Jacksonville Jaguars better off passing on Eagles OT Andre Dillard
NFL teams are always looking for ways to get better. When a trade opportunity comes up, it’s always a good idea to give it a thought. Matt Lombardo of FanSided and Jeff McLane of Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that clubs have called the Philadelphia Eagles to inquire about offensive tackle Andre Dillard. It’s uncertain if the Jacksonville Jaguars have reached out to Philly but Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report sees them as a good fit for the 2019 first-round selection nonetheless.
Gagnon recently drew up a list of potential landing spots for Dillard and mentioned Jacksonville as a possibility. He thinks that sending offensive lineman Will Richardson and a sixth-round draft pick to the Eagles would get a trade done. Gagnon believes Dillard would give them options at left tackle.
"The Jaguars hit 2017 second-round pick Cam Robinson with the franchise tag this offseason, but Robinson has disappointed and is likely playing for his job this year. The team won’t keep him around if he can’t protect No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, and it would make a lot of sense to add a talented young alternative like Dillard right now. At the very least, he could team up with rookie second-round pick Walker little to provide crucial short-term insurance for both Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor."
Left tackle Cam Robinson has indeed been inconsistent throughout his four-year career and could lose his job to rookie Walker Little if he struggles in 2021. Having said that, should the Jaguars really pursue Dillard?
The Jacksonville Jaguars should sit the Andre Dillard sweepstakes out.
Little has had an outstanding training camp, constantly winning one-on-one drills and displaying the athleticism that made him a top tackle early in his collegiate career. Cam Robinson and Jawan Taylor have also made strides and earned praised from head coach Urban Meyer. But the Jags could surely add offensive-line depth. Then again, Dillard isn’t really someone they should be pursuing for several reasons.
Over the last two years, he’s appeared in 16 games and has made four starts. He missed the 2020 season with a bicep tear and is currently nursing a knee injury. Furthermore, he was seen leaving practice in tears “because of tough coaching”. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if he’s cut for the NFL.
You also have to take into account that Will Richardson is a solid backup. He played 33 snaps in the Jaguars’ Week 1 preseason matchup against the Cleveland Browns and posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 69.9. Moreover, the 2018 fourth-round selection is a bit younger than Dillard and it wouldn’t make much sense for the Jags to swap offensive tackles while also parting ways with a sixth-round pick.
There’s a chance Dillard finally manages to stay healthy and lands his feet in the NFL. He has upside and is a talented player. After all, there’s a reason why he was drafted in the first round a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, the Jacksonville Jaguars should sit this one out and let another team find out if he can live up to his draft billing.