Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni won't admit Andre Dillard has lost the starting left tackle job to Jordan Mailata, even though the proof is in the pudding. Mailata's excellent camp combined with Dillard's subpar practices -- and later knee injury -- have given the former rugby player the starting job.
Dillard's future with the Eagles is uncertain, just two years after general manager Howie Roseman traded up in the first round to draft him -- hoping he'd be the franchise's left tackle and successor to Jason Peters. Teams have inquired about Dillard's availability in a trade, per Inquirer.com's Jeff McLane, raising even more questions regarding Dillard's future.
What could a former first-round pick like Dillard fetch, especially a player that has logged just 337 offensive snaps in the NFL? The bar has been set low after the Carolina Panthers traded offensive tackle Greg Little -- another tackle the franchise traded up for two years ago -- to the Miami Dolphins for a 2022 seventh-round pick.
Little has actually played just 21 more snaps than Dillard in his two seasons (358), starting six of the 14 games he played. He's allowed 25 pressures in 221 pass-blocking snaps and three sacks, a pressure rate per dropback of 11.3%. In an offensive tackle deficient league, that fetched Carolina a late Day 3 pick.
Dillard, who did not play last year due to a biceps injury, has actually had worse statistics than Little. He allowed 25 pressures in 170 pass-blocking snaps in his rookie season (2019) -- allowing 14.7% of pressures allowed per drop-back. Dillard struggled with the ins-and-outs of NFL life since being drafted, battling confidence issues in an inconsistent rookie season that carried over into his second year.
The Eagles could acquire a late Day 3 pick if they were to move on from the 25-year-old Dillard, which is better than nothing by simply cutting him. Philadelphia could also hold onto Dillard as a backup left tackle to Mailata for this year once he recovers from his knee injury, having even more depth at the position.
Philadelphia waiting out the market may be Roseman's best move at this point, as teams around the league try to solve their offensive tackle issues. Teams are willing to take the opportunity on Dillard to see if they can resurrect his career.
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