Last night the Philadelphia Eagles traded up from the 25th pick to the 22nd pick to select OT Andre Dillard out of Washington State. The Eagles supposedly got a top-ten player on their board in the trade up and have universally gotten great reviews for the selection. Now, it doesn’t take a draftnik to be pleased with getting a top 10 player at pick 22, but let’s break down exactly why Andre Dillard was a great selection for the Eagles.
Dillard’s rookie season was fairly underwhelming overall. For starters, the rookie played just 195 offensive snaps. After red-shirting his freshman year to put on bulk, Dillard didn’t see any live action until week 11. He finished the year as the starter at LT for the last three weeks in a pass-happy offense. After putting up a phenomenal effort against Colorado, the rookie was abysmal in his final game of the year, allowing ks, a QB hit, and 6 additional QB hurries over 58 pass rushing snaps against Washington.
In the following season, Dillard elevated his level of play significantly, finishing the year as the 3rd highest-graded pass blocker (PFF) in the NCAA, behind the likes of Forrest Lamp and Orlando Brown, Jr. In his sophomore season Dillard finished the year with 7 allowed sacks, 4 allowed hurries and 14 allowed pressures.
After an excellent sophomore campaign, Dillard once again finished the season as one of the premier OTs in the country. With just 2 sacks allowed and 22 total pressures over a whopping 810 pass blocking snaps (most in the NCAA), Dillard once again finished up as one of the highest-graded pass-blockers in the country.
In his final collegiate season, Dillard again took his play to the next level. Over 748 snaps in protection (just one snap behind teammate Abraham Lucas), Dillard surrendered just 1 sack and 13 total pressures. Dillard, for the third year in a row, did this from the LT position.
The Eagles got one of the, if not THE best pass-blocking left tackles in the NCAA over the past 3 years last night. Dillard graded out as a solid, but not spectacular, run-blocker in that span. Not many players selected in the 20s, if any, are going to be NFL ready in all assets of their game and Dillard certainly follows suit. The good news, however, is that Dillard is pro-ready as a pass blocker and more than capable of stepping in as soon as the Eagles need him at left tackle. Jason Peters is set to start what could be the final year of his Hall of Fame career at the ripe age of 37 years-old. With an arguably injury prone star young quarterback, there is nothing better than securing the safety of his blindside.