Surprise Lineman Turned Heads at Eagles Minicamp

Devon Platana
A surprise offensive lineman has been turning heads at the Philadelphia Eagles minicamp.
A surprise offensive lineman has been turning heads at the Philadelphia Eagles minicamp. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images

NFL teams use their minicamps as a way to gauge how their roster is shaping up ahead of July's training camps. When it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles, a surprise lineman has been turning heads as of late.

A former first-round back in 2019, offensive tackle Andre Dillard missed the entirety of the 2020 NFL season after tearing his bicep at training camp. With nearly a year to rehabilitate, the 25-year-old has said that "he has a fire in him like never before" and it's getting him some attention from the Eagles staff.

Andre Dillard Eagles

According to ESPN, Dillard has been working out harder than before and has gotten rid of social media to improve his focus. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland has praised the OT for his improvements and now he's set to challenge for the starting left tackle spot next month.

The truth is that the Eagles could use a reinvigorated Dillard to improve their offensive line, which was one of the worst in the league last year. Philadelphia allowed a league-leading 4.1 sacks per game and 9.8 sack percentage. Such a poor performance meant that the Eagles could rarely get a passing rhythm down, leading to an abysmal 207.9 passing yards per game (28th).

It'll be interesting to see how Dillard looks in a proper game situation this season. He hasn't played any meaningful football since 2019 when he played all 16 games for the Eagles (4 starts), allowing 4 sacks in 337 offensive snaps played. While those numbers aren't anything amazing, the hope is that Dillard can replicate the success that he had in his final collegiate season when he received an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 83.8.

Considering just how bad the Eagles' o-line was in 2020, Dillard has a juicy opportunity to cement himself as the team's starting tackle for the 2021 campaign. Until that becomes official, though, the ball is in his court to continue his newfound momentum.

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