*WR grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

*WR-B stands for "Big-WR," a classification we use to separate the more physical, downfield/over-the-top, heavy-red-zone-threat-type WRs. Our WR-S/"Small-WRs" are profiled by our computer more as slot and/or possession-type WRs who are typically less physical and rely more on speed/agility to operate underneath the defense and/or use big speed to get open deep...they are not used as weapons in the red zone as much. 


Yes, it is possible D’Wayne (Dee) Eskridge is the best WR prospect in the NFL Draft. Let’s just lay that on the table.

I’ve scouted about 10+ WR prospects full scale so far, and I’ve preview scouted most of the top 20-30 consensus names. And at this stage, I’m willing to put Eskridge in the mix for ‘top guy’ honors.

So far, I think the three best WR prospects I’ve studied are…

DeVonta Smith – because he’s just sensational at getting open and catching the ball. There is the looming risk of him being too thin framed/an injury concern (which I think is overblown, but a legit topic).

Rondale Moore – nifty slot WR type who is as good after the catch as any smaller slot WR that I’ve ever scouted.

And then there is Eskridge…the best feet of any 2021 WR I’ve seen so far. From a standstill at the snap to his initial movement – Eskridge is an ace. He can move/shift his feet so quickly that he’s almost uncoverable off the snap. He also has high-end speed/acceleration in the open field.

Comparing Eskridge to Rondale Moore is apples and orange. Totally different styles – that’s a style debate we can have later. But watching Eskridge in detail, on tape forced me to pull up the DeVonta Smith tape again to compare the movement skills right alongside – and Eskridge has Smith beat in that area. I thought Smith might have the best ‘gliding’/effortless movement skills of the 2021 WR group…Eskridge is better to my scouting eye, and that is critical in translating these guys to the pros.  

Eskridge is part of the new wave of WR prospects…not giant-sized monsters, but mid-sized guys with feet so fast they are nearly impossible to cover off the snap – and with the emerging up-tempo, heavy throwing offenses, guys like Eskridge are a hot commodity as reliable hands, get open quickly guys that make life hell for defenders…IF these WRs are paired with a good+ QB/passing game.

Eskridge took an unusual path to high prospect status…

Three kinda quiet seasons at Western Michigan off the bat (2016-2018). A few blips/break out performance games but no consistent heavy output…just spikes and flashes, but no domination. Apparently, the coaches thought he was so much of a ‘yawn’ as a receiver they moved him to cornerback in 2019 where he was playing well as a starter right away… before starting to play both ways (WR and CB)…but then broke his collarbone in the 4th game of the season and was gone for the rest of 2019.

In 2020, Eskridge moved back to full time WR and also took up kick returns for the first time. 2020 was the breakout – leading the MAC in receiving yards, receiving TDs, #2 in kick return average (with a TD) and was 4th in all the NCAA in yards per catch (23.3).

The thing with 2020 was – Eskridge could’ve doubled his numbers had WMU been interested in throwing the ball more. Here they’re sitting with this ace WR and all they wanted to do was run the ball more, with just some light passing. Had Eskridge played for Lane Kiffin in the Ole Miss offense in 2020, Eskridge would’ve outdone Elijah Moore’s giant output…and would’ve been an easy 1st-round prospect. Instead, Eskridge was half-buried in the dull Western Michigan offense.

Eskridge still might be a 1st-round pick… He was a ‘sleeper’ WR going into the 2021 Senior Bowl week but emerged as the buzz WR of the week. I watched a ton of Senior Bowl practice live and back again on tape, and, though Eskridge was really good at the Senior Bowl, I wasn’t bowled over by his work in Mobile. I had already previewed Eskridge as possibly the top WR prospect there and he bailed on the Senior Bowl after two days because he had nothing left to prove. The media got more onboard with him after the Senior Bowl. After I studied his tape from 2018-2020 in more detail, I got fully on board the vibe that he might be not just a ‘sleeper’ but one of the best WRs in the 2021 class.

It’s all about the feet and acceleration with Eskridge…it’s high end. It showed in the MAC and it showed at the Senior Bowl. But there are a few other scouting tidbits to consider…

 -- Eskridge is comfortable as a cornerback/defender, which brings up three thoughts…

a) He is tougher than the typical top WR prospect.

b) He offers teams flexibility for an emergency DB…and that’s worth a scouting grade bump of some kind.

c) He is a willing special teams guy on returns and defense…which will attract the NFL to him more (but also raises a fear he will get wasted there while other drafted WRs get kept in protective bubble wrap because they are so special).

