Note: The NFL Draft begins April 29 and the Green Bay Packers have the 29th pick in the first round. Between now and then, I’ll examine 29 players — one per day — the Packers could select with that pick.
Today, we look at Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg.
LIAM EICHENBERG, OT, NOTRE DAME
Eichenberg redshirted in 2016 and played five games as a reserve in 2017. Eichenberg took over as Notre Dame’s left tackle in 2018 and started 38 games there over the next three seasons.
As a senior in 2020, Eichenberg was named second-team all-American by the Associated Press and earned first-team all-ACC honors. He was also awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC’s top lineman and he was a finalist for the Outland Trophy.
Height: 6-6 1/8”
Bench press: 33 reps of 225
40-yard dash: N/A
Arms: 32 3/8”
Hands: 9 5/8”
Broad jump: 8-9”
Vertical jump: 26 ½”
Eichenberg was a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame, but could move to the right side in the NFL. Eichenberg possesses strong fundamentals and footwork, which should have him positioned to succeed early.
Eichenberg is quick picking up blitzes and stunts and could be dominant in the run game. He has powerful hands and consistently moves defenders off the line.
He’s a better run blocker than pass blocker right now, and some teams wonder how he’ll handle NFL speed. If he can answer that question, he could be a 10-year starter — most likely at right tackle.
The Packers lost Corey Linsley, arguably the best center in football, in free agency. Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who tore his ACL before Week 17 last year, might also miss the start of the 2021 campaign. Reserves Lane Taylor and Ricky Wagner also left.
So, Green Bay needs reinforcements up front.
The flexibility of Green Bay’s linemen allows it to draft for talent, not for need.
Elgton Jenkins can play virtually any position up front and could wind up replacing Linsley at center. Lucas Patrick can play guard or center, while Billy Turner can play tackle or guard.
The Packers haven’t used a first-round pick on the offensive line since they took Derek Sherrod in 2011. Eichenberg could be a plug and play starter and give the Packers a bevy of options up front.
THEY SAID IT
Eichenberg said: “I’m a guy you can plug in and play right now. I’m not a guy that needs a lot of development. I’ve been coached well. I use my technique and my fundamentals very well. A lot of people knock me for athleticism. On the offensive line, I’m not running a route or anything. So I guess it’s a little bit different.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper on Eichenberg: “Late first is a possibility. When you enter the late first, there’s always a name or two that you have a second-round grade on who goes in the late first. There are always five or six guys who go in the late first who you thought would be solid twos. Eichenberg would be one of those guys who could fall into that late one area.”
NFL scout to Bob McGinn of The Athletic: “Is he ever going to be a Pro Bowler? Probably not. But I think he’s going to be a really good pro for a long time. He’s a really good second-round pick. I’m not sure he couldn’t play every position. He’s not a dynamic left-tackle athlete. I’d rather have him at right tackle, but he can play left tackle. He doesn’t do anything great, but he does everything really well. His level of consistency improved this year.”
PREVIOUS PLAYERS SPOTLIGHTED
• Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood