The Philadelphia Eagles could benefit from adding a speed threat to their wide receiver group.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, one potential trade that should be pursued before the start of the 2023 season is the Eagles acquiring Seattle Seahawks receiver Dee Eskridge. The former second-round draft pick is a cut candidate for the Seahawks considering his upcoming six-game suspension and due to his lack of production over the first two seasons of his career.
However, Eskridge’s speed — he ran a 4.40 yard dash at Western Michigan’s pro day — is something that the Eagles could really utilize, according to Ballentine.
“DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown obviously dominate the receiving targets, but Quez Watkins has been underwhelming and Olamide Zaccheaus isn’t really a speed threat,” writes Ballentine. “The Eagles can afford to bring Eskridge along slowly and potentially turn him into something by the time the playoffs roll around.”
Why Seahawks Will Likely Move on From Dee Eskridge
The 26-year-old Eskridge is a former second-round draft pick has produced very little over the course of his first two seasons, catching just 17 passes for 122 receiving yards and one touchdown. In fact, Eskridge has yet to start a single game despite Seattle lacking a viable slot receiver over the course of his first two seasons, with Freddie Swain and Marquise Goodwin playing the role for the Seahawks.
Ballentine argues that the Seahawks’ selection of Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an indication that Seattle is moving on from Eskridge. He also mentions that it would only require a late Day 3 pick — maybe a seventh-round draft pick — to acquire Eskridge.
“The Seahawks’ decision to draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba this year should be the final indication that they’ve given up on Eskridge,” writes Ballentine. “Even getting back a late Day 3 pick would allow them to move on and get something in return.”
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report previously mentioned Eskridge as a cut candidate in favor of undrafted receiver Jake Bobo.
“Parting with Eskridge would help make room for a player who has flashed more potential, like undrafted rookie Jake Bobo,” writes Knox. “In two preseason games, the former UCLA and Duke receiver has caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.”
Why Eagles Could Utilize Dee Eskridge
The Eagles have a number of receivers with experience, with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith leading the way. Meanwhile, holdover Quez Watkins — who started during the 2021 season — and free agent signee Olamide Zaccheaus are competing for the slot receiver position. However, Watkins disappointed in the slot role last season when Brown was brought in to be the team’s No. 1 receiver. It’s a big reason why Philadelphia brought in Zaccheaus to bring out the best in Watkins.
Watkins posted just 33 receptions for 354 receiving yards (10.7 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. The production was a decline from the previous season when he posted 43 receptions for 647 receiving yards (15.0 yards per reception) as Philadelphia’s No. 2 wideout.
It’s also worth noting that Watkins has dealt with injuries during training camp and the preseason.
If Eskridge can prove to be viable as a receiver, he could be an upgrade over Watkins and Zaccheaus due to his ability to contribute on special teams. He has served as a kickoff returner for Seattle, posting nine kickoff returns. Furthermore, he was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year in college after returning 16 kickoffs for 467 yards (29.1 yards per return) during the 2020 season.
If the Eagles are looking for another receiver, Eskridge could be a potential sleeper option.