Steelers mock draft: Offense becomes an early theme
By Tommy Jaggi
Round 2 (pick 56): D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
Don’t knock this pick until you’ve seen him in action. D’Wayne Eskridge may a redshirt senior from Western Michigan, but this kid has plenty of talent and loads of speed. However, despite his impressive athletic traits, he certainly isn’t lacking in Physicality. Eskridge is capable of playing on the outside or in the slot and he averaged over 20 yards per reception in each of the past three seasons – thanks to his speed and shiftiness after the catch.
At 5’9” and 189 pounds, Eskridge is shorter than ideal but has plenty of bulk and muscle mass to take a beating across the middle. JuJu Smith-Schuster is very likely on his way out this offseason, and Eskridge could offer much more athleticism in the middle of the offense to take his place.
Round 3 (pick 87): Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
I know I just had the Steelers taking a receiver in the second round, but you can’t convince me that they won’t double up on skill players early in the draft. Though they may like one of those players to be a tight end, the value just wasn’t there. Instead, we know the emphasis they want to place on the run game this offseason and Kenneth Gainwell makes a lot of sense.
Gainwell resembles a lot of the other Memphis running backs that have recently been drafted, as shades of Tony Pollard, Darrell Henderson, and Antonio Gibson can be seen in his game. Apparently, Memphis has a type, but all three are solid football players. Gainwell will be a versatile chess piece who can run outside the tackles and catch the ball with the best of them.