 -- Eskridge had the 2019 injury, had a redshirt…played five college seasons…so, he is an older WR prospect at 24.1 years old on draft day. Most top WR names are 20-22 years old…for those into the age thing.

 -- Was ‘Mr. Indiana’ in Track & Field in high school. His movement skills were honed and groomed in track. His track background probably means he’ll ace his upcoming Pro Day.

Eskridge is not the perfect WR prospect, but he has a ton of natural gifts…and in this new age of WR prospect/passing games, Eskridge might be the best of the bunch – especially for an indoor/dome, up-tempo passing game squad.


D’Wayne Eskridge, Through the Lens of Our WR Scouting Algorithm:

 -- 110+ receiving yards in a game in five of 6 games played in 2020 season. 

 -- Distance of his 2020 TDs: 5, 76, 47, 33, 72, 85, 7, 24 yards…the breakaway speed is real. He gets open quickly and makes plays, but he also can burn coverage deep and/or make catches and just pull away from defenders for long scores. 

 -- Two carries in 2020 season…for 27 and 16 yards. Again, a sign of how inept/asleep WMU was to how they could exploit Eskridge. Other college coaches would have had Eskridge taking 2-3 carries a game in this new era. 

Career rushing: 12 carries for 116 yards (9.7 ypc). 

 -- One of his starts at CB, 2019 vs. Michigan State…4 tackles, 3 PDs. His first CB start (vs. Monmouth): 8 tackles, 1 PD. 

Pro Day Projections:

Low 4.4s 40-time, probably 4.3s for Pro Day ‘variance’. If he runs a three-cone, he should be well below 7.0…and a 38”+ vertical and possible 11’+ broad jump are on the table. 

Got official measurements at the Senior Bowl: 5’9.1”/190, 9” hands, 30.1” arms.

The Historical WR Prospects to Whom D’Wayne Eskridge Most Compares Within Our System:

In my preview scouting, I instantly thought of Brandin Cooks as the Eskridge comp…and the computer agrees. Two things about trying to compare Eskridge and Cooks…

1) Cooks played in an era before/just as the up-tempo WR who took bubble screens, handoffs, pop passes had arrived. Cooks was just an ahead of his time athlete who was used and raised his whole life as a vertical/deep ball guy who was faster and better than most of his college coverage (and then thrived in the pros right away).

2) Eskridge has many of Cooks’ traits but was groomed in the new era, so Eskridge is more dangerous and more well-rounded – but also NOT as ahead of his time as Cooks was.

I like some of the Darnell Mooney comps for Eskridge too…another WR who came to my mind early on watching Eskridge – the fast feet and decent WR skills, not just ‘fast guy’. Mooney has better WR hands/instincts.


WR Score

Draft Yr







Power Strngth Metric

Speed Agility Metric

Hands Metric





W. Michigan











Oregon State











U Mass











So Carolina











Kansas State







*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a Small-WR prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of a Small-WR going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL Small-WR.

All of the WR ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Overall WR score = A combination of several on-field performance measures, including refinement for strength of opponents faced. Mixed with all the physical measurement metrics, rated historically in our database.

“Power-Strength” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical-size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Speed-Agility” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Hands” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance, and overall this projects the combination of performance and physical data for the next level.

2021 NFL Draft Outlook:

Eskridge draft projections are all over. You can find him top 50 for some…top 100 for others…outside the top 100 for too many. I think Eskridge made enough of a name at the Senior Bowl to be an easy top 100 consensus guy today…but his Pro Day times/drills might launch him (with the Senior Bowl buzz) to the top 50 for most…and for some, possibly late-1st-round.

In the end, I’ll guess top 50/2nd-round.

If I were an NFL GM, Eskridge is the kind of prospect I’d have to stop and consider how much I want to pay for. I want him, for sure. I get a weaponized WR talent for this era (if my team is a dome team) with the added benefit of CB skills and return game ace. Eskridge is desirable…but also there are guys like him pouring into the pros from college more and more. He’s not so unique that I have to change my draft board around to get him – but I do want him. If I GM’d a dome team and needed a slot WR immediately and Eskridge was a 2nd/3rd-round guy…I’d be scheming/looking at making the pick.

If I were the GM for Chicago, the Jets, etc., I’d rather have a Rondale Moore styled WR…if I was paying up for one.

NFL Outlook:   

All depends upon where Eskridge lands. He’ll be good/fast anywhere…but better/faster in a dome/on turf/in ideal conditions. 

Eskridge will be as good as the offense and surroundings he lands with. He could be buried for a year or two…or he could be shoved right in as a Week 1 starter in 2021 and have an excellent rookie splash. It all depends on situation here…like for almost every rookie WR.