2021 NFL Draft: Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg faces tough test

We can learn a lot about 2021 NFL Draft prospect, Liam Eichenberg, this weekend against Duke.

The major college football season kicks off this weekend and we will see many interesting 2021 NFL Draft prospects hit the field. One of the most interesting matchups of the weekend is Notre Dame playing host to Duke, as the ACC season gets underway.

The Fighting Irish are the obvious favorites in this matchup, but there are plenty of interesting 2021 NFL Draft prospects to keep an eye up. In particular, I am interested to see how Notre Dame left tackle Liam Eichenberg holds up against Duke’s talented group of defensive linemen. In particular, Duke features an exciting edge-rushing duo of Chris Rumph II and Victor Dimukeje who will undoubtedly put Eichenberg to the test.

Eichenberg is a 6-foot-6, 302-pound fifth-year senior who has been the full-time starter for Notre Dame the last two seasons. He is an extremely powerful player who strikes with heavy hands in pass protection and as a run blocker. He is powerful at the point of attack, showing the consistent ability to knock defenders off of the line of scrimmage in the run game.

While his power is consistently impressive and Eichenberg shows a solid baseline of athleticism, he does struggle with speed on the outside at times. Eichenberg lacks ideal lateral mobility and it shows in pass protection and when he is asked to cover space as a run blocker.

Good player, but Eichenberg is limited athletically

Eichenberg does show a solid baseline of an NFL player, but his athletic limitations could hold him back in a big way. If he continues to struggle against speed, a move inside at the next level could be in his future. If Eichenberg is only an offensive guard prospect, his 2021 NFL Draft stock will take a major hit.

Against Duke this weekend, Eichenberg will have to face plenty of speed and athleticism on the outside. Rumph is an exciting 2021 NFL Draft prospect who shows an incredibly quick first step and fantastic bend around the edge. He will undoubtedly test Eichenberg in a big way in every snap that these two face off.

Duke also features Dimukeje on the edge, and while he is not quite as explosive as Rumph, he is still an athletic player who converts his speed to power incredibly well. Dimukeje is a talented edge rusher who can also challenge with speed around the edge.

Next: Three-Round 2021 NFL mock draft

Simply put, Eichenberg faces a big test this week as he will take on Rumph or Dimukeje on a majority of his snaps. Both of these players will challenge Eichenberg athletically, and if he fails this test, it could go a long way towards questioning him as an offensive tackle at the next level. Eichenberg is a solid football player who likely has some sort of a future in the NFL. This game against Duke could go a long way towards cementing his 2021 NFL Draft status.

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