The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?
We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….
Pick: 22nd Overall
Player: Andre Dillard
Draft by: H̶o̶u̶s̶t̶o̶n̶ ̶T̶e̶x̶a̶n̶s̶ …Oh wait, sorry… Philadelphia Eagles.
So I went ahead and graded this one as a B+ but that’s just for the player selection. If I added in the move that Howie Roseman pulled to make this pick, this would have been an A+.
Man, everyone and I mean everyone, had Dillard down to go to the Houston Texans at 23. I mean, aside from Jon Gruden, who by all accounts threw a hissy fit in the Raiders war room as he was under the impression that Philly had traded up to take Josh Jacobs at ahead of them, but then that is Gruden, isn’t it?
The Eagles stumped the Texans so much that they panicked so much that they picked a 3rd rounder at 23 but more of that tomorrow…
The Eagles were in the luxurious position of being able to use their first round pick on a player that may not even see the field a great deal in 2019. Philadelphia have Jason Peters and Lane Johnson as their starting left and right tackles; one of the best pairings in the game right now.
Johnson is locked up for another three seasons and is in his prime at 29 years old. Jason Peters however, is 37 and entering his final year of his current deal and maybe of his career. That’s where Dillard comes in…
Dillard is a pure left tackle and maybe the best pass protector that was available in the draft class, so after a year marinating behind Peters, he should be in a position to slide right in when and if Peters calls it a day after the 2019 season.
That’s how good teams do it. Especially with offensive line with it being such a difficult position to adapt to in the NFL, from the college ranks.
Dillard comes in from Washington State, a team who passed pretty much more than any other team in the FBS. This means Dillard will arrive in the league with pretty polished pass sets and blocking abilities but less refined when it comes to run blocking, which is usually the complete opposite to how tackles are when they arrive for mini camp and for their first practices. So it’ll be interesting to see how Dillard progresses with that and whether he can become as good of a run blocker as he is a pass blocker.
One thing that is certainly in his favour is that he is very talented, I mean, kinda obvious and that he is coming into a great situation with great leadership and talent in the Eagles O line room.
So to sum up, I would expect Dillard to have a quiet (to possibly non-existent 2019) but then from 2020 be a very solid left tackle from week 1 of that season and go on and improve to be an upper echelon player for the Eagles for a very long time.
As I said before, that’s how the good teams stay good; proactivity.
Fantasy Football Impact:
Quite possibly the least out of any prospect we have covered in this series. Not only is Dillard an offensive lineman, obviously a position with no direct impact on fantasy football, as mentioned above, he may not even see the field a lot as a rookie.