A report back in August indicated that Eagles OT Andre Dillard was generating trade interest, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, teams are still calling Philadelphia about Dillard in advance of the November 2 deadline. With left tackle talent at a premium, other clubs in need of a boost to their offensive line are trying to pry the 2019 first-rounder from GM Howie Roseman.
Of course, the Eagles drafted Dillard with the hopes that he would become the team’s answer at LT. But after an up-and-down rookie campaign, the Washington State product missed all of 2020 with a biceps injury and has seen 2018 seventh-rounder Jordan Mailata take over as Philadelphia’s blindside blocker (while pulling down a four-year, $64MM extension in the process).
The good news is that Dillard, who started the season on the bench, filled in nicely for Mailata when the latter went down with an MCL sprain in a practice in late September. In fact, Dillard’s performance was good enough to convince the Eagles’ coaching staff to keep him at left tackle and to shift Mailata to the right side of the line when RT starter Lane Johnson was forced to miss time to attend to his mental health.
In four starts this season, Dillard has earned a strong 78.0 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus, and his overall grade of 69.5 positions him as the 27th-best tackle out of 79 qualified players. He was especially stout in the Eagles’ Week 5 victory over the Panthers, though he struggled against the Bucs’ talented pass rush last week.
Despite Dillard’s mini-resurgence, the contract situations of Mailata and Johnson — who is signed through 2025 — suggest that he is probably not in Philadelphia’s long-term plans. Which means that a trade is certainly plausible, and Rapoport believes a “quality” Day 2 selection could be enough to get a deal done.
Dillard, 26, is under contract through at least 2022, and the Eagles or any acquiring team could theoretically keep him under club control through 2023 if his fifth-year option is exercised next spring.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.