The Seahawks added a premium player to their receiving corps by selecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft.
But the club also has a high pick from two years ago that quarterback Geno Smith feels is ready to break out in 2023.
Seattle chose Dee Eskridge with the 56th overall pick out of Western Michigan in 2021. Injuries have limited him to 10 games in each of his first two seasons. But on the first day of OTAs, Smith spoke highly of Eskridge’s potential for the upcoming year.
“Dee is going to do some things,” Smith said, via Curtis Crabtree of FOX 13 Seattle. “He’s getting ready to do many things. I know things have started slow for him but doesn’t matter.
“He is a physical specimen. He’s got everything it takes. He’s studying his butt off. I’ve been with him every single day and we are watching extra film and he looks to be really taking that next step.”
Smith added that he and Eskridge will train together in Florida after the Seahawks’ offseason program ends.
“I really see the growth in his mindset and his mentality. He wants it,” Smith said. “He’s always wanted it and he’s always had that ability, but obviously he’s had some setbacks but I can see just in his mental makeup that he’s ready to take that next step and it’s my job to help him and that’s why I want to be there with him.
“He’s working his butt off. He’s super explosive out here on the field. He’s one of the more explosive guys I’ve ever seen. If we can get him where I think he’ll be, I think it will help us out a lot.”
In 20 career games, Eskridge has 17 catches for 122 yards with one touchdown. He also has six carries for 69 yards and has averaged 22.7 yards on nine kick returns. Last season, Eskridge played 168 offensive snaps and recorded seven catches for 58 yards.