Philadelphia Eagles: Is Andre Dillard cut out for NFL competition?

Andre Dillard, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Andre Dillard, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

He’s played in 16 games as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles with four starts, which equates to 337 offensive snaps and another 62 on special teams. That’s respectively good for 29 percent and 14 percent of the team’s total in games where he’s been available. That’s a long-winded way of saying Andre Dillard hasn’t played a ton of football.

He’s never been an All-Pro. He wasn’t voted to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team when he was eligible in 2019. He’s never made a Pro Bowl.

Never has Andre Dillard been mentioned as one of the great young left tackles in the game, and currently this former first-round draft choice is in the toughest battle he’s had as a professional, one that will earn the winner the job of being the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting left tackle.

That would be fine if not for the fact that he’s in that battle with a former seventh-round selection (Jordan Mailata), who never even played American football until somewhere around 2018. Oh, and Jordan Mailata is winning that battle.

There’s also this. Andre Dillard is hurt again. Does anyone else see this as being a problem?

Is Andre Dillard cut out for the NFL and a starting role with the Philadelphia Eagles?

As bad as Andre Dillard’s selection looks right now (he can improve but it does look bad), this is one of those things that you can defend general manager Howie Roseman about. There was no reason to believe that Dillard’s selection was a bad idea at the time.

He was seen by quite a few NFL scouts as the second-best tackle in 2019’s NFL Draft. He was the second tackle taken with the 22nd-overall selection (Jonah Williams was the first). Since then, Dillard has been seen leaving training camp practices in tears because of tough coaching (that was his rookie year). He missed his entire second season after tearing his biceps. Here we are again. Dillard is hurt.

Sure, injuries happen, and guys need time to develop, but availability is a skill. We’ve seen Dillard forced into action as a right tackle. He accepted defeat before the game even began, and even after that, he never appeared to develop the necessary mental toughness for the NFL game. It kind of reminds you of Carson Wentz, doesn’t it?

Sure, the quarterback position is the most important position on the football field. Sure, Dillard and Wentz play different positions, but they’re alike in more ways than one. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted both to play key roles in this team’s future. Neither can handle hard coaching. Both get hurt a lot.

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There’s still time for Dillard to turn things around. So far, he’s had a rough go in camp, but after losing what was supposed to be a franchise quarterback during the most recent offseason, fans and media alike are hoping Andre Dillard can be an important cog in the Eagles offense. Unfortunately, right now, we’re asking another question. Is he even cut out for the NFL at all?