4. Can Dillard handle the pressure of playing in Philly?
Additionally, there’s the news of the concerns involving Dillard’s emotional stability thanks to something that occurred during his first training camp. Recently, Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice wrote on that.
Here’s a quote from that piece.
"It was hard to miss an emotional outburst that occurred after a practice in which he and Derek Barnett got into a scrap. According to a source, that was only one of multiple such emotional moments that occurred during practice last season."
Don’t forget about the rumors of him crying inconsolably after being pushed by coaches in practice.
If the Eagles are committed to Dillard for the long-term, there’s an argument to be made that he needs to get consistent starting reps going into his second season. The Washington state native was already older than most rookies are when they come into the league when he was drafted in 2019. He turns 25 early in October 2020, and if you need some context, none of the six offensive tackles selected in the first round of the 2020 draft will turn 22 until next year.
The Eagles are committed to keeping a strong offensive line at all costs as one of the goals is to keep Carson Wentz healthy. Now, will that force Dillard into a starting job that he isn’t ready for? It’s possible, but no one wants to risk anything by trotting out someone who isn’t ready, especially if they want to contend for an NFC East title.
Peters’ possible return to Philadelphia may not be the all-world indictment of Dillard. Some players, regardless of age, need some veteran guidance to become viable in the NFL, and that may be the case with “77”.
Again, there’s an unfortunate history of first-round offensive tackles not panning out, especially when they don’t start early. Dillard is behind the curve, and considering the investment that Philadelphia made by selecting him, questions of the team’s draft decision-making could continue moving forward if this decision doesn’t work out.