Updated Oct. 16, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Offensive tackle is one of the premium positions in every NFL draft, and there are always teams looking to find good edge blockers. Notre Dame senior left tackle Liam Eichenberg has been a multi-year starter and reliable contributor for the Fighting Irish since being a top recruit coming out of high school. Head coach Brian Kelly has developed a lot of good offensive linemen for the next level,including recent first-round picks like Ronnie Stanley, Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey and Zack Martin. Some have projected Eichenberg to keep that trend going, but according to NFL teams, they view that as questionable. Multiple sources from different teams told WalterFootball.com that they feel that Eichenberg has a second-day skill set.
Multiple evaluators said they graded Eichenberg as a late second- or early third-round pick. They feel the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder is a solid football player, but they do not feel he has the skill set of a first-round pick or a top-20 player. Eichenberg is not viewed as the same caliber of athlete as the four offensive tackles who went in the top half of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft: Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs. Thus, Eichenberg will need to be a star in the pre-draft workouts to change that perception.
Team sources said that while Eichenberg is viewed as having second-day talent, it is not impossible for him to sneak into Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Typically, teams do not have 32 players with first-round grades, so some players graded on Day 2 get selected on the opening night of drafts. There also has been a trend of some offensive linemen sneaking into the first round even though the league scouting consensus had them as second-day players. That group includes Kaleb McGary, Laken Tomlinson, Joshua Garnett, Germain Ifedi, D.J. Humphries and Cedric Ogbuehi. Thus, sources say that Eichenberg has a shot at being one of those players given that he plays a premium position that causes teams to reach. However, they feel given his skill set, he belongs on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft.