The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent Dillon Gordon shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Birds originally listed Gordon as a tight end and gave him the No. 83 jersey. That's the position he played at LSU. Between the time rookie minicamp ended and Eagles OTAs began, however, the team decided to move Gordon to the offensive line. The 6-4, 322 pound player will now wear the No. 69 jersey. Nice. In order to learn more about the new Eagles rookie, I reached out to SB Nation's LSU Tigers blog: And The Valley Shook. Billy Gomila (@ATVS_ChefBilly) was kind enough to answer questions about Gordon.
1) What are his strengths?
Gordon is a big, powerful blocker at 300-some pounds. Wouldn't surprise me at all if he winds up just sliding down to the offensive line at the next level.
2) What are his weaknesses?
As a tight end, he was just lacking in pure speed. Believe it or not, he has big soft hands and catches the ball rather well, and can get in and out of breaks. But 300 pounds just doesn't move all that fast.
3) Can you sum up the story of why he became draft eligible at the last moment?
He'd suffered major injuries in back to back seasons, so LSU tried to see if they could get him a fifth season based on injury hardship. Sadly, the NCAA denied it, and as you might guess it was based on pretty specious reasoning: the NCAA ruled that since he played in seven games last season he didn't meet the hardship threshold, with LSU's season opener with McNeese State, which lasted for all of a few plays before it was stopped due to lightening and never re-started, counted as one of those seven games.
4) How do you think Gordon’s final season at LSU would have played out if he was ruled eligible? Do you think he could have played his way into being a 2017 draft pick?
Due to him being a bit of a tight end/tackle tweener, I don't know that he ever would have been a high pick, if a pick at all, even if he gets that extra year. But another healthy year of football and a chance to show that he's a great blocker with some athleticism couldn't have hurt his chances.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
"If he can come back healthy, I really think Gordon would be better off transitioning to tackle. As it happens, the Eagles have a player who made a similar transition once upon a time in Jason Peters. He was a 300-pound tight end at Arkansas as well. Gordon could do a lot worse than to learn from him. That said, he's coming off Achilles Tendon surgery, and that can always be a little dicey. If he's lost any quickness at all, that might be it. Still, Gordon is big and mean, and that's what it takes on the line of scrimmage in the pros. That might be able to keep him on a practice squad for a while."
Thanks again to Billy. Make sure to check out And The Valley Shook.