With the NFL trade deadline just under a week away, Howie Roseman’s Eagles will more than likely pop up in numerous trade rumors in the following days. Despite already shipping out tight end Zach Ertz and quarterback Joe Flacco — which boosted the team’s total draft picks for next year to 11 — it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Roseman has one or two moves yet to come.
One name that’s popped up in trade rumors throughout the week has been left tackle Andre Dillard.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes:
It wouldn’t be a shock to see an AFC North team call Philly about offensive tackle Andre Dillard, who is considered to be on the block. Browns and Ravens have had depth issues there.”
That’s a little too on the nose to just be offhand trade speculation. Referring to two teams specifically indicates that there’s legitimate interest in the Eagles former first round pick. NFL insider Ian Rappoport added this tidbit to the discussion, writing:
The Eagles won’t give him away, and there are scenarios where he’s a part of their future, anyway. But teams believe a quality second-day pick would be enough to pry Dillard away.”
Prior to the start of the season, a high-end day two pick for Dillard would have been a pipe dream. Despite playing a premiere position along the offensive line, he was beat out handedly by a seventh-round pick and Dillard struggled mightily in his limited game experience in the NFL.
Roseman was smart to hang on to Dillard, because he’s certainly boosted his value with his play in 2021.
Dillard has started four games and has played in six. He’s posted a respectable 68.5 offensive grade on Pro Football Focus, along with a solid 75.8 pass blocking grade. On 210 pass blocking snaps, Dillard has surrendered just one sack and 14 total pressures.
I was all in on trading Dillard prior to the season. But as it stands now, holding onto him may be the best course of action for the franchise.
A second day selection may be enticing, but if the team deals Dillard, that pick, or one of the many selections in the Eagles arsenal, will more than likely be used on a tackle. He’s still under contract for next year, and if Roseman is able to resign him to a team friendly deal to keep him as the long-term backup at left tackle, I think it would be worth it.
Lineman get banged up all the time and having a quality backup at the most important position along the offensive line is invaluable. Sure, maybe they could find that with a late round selection in the upcoming draft. But Dillard has already proven his worth to the team, and the Eagles will more than likely lose at least one other offensive lineman this offseason, maybe two if Jason Kelce decides to retire.
It would be hard to say no to a second round pick, and if that’s what the team gets offered, I’d imagine Roseman would pull the trigger. But anything less than that wouldn’t be worth it.
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