Will Andre Dillard Start at Left Tackle Because of Draft Status?
If healthy, the Philadelphia Eagles’ should have a very good starting offensive line, especially with the return of right tackle Lane Johnson and right guard Brandon Brooks.
As for Sunday night, the Eagles went with Lane Johnson and Jack Driscoll on the right side, Jason Kelce at center and Sua Opeta and Jordan Mailata on the left side.
Driscoll was in for brooks and Opeta replaced Isaac Seumalo, both who are dealing with minor injuries.
One spot that appeared to be up-for-grabs entering camp is left tackle, but the gap is seemingly growing wider between Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard.
While the messaging from head coach Nick Sirianni is that the position remains up for grabs, the actions seem to indicate that Mailata has a firm grip, getting all the first team snaps, while Dillard worked with the second team all night.
"I think that's a good battle. I think, when you have those competitions, like it brings out the best in both of them," said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Sunday night. "You have a competition, and both people have to rise to the occasion. It's making them better. Competition makes you better. That's why it's such a core value here, it makes you better, and I see that happening with both guys right now."
Dillard is a former first-round pick and Mailata was drafted in the seventh-round, making some wonder if the team will lean towards Dillard for the starting job, because of his draft status.
Sirianni put that idea to rest on Sunday night.
"As far as draft status or anything like that, we're in the business of winning football games, and whoever gives us the best chance to win the football game will be here," explained Sirianni.
"We don't care. We don't care. At the end of the day, I'm judged on wins and losses, and I very well know that. So, we've got to play the guys that are most ready to play and give us the best chance to win."