, and it’s safe to say that the Western Michigan product has turned some heads with his play in practice.
He certainly grabbed the attention of first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
“It’s great to have him back out there. It’s great to see the pep in his step once he’s out there back on the grass,” Waldron told reporters Wednesday. “He’s running, looks fast, he’s got his aggressive hands and is really getting a chance to get his feet underneath him. He’s doing more and more every day. It’s great to see him out there and I can’t wait to see him keep growing and growing as he’s getting more and more opportunities the last couple of days.”
Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps was at the Seahawks’ practice Wednesday as well, and he like Waldron and many others came away very impressed with Eskridge’s play. Heaps was so impressed that he thinks Eskridge will open the year as the Seahawks’ No. 3 receiver on the depth chart missing a lot of time this offseason and not appearing in Seattle’s first two preseason games.
“The more and more opportunities he’s gotten has been fantastic,” Heaps said on Thursday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle. “They definitely slowly built him in to that workload, but yesterday (Wednesday), it was a highlight of everything he can do.”
It’s unclear if the Seahawks want to use Eskridge primarily on the outside or as a slot receiver, but Heaps thought Eskridge showed he can do either.
“You talk about him outside at the receiver position running legitimate receiver routes, he did a fantastic job of that,” Heaps said. “He was extremely smooth in and out of his breaks (with) great hands, and my favorite part was just him showing off his speed.”
One play in particular stood out to Heaps on Wednesday.
“The Seahawks’ deep, traditional play-action pass (with) Russell Wilson dropping back, we usually see Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf taking the top off the defense. Well, Dee Eskridge was able to get on the toes of safety Aashari Crosswell and it wasn’t even fair,” he said. “He just flew right past him, went to the pylon on the opposite side of the field, and Russell Wilson throws a dime right in front of him. This is the type of stuff that I love seeing from Dee Eskridge.”
Eskridge now has roughly two weeks until the Seahawks’ Week 1 opener on the road against the Indianapolis Colts, and Heaps firmly expects him to be right behind Lockett and Metcalf on the depth chart as long as he stays healthy.
“I have zero doubt that if Dee Eskridge can stay healthy and not have any setbacks, he will be the No. 3 receiver and he will make significant contributions,” he said. “What I saw from him (Wednesday) is this is a guy that can be a legitimate difference maker – not a gadget guy, but a legitimate difference-maker – at the receiver position and help this offense be that much more dynamic with all the other weapons that they have. I was really excited about what I saw from Dee Eskridge.”
Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.