Offensive Line prospects
The Notre Dame offensive line will have several prospects entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Most of the talk will be around their left tackle, Liam Eichenberg. Notre Dame is known for coaching up their offensive linemen to go onto the NFL and have successful careers. Eichenberg took over the left tackle position in 2018.
The previous two left tackles for the Irish, Ronnie Stanley and Mike McGlinchey, both went on to be selected in the top-10 of their respective drafts. Before that, Zack Martin was the starting left tackle for the Irish. He can be the fourth straight starting left tackle for the Irish to be selected in the first round in 2021.
With big shoes to fill, Eichenberg has been a key player on one of the best offensive lines in college football. He is a brute in the running game with his power at the point of attack. He also has the grip strength to latch onto defenders and not allow them to escape his grasp. The Notre Dame tackle wins with quick mental processing in the passing game, expands the pocket with range, and boasts a powerful anchor.
Eichenberg plays with a nasty streak and is always looking to finish his opponent by providing powerful hands to knock rushers off balance with that strong anchor. His outstanding awareness to pick up blitz packages and stunts while maintaining a calm and collective demeanor is impressive. He’s not the most athletic tackle, but his technique and power make up for it.
On the other side of the line is Robert Hainsey, who projects to be more of a Day 3 option. While Eichenberg wins with power, Hainsey is the more athletic player of the two. He does a good job of getting into deeper pass sets and mirroring speed rushers around the arc. His size will be a concern for many teams, and he might have to make a move inside at the next level.
On the interior, Aaron Banks could return for another season at Notre Dame next season. He filled in for Eichenberg when he left the game for a short stint against Florida State and impressed playing outside. It might be in his best interest to prove he can play tackle next year for the Irish.
For Clemson, the name to know is left tackle Jackson Carman. Looking like a Day 2 selection at this point in the process, Carman is a long, massive man who has surprising mobility for a guy at 6’5″ and 335 plus pounds. With all of that size and length comes an extremely powerful blocker with plenty of nasty to his game. His punches are violent, and he does a good job of using his length to lockout and steers rushers.
In the running game, Carman has excellent burst off the line of scrimmage, especially for his size, and has the acceleration to get to the second level of defenses. His movement in pass protection doesn’t come with the same speed as when he is moving forward. Struggles have shown up when taking on rushers with speed to win around the arc. Footwork and a tendency to lean forward are areas that need improvement.
In this game alone, there are prospects for each day of that draft for Kansas City to look at. Eichenberg might not fit the zone-based scheme in the Chiefs offense, but his pass protection might make up for some of his deficiencies working laterally.