BROCK AND SALK

Huard: The most likely breakout player for the Seahawks in 2023

Jul 8, 2023, 8:52 AM

Seattle Seahawks Dee Eskridge...

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

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Every year, there seems to be a surprise breakout player on the Seattle Seahawks.

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Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard shared his list from the last six seasons, which were rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen in 2022, edge rusher Darrell Taylor in 2021, wide receiver David Moore in 2020, tight end Jacob Hollister in 2019, running back Chris Carson in 2018 and nickel cornerback Justin Coleman back in 2017.

Not a bad list!

“Every single year, players do emerge. They do pop,” Huard said.

So who will be joining those players as this season’s breakout Seahawks player? Huard tackled that during Thursday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

“I want it to be a defender. This team needs it to be a defender,” Huard said. “This team needs a Derick Hall to have a rookie year and put together six, seven or eight sacks. Or on the interior you get such a pleasant surprise out of one of your interior pieces who just you think of as a role player and then oh my gosh, all of a sudden this guy’s a difference-maker.”

While Huard is hoping a Seahawks defender is the team’s breakout player, he thinks it’ll ultimately be a player on offense.

“If I had to bet some money … I think it’s Dee Eskridge,” Huard said.

Eskridge, a receiver, is entering his third NFL season and he has yet to live up to his draft status as a second-round pick in 2021.

In 20 career games, Eskridge has just 17 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. He’s barely played both due to injury and also because other receivers have outperformed him.

The pressure is on Eskridge this year as Seattle returns 2022 rookie Dareke Young and the Seahawks also took  Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round of this April’s draft.

“I think the former second-rounder  has the kind of athleticism, has the kind of clay to mold that if the head can be on straight, if he can stay healthy (he can perform),” Huard said. “… And Dee Eskridge if he doesn’t find it, if he doesn’t put it together, he’s going to be looking at himself as one of those (what could have been players). I like that incentive. I’m keeping an eye closely on Dee Eskridge this preseason.”

Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Huard: The most likely breakout player for the Seahawks in 2023