Earlier this morning, Green Bay Packers fans learned that one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft class, Drew Lock from Missouri, will be in town for a pre-draft visit with the team. Shortly thereafter, news broke that the team had met with one of the best protectors of the quarterback in the draft.
Andre Dillard is one of the top offensive linemen in this year’s draft, and he is a ready-made NFL offensive tackle. In fact, he may be the best left tackle prospect this spring, and players at that position generally do not last long. According to Adam Schefter, the Packers were one of several teams to host the Washington State product on a recent official pre-draft visit.
For a 6-foot-5, 315-pound man, Dillard’s athleticism and quick feet are obvious, both on tape and in testing results. At the 2019 NFL Combine, Dillard ran under five seconds in the 40-yard dash (4.96 officially), and he posted the second-best cone time among all offensive linemen (7.44 seconds) and the best short shuttle result (4.40 seconds). In this year’s SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the writers at Cat Scratch Reader picked Dillard as the Carolina Panthers’ selection at #16 overall.
With the Packers’ uncertainty on the offensive line, acquiring a starting-caliber tackle seems like almost an inevitability at this point. The Packers have had several top options in for workouts in addition to Dillard, with Greg Little, Kaleb McGary, and Tytus Howard all visiting the team in recent weeks. That points to serious interest in the position, which is logical given concerns about the depth at tackle plus Bryan Bulaga’s injury history and contract situation. Bulaga missed just two full games in 2018, but did have to leave parts of several others due to injury; meanwhile, he is only signed through the upcoming 2019 season.
Interestingly, Dillard was teammates with 2018 Packers draft pick Cole Madison for a few years. The two were bookend tackles for two full seasons in 2016 and 2017, with Dillard manning the left tackle position and Madison playing on the right side.