If you’re wondering whether the Green Bay Packers might actually draft a wide receiver this year, perhaps we now have a clue into their thinking.
A player to watch will be Western Michigan’s D’Wayne Eskridge.
According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the Packers are “high on” Eskridge and are among a few teams who “may target him early on Day 2”. Pauline noted that Eskridge is rising up draft boards, especially after impressing at the Senior Bowl.
Of course, it’s always important to take any draft rumors with a pinch of salt, but Pauline has been trustworthy reporter over the years with good insight into the Packers, so it’s certainly possible.
In 2020, Eskridge had his best season at Western Michigan, catching 33 passes for 768 yards and eight touchdowns, while averaging 23.3 yards per reception. And he did that in only six games. That’s 128 receiving yards and 1.33 touchdowns per game.
What else should excite the Packers is that he returned kicks last year. On 17 returns, Eskridge averaged 27.5 yards and took one back for a touchdown. It’s feels like it’s been about three decades since the Packers last scored a return touchdown but they’ve given up plenty in recent years.
Eskridge has somewhat slipped under the radar, until now perhaps, but he has the talent to make an impact at the next level. He’d suit Matt LaFleur’s offense.
What will help his draft stock is his performance at the Senior Bowl. To win in one-on-one situations there forces teams to take notice.
Sayre Bedinger of NFL Mocks wrote earlier this offseason that Eskridge’s “ability to separate was apparent all throughout this past season but was showcased at the 2021 Senior Bowl”.
The question now is just how far Eskridge will rise up draft boards, whether he’ll be there when the Packers hit the clock in the second round and, most importantly, whether they will select him if he’s there.
With his talent and impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, paired with rumored interest from the Packers, Eskridge will be a player to watch in next week’s draft.