Liam Eichenberg - OT, Notre Dame
By the numbers:
6'6", 302 pounds
2020: All-ACC First Team selection.
Liam Eichenberg is a developed offensive tackle, looking the part of a player who's ready for the pros. He possesses sound fundamentals, a very high floor and a great football IQ. He identifies stunts and blitzes quickly and his processing speed is among the best in this draft class. Eichenberg is a reliable player who sets the tone for the entire offensive line.
Power is the name of Eichenberg's game. He has a quick, sudden punch that is placed well and stops defenders in their tracks. He complements that with strong hands, a sturdy base and good leverage. His hips and feet are almost always in the right position, regardless of what else is going on in the rep. This makes Eichenberg a quality pass protector, and he moves well enough to put that strength to very good use in space on run plays.
One of the few concerns surrounding Eichenberg is his average athleticism. This doesn't make him a bad prospect, but he simply doesn't have the star-level ceiling of other highly-touted offensive linemen in this class. He isn't extremely quick physically, but luckily, his brain makes up for some of that. Eichenberg's decent agility is more than enough to keep him afloat.
The most evident part of Eichenberg's game that is affected by his lack of elite shuffling speed shows up against premier speed rushers. He holds his own but sometimes gets beat outside due to not having the quickness to match his assignment. He is a powerful player capable of fending off the strongest of defensive ends but against the best athletes in the world, more than just that is needed on occasion.
How Eichenberg fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs' need for a tackle is pressing both now and into the future until they address it in the draft. Eichenberg is capable of stepping in and anchoring the left tackle position immediately and with Eric Fisher slated to miss significant time with a torn Achilles, he'd be a solid replacement. He may be better suited for a team that uses a power-run blocking scheme, but he's agile and reactive enough to do well on zone runs as well. The fit isn't hand-in-glove, but Eichenberg can play well on any team.
Is Eichenberg a day one starting NFL tackle? Yes. Should he have a long, productive career? Absolutely. He has a well-rounded game and a wise football mind that makes up for his merely adequate athleticism. His upside isn't crazy, but he's already a good player that is well worth the investment.
Eichenberg's struggles against quicker pass-rushers may remind Chiefs fans of Eric Fisher, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. Eichenberg's draft stock is all over the place, but he receives a late first-round grade due to his NFL-readiness and skills that should translate well to the next level.