Seeing rookies struggle with injuries in the preseason is a perpetually disappointing and frustrating reality — for fans, coaches, and players alike. For this reason, seeing rookie Dee Eskridge make his debut for the Seahawks was a welcome sight after missing the first two preseason contests with a foot injury. And what a debut it was.
Dee Eskridge's first touch on a fly sweep pic.twitter.com/HdbE36QBLE— hawkschronicle (@hawkschronicle) August 29, 2021
Following the game, Carroll had a plethora of positive comments for the rookie, shedding some light on what they expected from him coming out of college.
"He looks like the guy we had hoped that we'd get when we picked him and we're thrilled about it," Pete Carroll said. "He's got a lot of work to do to catch up and to play first-flight football in a real game and all." https://t.co/LWnQw8LtD4— Stan 'the boy' Taylor (@GoodGuyAtSports) August 29, 2021
While a couple touches is a hardly a representative sample size, Eskridge nonetheless demonstrated the sub-4.40 game speed and elusiveness that made him such an exciting player when the Seahawks selected him with their first pick in this year’s draft at 56th overall. In the post game presser, Dee had some words to say about his performance, including sharing his secret technique that allows the fly sweep to be his “specialty.”
Here was Dee Eskridge on his preseason debut. He took a fly sweep for 9 yards and had a 19-yard catch. pic.twitter.com/UwgaoyDueU— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) August 29, 2021
He indicated that he expects this to be a significant part of his role with the team, which of course continues to add another layer of excitement to seeing the Seahawks field their first team offense under first year coordinator Shane Waldron. In addition to this, Dee also had an opportunity to run some routes and showcase his skills as a pass catcher, making an impressive grab on a high throw that netted 19 yards and a first down.
With the team set to head into Indianapolis two weeks from today, the third wide receiver spot on the depth chart is still a bit nebulous, as Eskridge is likely competing primarily with second year player Freddie Swain. Both will get their opportunities, but Dee will be exceptionally difficult to keep on the sidelines if he continues to look like a veritable spark plug for an offense that already features stalwart superstars in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Considering that this was literally his first performance as a pro, the already high ceiling seems to be only getting higher for Eskridge, as he may be building hype at just the right time. I look forward to seeing the speedster and former Western Michigan/MAC standout take the turf this season as opposing defensive backs struggle in vain to cover one of the most explosive receiving corps in the league.