Notre Dame began quite a run when Harry Hiestand was hired, as every starting left tackle to start under Hiestand went on to become a first round NFL Draft pick. Now the Irish are hoping to continue that stretch with Jeff Quinn now in charge, as Liam Eichenberg is hoping to have his name called in the first round.
LIAM EICHENBERG PRO DAY MEASURABLES
Arm: 32 3/8"
Hands: 9 5/8"
Wingspan: 79 3/8"
Pro Shuttle: 4.57
Vertical: 26 1/2"
PRO DAY RECAP
Despite him consistently matching up - and beating - a long line of talented pass rushers the last three seasons, Eichenberg went into the offseason facing questions about his athleticism. He answered many of those questions at his Pro Day, at least based on his testing numbers.
Eichenberg's pro shuttle and three-cone numbers ranked fourth among all first-round offensive tackles going all the way back to the 2016 NFL Draft. That includes being better than all six of the first round tackles from the 2020 NFL Draft. His numbers blew away those posted by Ronnie Stanley during his Pro Day.
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.57
3-Cone Drill: 7.53
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.69
3-Cone Drill: 7.96
Eichenberg's 33 reps on the bench were also at least six reps better than any of those first round picks, a list that includes 16 former first round picks who actually participated in that drill.
Eichenberg backed up his strong testing performance with quality work during position drills.
EXPERIENCE/READINESS: Eichenberg is a plug-and-play offensive tackle and is arguably the most ready to play tackle in this draft. He started 38 straight games during his Notre Dame career, showing durability and toughness to stay on the field despite battling the typical bangs and bruises that players have to deal with.
His experience has allowed Eichenberg to become a savvy blocker that handles double moves effectively, picks up stunts and blitzes well and he knows how to recover when he gets beat.
PASS BLOCKING EFFICIENCY: Eichenberg was a far, far more effective pass blocker in his final season than Mike McGlinchey, and he was more consistent than Stanley in his final season, although he wasn't as dominant as a pass blocker as his predecessor. Although he wasn't as dominant in the run game as McGlinchey, Eichenberg was far superior to McGlinchey in the pass game. Eichenberg is an above average athlete that shows the ability to bend, change direction effectively and his instincts allow him to handle advanced pass rush moves.
STRONG HANDS: Eichenberg needs work with his hand technique (see below) but he has heavy hands, which helps him in the run game and allows him to lock down pass rushers when he's able to get into their body. Eichenberg also shows the necessary hand quickness and reload ability to thrive against top edge rushers, especially as his technique improves.
ALL-AROUND BLOCKER: Pass blocking has been his strength the last two seasons, but Eichenberg showed significant improvement in the run game in his final season. He was always a good run blocker, but he was dominant with that part of the game in 2020. Eichenberg's punch/upper body strength and quickness off the snap allow him to get a good push in the run game, and his instincts made him highly effective against line games. He's effective getting to the second level and showed the ability to reach the edge on perimeter runs. Eichenberg also showed an advanced feel for run game angles as a fifth-year player.
AREAS OF CONCERN
CONSISTENCY WITH HIS HANDS: Although Eichenberg has powerful hands and he is a smart blocker, he has to get better with how he attacks pass rushers at the next level. Notre Dame taught more of a two-hand punch under Quinn, and at times the Irish tackles - including Eichenberg - placed hands rather that punching in the pass game. This got Eichenberg in trouble at times, but it's a relatively easily correctable technique adjustment.
BALANCE/BASE: At times Eichenberg will lunge with his upper body, especially in the pass game, and when that happens he can lose his base and get knocked back or lose players late. It didn't hurt him in college because he was simply so much better than everyone he went against, but it could cause problems against the better edge rushers in the NFL. Eichenberg has a thick base, but he could stand to enhance his lower body strength a bit, something else that could help him handle those instances when he loses his base.
ARM LENGTH: I didn't see his length show up much on film, but his measurements were certainly concerning. I've read multiple reports that say there isn't a tackle in the draft that has shorter than 33" arms, but Eichenberg measured in with just 32 3/8" arms. His wingspan (79 3/8") was better thanks to him having broad shoulders.
Some might be concerned about his length, but Eichenberg didn't have many issues with that in college. He was consistent for his final two and a half seasons, and he was dominant as a fifth-year senior. Eichenberg is a top-notch pass blocker and in his final season he became a very effective run blocker, and he has experience both in zone schemes and gap schemes.
He doesn't have the ceiling of Stanley, but he has arguably the highest floor of any tackle in this draft.
NFL DRAFT RANGE: Late First Round, Early Second Round
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