The Philadelphia Eagles got their future left tackle to protect Carson Wentz’s blindside.
The Eagles traded up three spots to select Washington State left tackle Andre Dillard with the 22nd pick in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night. Philadelphia sent Baltimore the 25th pick, a fourth-rounder (No. 127) and a sixth (No. 197) to move up.
Dillard isn’t expected to be in the starting lineup this season unless the offensive line has injuries. He’ll learn from nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, who enters his 15th season at 37 years old. Peters started every game last season after missing nine in 2017.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Dillard started 39 games for the Cougars. He’s an athletic blocker who excelled at pass protection. Scouting reports say Dillard needs to work on his run blocking. He didn’t have to do much of it at Washington State, which predominantly threw the ball on offense.
The Eagles were in position to select a player who doesn’t have to contribute right away after filling several needs in the offseason through free agency and trades.
After winning the Super Bowl in 2017 with backup quarterback Nick Foles filling in for Wentz, the Eagles reached the second round last season. Foles again led the team down the stretch and into January after Wentz was injured.
Dillard will join a unit that also features Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson, Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks and All-Pro center Jason Kelce.