Now that we’ve had time to fully digest the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s time to really dig in on the Philadelphia Eagles’ haul. The overarching theme of the class was “development” with an eye towards a combination of long-term plans and short-term insurance policies.
One of the players needing to develop is the Eagles’ 22nd overall selection Andre Dillard. We should be hopeful that he’ll take the necessary strides, especially considering the situation he landed in. On The Kist & Solak Show #93 we dug more into Dillard’s road to success by comparing the environments of two players selected back-to-back.
The 23rd overall pick by the Houston Texans was Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard. The offensive line coach for the Texans, Mike Devlin, has zero years of coaching up and developing linemen at the collegiate level. Additionally, their hasn’t been many encouraging signs of progress from the lineman he’s coached at the pro level. For a raw prospect like Howard (and Deshaun Watson) it’s a nightmare scenario, especially with the expectations set on him as a first round pick.
Conversely, Dillard landed with Eagles’ offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Two decades of offensive line coaching experience in college is a big contrast from Devlin. He’s also done pretty well for himself at the professional level. For example:
- Jason Kelce went to his first two Pro Bowls after Stoutland’s arrival.
- Joined the team the same year Lane Johnson was selected #4 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
- Turned fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai into an adequate/spot starter for a key stretch.
- Developed third-round selection Isaac Seumalo into a replacement-level starting guard within three years.
That’s not even counting the veterans he’s coached up, but I think you get the point. Making matters worse for Howard, the Texans desperately need to get him to speed in 2019. As it stands now, Dillard has the luxury of being brought along at a more manageable pace. In summation, Howard is fighting an uphill battle while Dillard is in a tremendous position to reach his ceiling.
We delve into Dillard’s game and all of the other 2019 NFL Draft selections for the Eagles, plus how the first round unfolded, on The Kist & Solak Show #93! Listen on the media player below or by clicking here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!