After last season’s virtual draft, Cleveland is playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each player Seattle has selected will fit.
Round 2, No. 56 overall: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
My take: For all the surprises the Seahawks tend to pull off early in the draft, Eskridge wasn’t much of one. A third receiver is a need for Seattle and Eskridge carries obvious appeal with his speed and big-play ability. He’s small (5-foot-9, 190 pounds) but ran a 4.39 40 and averaged around 19 yards per catch over five college seasons. His return ability might have added to his value in the Seahawks’ eyes as they’ve tried to take some of those duties off Tyler Lockett‘s plate. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Eskridge averaged 213 all-purpose yards per game in 2020, second in the FBS, and was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. Lockett, DK Metcalf and Eskridge might give the Seahawks the fastest trio of receivers in the NFL, assuming Eskridge beats out Freddie Swain for the No. 3 job. Russell Wilson will like that speed, even if the Eskridge pick does nothing to help his pass-protection. Eskridge could be an intriguing option for gadget plays in new coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense. The Seahawks have long gone heavy on three-receiver sets, as did the Rams when Waldron was there. So investing this type of pick in another receiver makes sense even if Seattle already has one of the league’s top duos in Lockett and Metcalf. One drawback with Eskridge is his age: he’s 24 years old.
What’s next: The Seahawks entered this draft with a league-low three picks, leading to a widely-held assumption that they would trade back from 56 to add more selections. But staying put there and taking Eskridge means general manager John Schneider and Co. are done on Day 2 (barring a trade into Round 3) and won’t be scheduled to pick again until the fourth round at No. 129. Their other pick is in the seventh round (No. 250). Only making three picks would be a massive departure for a team that has averaged more than 9.5 picks since 2010 (second-most in the NFL) and hasn’t picked fewer than eight players in any of those 11 drafts. But this is not a normal year and not a particularly strong draft, so perhaps Seattle will have less incentive to add to its league-low pick total.