There is no doubt that Durell Eskridge has talent, a two year starter at a good program like Syracuse is something he can br proud of, but will he make it in the NFL? Eskridge finished the 2014 season with 68 tackles, 4 pass deflections and an interception, one year after he recorded 78 tackles and 4 interceptions as a sophomore.
I got the chance to watch Eskridge a number of times last year and always came away impressed with his tackling ability, his movement downhill, his ability to play the run and prevent big plays behind him. However he was a little late to the ball on occasions, he took some time getting out of breaks and his instincts were poor, he saw the play and then he reacted to it, this stopped him giving up big plays but didn't stop teams completing short play after short play.
Before the draft occurred an NFL scout said that Eskridge should have stayed another year and that's absolutely right. Had he stayed another year, improved his instincts and anticipation, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be a draft selection. He thought he would be a 4th round pick, the NFL advisory board thought he would be a 5th round selection and in the end he was an undrafted player.
I don't blame Durell for wanting to start his professional career early. He bounced around as a child, sleeping anywhere they could find a bed and for stretches he along with his family were homeless, He always said that the main goal for him was to provide for his family and make sure his mother was resting easy with her feet up as she navigates through her 60's. He's earned himself a contract with the Jets, but that's just the start.
Eskrdige is a raw prospect, but he has plenty of talent and with the depth at the safety position he should be in a fine place to push for an active roster spot and failing that, a practice squad place. Although he saw the majority of his time at free safety in Syracuse's system, he could comfortably slot into a strong safety role with his toughness and durability.
Currently the Jets have Antonio Allen, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Rontex Miles. Of all of those safeties, only Eskridge is an out and out free safety. Obviously Allen can be there but I can't sit here and say he's better suited in coverage than he is up at the line, and Gilchrist will see a lot of time there this season, It may be that Eskridge is more suited to playing the strong position as well, his average athleticism and speed would suggest as much.
I personally don't think Eskridge will make the final 53, but I do think he'll find his way to the practice squad and as a result he'll get his chance throughout the season, it's up to him to take it.