Notre Dame has long been a factory for quality offensive linemen. Liam Eichenberg is the latest to come out of the school, and he looked like a sure bet to be a solid starter at the next level.
Eichenberg was a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame and held up very well for the Fighting Irish. In his final two years of action, he didn’t allow a single sack in 951 pass-blocking opportunities. This came despite battling top-tier talent like Clemson and Alabama in the 2020 ACC Title Game and College Football Playoff, so needless to say, that’s impressive.
On tape, Eichenberg shows off excellent fundamentals and squares up players on the edge very well. He’s not the most athletic tackle in the world, but he has a big 6-foot-6, 306-pound frame and does well to largely keep players in front of him.
In the running game, Eichenberg is excellent. He does very well when moving downhill and leverages his opponents well to blast open running lanes. He has good strength but has the size needed to add more weight — provided that it doesn’t impact his movement skills.
That’s an area that Eichenberg will need to work to improve. He can struggle with getting outside against quicker players, so he’ll have to work on getting out quicker in pass protection to make sure that he doesn’t get run around or beat back inside. He does show good recovery skills, which is a positive, so if he continues to work on his first step and his hand placement, he should only get better.
Eichenberg has a high floor and should be a starter at either left or right tackle at the NFL. For Washington, he could be an ideal fit, as he could begin his career as a swing tackle and then either replace Moses or Lucas depending on which player Washington keeps in 2022 free agency.
The only question is, will they be in range for Eichenberg? Taking him at 19 would qualify as a reach, but he could sneak into the end of Round 1, so seeing him get to 51 would be a surprise. Perhaps they could trade down and pick Eichenberg depending on how the board falls — or they could consider trading up to get him if they go in a different direction with the 19th pick.