PFF: Liam Eichenberg A Top 5 Offensive Tackle In 2021
The 2021 NFL Draft is still ten months away, but you can expect Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg to remain a fixture in the conversation for the top tackle prospect in next year's draft.
Sports Illustrated projected Eichenberg to be a first-round pick, something that has been a trend for the early 2021 Draft projections. Pro Football Focus analyst Mike Renner did a Top 5 position rankings for next year's draft, and he ranked Eichenberg as the fifth best tackle in the draft class.
"Eichenberg is an extremely solid, if unspectacular, tackle prospect. He saw his performance take a massive leap from his first to his second season as a starter. His pass-blocking grade went from 63.5 in 2018 to 85.6 last year and his run blocking grade from 60.8 to 78.8."
Renner rightly pointed out Eichenberg's major jump in play and grade in 2019. My disagreement with his analysis is the impression that Eichenberg was unspectacular. His mention of Eichenberg being "solid" portrays a steady player that lacks the ability dominate.
Eichenberg was steady and solid in the pass game, not giving up a single sack all season, but he wasn't the dominant edge blocker in the pass game. He did his job week after week, which is what you want from your left tackle.
The Irish left tackle was more up-and-down as a run blocker, but when he was on he was outstanding. Eichenberg was Notre Dame's best run blocker when the Irish racked up 308 yards on the ground against USC.
If Eichenberg wants to ensure a round one grade and rise up draft boards it will come as a result of those types of strong run game performances becoming more of the norm.
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