Bumpus: WR Dee Eskridge ‘has to add value’ to Seahawks in 2023

Apr 7, 2023, 3:51 PM

Seattle Seahawks Dee Eskridge...

Dee Eskridge runs the ball after a catch against the 49ers. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks will enter the 2023 season feeling good after a 9-8 season last year and a rookie class that was arguably the league’s best prepared to come back for Year 2. But not everyone will be entering the year on a high note.

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“This is gonna be my last time making a plea for this guy,” former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus said during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports. “… I think if he’s healthy, he can do something.”

That Seahawks player? Wide receiver Dee Eskridge.

Eskridge, 26, was the Seahawks’ second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and was seen as a key part of Seattle’s offense.

Unfortunately, Eskridge has yet to find his footing for the Seahawks on offense.

The smaller – 5 foot 9 – receiver has appeared in 20 games over the last two seasons, catching 17 of 33 targets for 122 yards and one score.

And while the idea was for Eskridge to become a No. 3 receiving option for the Seahawks, he’s played less than a third of Seattle’s offensive snaps each of the last two seasons.

“This is it. Honestly, this is it,” Bumpus said of Eskridge in 2023. “He has to add value to the team.”

Bumpus outlined how Eskridge can do just that.

“How is he going to do that? If he has 25 to 30 receptions, if he has a couple big (kick or punt) returns, if he has three to four jet sweeps where he breaks them. He just has to show his full potential,” he said. “… I just see something in this dude.”

Eskridge has dealt with his share of injuries in his NFL career, namely a very serious concussion in his first game in 2021 and then a hand injury midway through 2022.

“The thing that I see that stops him the most is just snaps. You need snaps in this league to feel it, to understand it and to understand your role,” Bumpus said. “And because he hasn’t been healthy, he hasn’t gotten a lot of those.”

When looking at Eskridge, Bumpus sees a similarity to a young player on the Seattle Mariners.

“There comes a point in people’s careers to where you have your last straw. I’m looking at him like we do Jarred Kelenic even though I feel like Kelenic’s ceiling is a bit higher than Dee Eskridge’s,” Bumpus said. “But their situations are the same to where they’ve got to do something this year or things are gonna change for them.”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s show at this link or in the player below.

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