Offensive tackle prospect Andre Dillard has plenty of fans because of his agility and balance. However, NFL Draft analysts have legitimate concerns about how soon he’ll be able to start due to his college scheme, as well as his run blocking aptitude. Dillard might end up a top-ten pick in spite of his weaknesses, but the overall reports were not as rosy as one might expect.
Joe Marino and Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network and Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had these notes about Dillard:
Dillard’s foot speed, length, lack of functional strength and ability to win on the move make him an ideal candidate to play tackle in an inside/outside zone running scheme. Dillard enters the NFL with a ton of experience but unfortunately the Washington State scheme translates poorly to what he’ll be asked to at the next level and his learning curve is fairly steep considering the new techniques he will have to learn. I like his ceiling, particularly in pass protection, but he’s more of a developmental prospect than his physical upside and resume suggest.
Andre Dillard has some attractive qualities as a Tackle prospect, but his transition to the pros will be best if he’s not pressured into early play. Dillard has technical deficiencies in his hands and struggles at times with his framing of blocks vs. speed, he’ll be tested greatly in those areas if he’s not coached up and given the chance to improve his fundamentals. Dillard should be regarded as a developmental starter prospect who, if everything clicks, could be an effective ZBS left tackle.
Talented four-year starter at left tackle with outstanding feet who offers an instant athletic upgrade for teams getting battered from the blind-side. Because of his scheme, Dillard will be a little behind in terms of his feel for set points and firing off the ball in the run game. While he could play with a little more ferocity as a finisher, he has the athletic ability to make all the blocks and the protection talent to become a good, early starter on the left side.
Dillard played in an offense that passed more than twice as often as it ran over the past four years. While he has thousands of live reps in pass-blocking situations, his run blocking is less battle-tested.
That said, at the end of the day the NFL is a passing league, and the most important investment is supporting a team’s franchise quarterback. This bumps up Dillard’s value to teams.