NAME: Andre Dillard
SCHOOL: Washington State
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 60
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 306 lbs
Pass Sets – Short sets offer clean steps and good cadence to stay in rhythm with rushers and hand strikes. Has issues with anchoring due to poor hand power plus lacks hip hinge to address speed rushers without compromising feet. Strong mirror skills once engaged with rushers.
Length/Extension –Plays with control at the end of his fingertips. That said, natural length isn’t a great strength and getting into established hand fits is an adventure. Does well once hands settle in to clamp and optimize his wingspan to broaden angles for rushers looking to turn the corner.
Balance –Functional strength restrictions pop up when trying to drop his hips and anchor against power, will lean and over-extend over his toes. Can be yanked or pulled off his base as a result. Lateral slide is more effective than when collapsed in pocket.
Hand Technique –Woefully inconsistent with strikes, placement and effectiveness. Doesn’t offer a lot of power through his hands anyway but strikes often land wide and late. Does bring a nice hammer club to drop rushers’ hands down off of his chest after locking horns.
Power at POA –Transition of power from the lower half and into push forward is limited. Doesn’t possess the needed ability to reset the line of scrimmage effectively and as a result his natural athleticism and foot quickness is hindered, negating promising foundation.
Football IQ –Three year starter. Has been exposed to numerous flashes of defenders across his face and stunts. Generally handles exchanges effectively and does well to execute his responsibilities, won’t lunge or chase a twist or abandon his gap in the run game.
Functional Athleticism –Has admirable quickness in linear situations and can spring out of his stance in the ground game. Has good weight distribution and mirror, but really only when he’s established on defenders. Otherwise appears to struggle to hinge his hips and get depth or pull with pace.
Anchor Ability –Recovery balance is present thanks to smooth feet, base sustains width. Prevents defenders from pulling him out of alignment until he concedes chest and gives up first punch. Soft anchor vs. powerful hands, struggles to win reps against accurate hands.
Flexibility –Hip hinge limitations are present in any type of non-linear situations. Doesn’t show a lot of range to set at 45 degrees. Struggles to get back foot to take extra space when tested with speed off of the edge. Does show admirable knee bend to keep pad level appropriate in sets.
Competitive Toughness –Like his effort level. Hustles on second effort plays to peel back and pick off a rusher as his QB is on the move. Functional strength and secondary anchor efforts are poor but can be improved by re-working his skills at first contact.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Sets
WORST TRAIT – Power at POA
BEST FILM – Oregon State (2018)
WORST FILM – USC (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Andre Dillard has some attractive qualities as a Tackle prospect, but his transition to the pros will be best if he’s not pressured into early play. Dillard has technical deficiencies in his hands and struggles at times with his framing of blocks vs. speed, he’ll be tested greatly in those areas if he’s not coached up and given the chance to improve his fundamentals. Dillard should be regarded as a developmental starter prospect who, if everything clicks, could be an effective ZBS left tackle.
Pass Protection – Has all the traits needed to be a terrific pass protector, but needs a decent amount of technical work. Foot quickness is rare, capable of matching even defensive backs’ speed off the edge. Power rushers give him issues, can be late with his hands and can let opponents inside his pads. Does a pretty good job against inside counters, but long arms and hump moves can be his undoing.
POA Run Blocking – Washington State barely runs the football, and when they do it is rarely in a traditional sense. Lot of simple seal blocks to hinge the edge defender, but only a handful of times every game is he base or reach blocking. Comes off the ball too high and will lose leverage battles, failing to sustain blocks. Hardly ever asked to fire off the ball and move people. Traits and agility would seem to lend itself naturally to a zone scheme
Functional Strength – I think he’s plenty strong, but it isn’t consistently functional just yet. As a run blocker, really unsure as to how to unlock his hips and play with power in 1v1 exchanges. Starting to figure out how to be more authoritative in pass protection, utilizing snatch-and-traps to put his opponent in the dirt. Not a mauler and probably never will be.
Pass Pro Footwork – Explosive mover who typically gets a great jump off the ball. Has rare foot speed and agility to mirror speed rushers inside and out. Quickly steps down on inside spin moves with tremendous balance and poise. Has the ability to establish half-man relationship out of his stance on 45-degree sets and vertical sets. Began to vary his sets up for the first time this past season and it showed in his success as a pass protector. Still a work-in-progress consistently establishing half-man against a variety of edge techniques, will under-set his opponent and give up favorable angles to corner for those that can defeat his outside hand.
Strike Timing/Placement – Love how flat-backed and patient Dillard is in pass protection. Body control and core strength are noticeable when he fires his hands. Rarely early with his hands, showing the savviness to draw out his opponents’ mitts with a half-punch, then countering to knock them off balance. Slips his hands back to avoid cross chops, thens re-sets them quickly. Can be late with his hands at times and allows bull rushers/long arms into his pads. Wouldn’t call him pillow hands, but not a ton on his punch to stun defenders. Too much catching and not enough striking.
Leverage – Too high off the ball in the run game. Doesn’t unlock all his power and fails to be the low man, which allows defenders to discard him easier than they should. Drops his pads nicely against power to slow bull rushers. Has the flexibility to play lower, just needs more consistent attention to detail.
Space Blocking – Pulls on occasion, showing a recoil out of his stance that slows him a tad. Elite movement skills to pull quickly, but can lose his target and overcommit in space. Outstanding in space when releasing on screens, has the athleticism to track down defensive backs and get a piece of them to take them out of the play. Hits some high degree of difficulty blocks.
Competitive Toughness – Effort and toughness are obvious on tape. Not a finisher, but not passive or easily pushed around either. Plays a controlled, finesse style but looks for work and has begun to deploy some nastier techniques to manhandle opponents a little more.
Mental Processing – Advertised as a smart, hard-working competitor and it shows on the field. Rarely fooled by twists or additional pressure, seeing and communicating things pre and post-snap. Stays on the same level as the left guard to pass off games. Looks for work when uncovered.
Athleticism/Size – All the physical and athletic traits you could want in a starting offensive tackle are here. Length, physique, agility, explosiveness. His traits should keep his arrow pointing up as we approach the draft.
BEST TRAIT – Physical/Athletic Tools
WORST TRAIT – Run Blocking
RED FLAGS – None
We see it every draft, the project offensive tackle with all the traits that everybody wants but hardly anyone can fix. Dillard is different than his prototype in some ways, further along in his pass sets (albeit still flawed) and has better body control, but coaching and development will still be essential to unlocking all of his potential.
Perhaps the biggest concern with Dillard is his lack of experience and usage as a run blocker, something the NFL will have to instill in him. Ideally Dillard gets a year to sit and develop in a zone scheme before taking over as a team’s starting left tackle, but that plan is only as good as those executing it. If he’s a top 20 pick as expected, he’ll be one of the biggest “boom-or-bust” prospects in the draft.
PROS: Very quick mover with active feet. Has excellent recovery quickness. Carries his weight naturally and can uncoil his hips to generate power, though it’s infrequent on tape. Explosiveness out of stance on running assignments is clear. Works great angles to the second level and regularly gets hips situated to create rushing lanes. Agility enough for all zone responsibilities, though lack of power limits ability here. Proactive in pass protection with hands, especially when approaching stunts and twists. Grip strength, when hands are correctly placed, impresses. Can sustain reps with grip, active footwork, and constant resetting of angles as the rush develops.
CONS: Lacks power and anchor in a bad way, and as such, pass protection is generally a mess. Wants to keep the entire pass protection rep at the edge of his length, locking out elbows and screening with quick feet instead of engaging upper body to dictate where the rusher goes. Hand location is accordingly wildly inconsistent (often wide, catch instead of punch), and has a tendency to pop and screen in pass protection instead of using length grip and control.
As a result of hand technique and lack of functional power, is woefully susceptible to power. Bull rushes regularly walk him back into lap of quarterback. Full extension technique results in massive forward lean and hinging at the hips, which leaves him highly vulnerable to the push-pull. Vertical set technique typical of Washington State can weaken his explosiveness out of his stance and limit his depth in his pass set, forcing him to open the door to beat speed rushers to the corner. Vertical set and tendency to play with lean also leads to excessive widening of his base, which caps his ability to react to quickness; as such, can lose to stutter steps and feints that force him to widen.