Eagles Draft Profiles: Offensive Tackle Adrian Ealy
Through the last several years, Howie Roseman has always shown he wants to bolster both the Eagles offensive and defensive line as much as possible during the draft and free agency. The 2020 season was brutal for the Eagles o-line, suffering a record number of injuries hurting their playoff chances.
When they had to play, several of the young linemen performed very well and grew tremendously. Alongside that, the staples of this offensive line aren’t getting younger, and depth needs to be kept intact. Some could argue that Jordan Mailata, Jack Driscoll, and Nate Herbig are enough depth, but you can never have enough. If the Eagles target the line during the draft, a name to keep an eye on is Oklahoma right tackle Adrian Ealy.
Ealy is a 6’6 Redshirt Junior from Oklahoma and was a vital piece of the Sooners offensive line during Jalen Hurts senior year. During his two years starting, Ealy was named second-team All-Big 12 twice. His pass protection was impressive, allowing just three sacks on 421 pass pros. Having less than one percent of his blocks lead to a sack is absolutely phenomenal.
Mock drafts have Adrian anywhere from the second round through the fourth. Overall, I don’t think he is worth a second-round choice unless the team is desperate for help upfront. The third round seems more suitable and where the Eagles should begin to consider taking him. Looking at his game, Ealy is a project, but the Eagles provide a situation for him to learn and grow until he is ready to contribute.
Andre Dillard and Ealy share some similarities in their background. While Dillard was more athletic, both players struggled more in the run game than in the pass and Ealy needs to add more muscle to his frame, weighing 326 pounds.
In the run game, Adrian often can’t stay engaged on his blocks. He makes fantastic first contact but can’t keep his hands involved and often just shoves away the defender, sometimes even pushing them right into the play. Ealy has shown the ability to block in the open field and is certainly athletic, but he needs to fix his stance.
Adrian blocks way too high, and that open chest is open season for defenders and can quickly get by him when seeing this. Blocking high is fixable but will take some time to adjust to. The most important part is the athleticism to make it to the second level that quick, and Ealy has that.
Looking at pass protection, it’s almost perfect. The only issues are some that Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata has had problems with this past season. This is mostly due to Ealy’s size, but sometimes he gives up too much ground in his quick slide and moves his way right into the QB’s pocket when staying in front of the edge rusher. Adrian does a fantastic job of staying in front of the defender but needs to hold his ground more often. As he gains weight, this could go away, but something to adjust going into this upcoming season.
Depending on where Adrian Ealy falls, the Eagles should consider pulling the trigger. Despite his height, he shows the athleticism to play inside if needed but would need to learn to play much lower if that were the case. Having two third-round picks helps with this decision, and he could be excellent insurance to have if more injuries occur this upcoming season.
Mandatory Credit: Oklahoma Football