Finding Broncos: Durell Eskridge, FS

In this new series, MHH Analyst Erick Trickel spotlights draft prospects. He will break down their pros and cons, along with how they would or wouldn’t fit with the Denver Broncos.

Durell Eskridge, Safety, Syracuse

Measurements:

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 208 pounds

Arm length: 32-3/8 inches

Hands: 9-5/8 inch

NFL Combine results:

40-yard Dash: 4.63

10-yd Split: 1.50

3 Cone Drill: 4.26

Shuttle Run: 7.09

Vertical Jump: 31 inches

Broad Jump: 9-foot-9 inches

Bench Press (225 lbs): DNP

Pro Day results: N/A (Pro Day is April 7th)

College stats:

2014: 68 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD, 3 PD

2013: 78 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 4 INT, 1 PD, 1 FF

2012: 36 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 3 PD, 1 FF

Pros

Eskridge is a tall, long and well-built prospect, with a style of game play that reflects his size. He has good instincts to play the safety position in the NFL and a high football IQ, which he uses to quickly dissect plays and get into good position.

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While he isn’t the most athletic player, he has adequate athleticism to get by in the NFL. He knows how to skate through traffic to get to the ball carrier, instead of having to take on blocks and disengage.

Eskridge excels at using leverage and has great body control. He has good range, though not great range. He has some of the best ball tracking skills in this safety draft class. He isn’t afraid to get involved in a group tackle. He's aggressive, but rarely over-aggressive.

Cons

He doesn’t have the speed, range or athleticism to play a centerfield role. He can be too complacent in his positioning and tends to wait before breaking on the ball on a pass. He can’t play in the box because he ends up engaged and disappears from the play.

He lowers his head too often when making a tackle. There are some minor injury concerns, mainly coming from multiple injuries to his hands. He needs to spend time working on his angles.

He has some room on his frame to add more bulk but he needs to play with more confidence in his game and trust himself and his teammates.

Fit With The Denver Broncos

The Broncos let starting free safety Rahim Moore walk in free agency. They also look to be letting Quinton Carter walk, as well. With newly-signed Darian Stewart on-roster, the Broncos have only three true safeties, with T.J. Ward and David Bruton being the other two.

There also have been reports that the Broncos may look to move either Bradley Roby or Kayvon Webster to safety as well. Either way, the depth of pure safeties is weak. This is where Eskridge comes in.

Eskridge would be limited to free safety for the Broncos, which hurts the chances Denver would look his way. He is limited to free safety, due to his inability to consistently perform in the box. Eskridge would be a short project for the Broncos, while seeing limited action as part of the safety rotation.

In fact, his rookie year would likely see him limited to special teams, which Denver could use some help with, as well. Eskridge has all the pieces, he just needs some time to get them put together by a pro coaching staff. With a frame to add more bulk, he could end up being one of those bigger-bodied free safeties (like Stewart) that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes to utilize.

Durell Eskridge would not fill the need for strong safety depth, which is what is needed the most. However, Eskridge carries a fourth round grade and for a short-term project, would still be a nice pickup for the Broncos, even if he only contributes on special teams his rookie year.

Drafting him would be a low risk move that can potentially have a high reward. Eskridge has a really high ceiling, he just needs time and development to put it all together. If he does, watch out.

Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook.

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