The Eagles were aggressive in their pursuit of Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard on Thursday during the first round of the NFL Draft.
Dillard was the team’s top-graded offensive tackle and a Top 10 player on their draft board. Following the selection, the Eagles were effusive in their praise of Dillard’s athleticism and upside.
The Eagles’ front office isn’t the only group that’s very high on its new blindside blocker. Former Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is also a member of Dillard’s fan club.
“He has really impressive technique,” Thomas said to BrownsWire’s Jeff Risdon on Thursday. “He really impressed me with his technique, his quickness, his flexibility and mobility as an offensive lineman. I think all those things are really important to be able to execute his technique properly.”
Thomas’ praise is noteworthy. He retired prior to last season after spending 11 years with the Cleveland Browns. During his career, Thomas was named a 10-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.
Thomas was one of the best offensive linemen of his generation. Dillard will now look to follow in his footsteps at the left tackle position.
However, before Dillard can earn playing time, he will need to sit and watch another legend finish out his career. Former All-Pro Jason Peters is set for one more season with the Eagles after signing a new pact in the offseason.
Dillard is looking forward to learning from one of the best.
“It’s just a huge honor to be on the same team as a great veteran player like that,” Dillard said Thursday. “I’m looking forward to competing with him, getting better with him and learning a lot from him and everybody else there.”