More on Andre Dillard

Posted: April 26th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on More on Andre Dillard

The Eagles took OT Andre Dillard with the 22nd pick. Let’s start off by talking about Dillard.

He was my top rated OL. I didn’t watch a ton of his tape because I could see how good he was and knew there was no way he was getting anywhere close to Philly. You saw his footwork in games, performance in the Senior Bowl and then his Combine workout and it was all good. Stud prospect.

So why did he fall? I thought the Bengals might take him at 11, but they preferred Jonah Williams. I thought Carolina at 16 or certainly Minnesota at 18 would take him. The Packers at 21 made some sense. Instead, these teams looked elsewhere and passed on Dillard.

While Dillard was my top OL prospect, he wasn’t physically dominant. Some teams prefer the OT that can physically overwhelm the guy across from them. Dillard just isn’t that kind of player.

Howie Roseman said the Eagles had a Top 10 grade on Dillard. That kind of surprised me because I’ve always thought the Eagles were one of those teams that loved big, powerful OL. I have always liked athletic guys who are natural pass blockers…what Dillard is. Guys his size with great feet are not easy to find.

Put on the game tape and you’ll be impressed by Dillard. He is a great pass protector. He mixes up his sets, sometimes moving backward and other times firing aggressively into the rusher. He’s smart to mix up his looks so it keeps rushers off balance. Dillard has quick feet and great agility. He’s also smooth and patient. He can mirror the rusher and keeps his feet quiet. That keeps him from getting off balance or having to lunge. Natural knee-bender. Plays with a good base. Very good with his hands. Can lock onto a rusher and control him. Anchors well.

Some people are critical of his run blocking. That needs work, but understand it isn’t like this guy can’t do it or is awful. Washington State doesn’t do a lot of power running. Dillard is an effective run blocker. He can seal. He can down block. There are plays when he sinks his pads and gets into the DL and controls him. The potential is there. Dillard needs reps and coaching. This isn’t like trying to teach a guy to have good feet. You do or you don’t. Run blocking can absolutely be developed.

One more reason to like this pick…Jeff Stoutland loved Dillard and really wanted him. It makes a world of difference when coaches embrace rookies and want to work with them.

What does this mean for the OL? Dillard doesn’t have to play in 2019. He can focus on developing. The Eagles have good starting OTs, plus Big V and Jordan Mailata. If the coaches trust Dillard can contribute this year, they could try to trade Big V. This will be a contract year for him so it does make some sense to deal him. I hated giving up picks, even though the team added a stud OT. Trading Big V would help you get something back. We’ll have to see what happens there.

Some people will wonder…did this move help the team in 2019? Probably not. But the pick still makes a ton of sense to me.

I was recently going over various draft scenarios in my head and one thing stood out. The Eagles should start out by thinking “What can we do to protect and/or help Carson Wentz?”. Adding Dillard may not help this year, but you are helping him long term. You could make a smooth transition from Jason Peters to Dillard.

I don’t know what this means for Jordan Mailata. The Eagles still love him. I wonder if they would be willing to try Mailata at OG. We’ll have to track that situation during Training Camp and the preseason.

The Eagles always focus on the line of scrimmage. Adding a stud OT is a smart long term move.


Dillard is a gifted athlete.



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