Frank Reich, Chris Ballard, and the Indianapolis Colts have a monumental decision that they need to make with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
While addressing the depth, or lack thereof, at wide receiver will assuredly be something Ballard wants to accomplish, left tackle appears to be the main goal, especially after losing Anthony Castonzo to retirement.
Luckily for Indianapolis, there is a tremendous class of tackles in this draft, including a bunch that could be selected in the late first round.
Ballard and Reich have already decided to get in-depth looks at a few of Notre Dame’s best prospects in apparent pursuit of that goal.
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been seeing his stock rise since the end of the regular season, but there were several other potential Colts draftees in the building that day, not limited to tight end Tommy Tremble.
Both Ballard and Reich made the trip down to South Bend this week, and while Owusu-Koramoah is regarded as a near-unanimous first-round pick, and a tight end like Tremble could be a quality addition, their presence at this pro day, coupled with Reich’s own comments about the Irish’s offensive line play, suggest that left tackle Liam Eichenberg could be in play at pick No. 21.
Indianapolis Colts: Will Frank Reich draft Liam Eichenberg?
Eichenberg is the true essence of a mauler at the left tackle position. The Irish running backs had plenty of gaping holes to run through thanks to Eichenberg’s ability to get low and completely uproot defensive linemen.
In pass protection, Eichenberg continues the Notre Dame tradition of pumping out technically sound offensive linemen. Eichenberg can handle advanced pass-rush moves while using his strong lower body to withstand bullrushes. He has been compared to a fellow Notre Dame lineman in San Francisco 49ers right tackle and former No. 9 pick Mike McGlinchey.
He is by no means a perfect prospect, however. In an age where athletic tackles that can move at the second level are more valuable than ever, Eichenberg struggled whenever he had to move in the open field. His struggles in college came against edge-bending defensive ends that can use speed to burst around his blocks.
Eichenberg is not the most athletic player in the world, which could impact his transition to the pros, but he is a rock-solid run-blocker that should get playing time as soon as he steps on the field in Indianapolis. it’s easy to see why Reich has been eyeing him up.