Less than two weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, the potential landing spots for notable prospects are beginning to come into focus.
The Detroit Lions are in the middle of the most eventful offseason in decades, and here is a player who could bolster the depth of one of their strongest position groups.
Prospect: Liam Eichenberg
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Notre Dame
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 306
Eichenberg is just the latest member of an impressive pipeline of offensive line products emerging from South Bend in recent years. Since 2014, Ronnie Stanley (Baltimore Ravens), Quenton Nelson (Indianapolis Colts) Mike McGlinchey (San Francisco 49ers), and Zack Martin (Dallas Cowboys) have all become impact starters early in their careers. Those former Fighting Irish have accounted for a total of 10 Pro Bowl selections and eight All-Pro nods.
Though he doesn’t necessarily fit into the top tier of this year’s tackle class, Eichenberg isn’t far behind that group. He was a stout bookend for Notre Dame’s pass-centered offense over the last three years. He’s a rock-solid run blocker as well who would have no issue adapting to any sort of NFL offense.
Eichenberg is on the lighter side when it comes to offensive tackles; he weighed in at just over 300 pounds at Notre Dame’s pro day last month. He may need to add some weight before he’s ready to hold up full-time at tackle at the professional level, but he’s also strong and savvy enough to see snaps early on for the team that selects him.
As a three-year starter for Notre Dame, the Cleveland, OH native played exclusively at left tackle since 2018. He may have to swing over to the right side in the NFL, particularly with a team like the Lions who already have a firmly-entrenched starter on the blindside in Taylor Decker. For a player as well-rounded as Eichenberg, that shouldn’t be a problem.
It remains to be seen where the Lions will target offensive line help in this draft, if at all. However, it’s a critical part of any successful team, and the Lions would be wise not to ignore it when they are making their selections. Eichenberg would be an excellent addition to their current group, even if he isn’t an instant starter.
Overall, this is a very promising prospect who could help elevate the Lions’ offensive front to one of the best in the league. He doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as some of the other players at his position in this draft, but a high-floor player like him at an important position is always worth consideration. It will, however, likely take a top-50 pick to land him.