NAME: Liam Eichenberg
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
SCHOOL: Notre Dame
WEIGHT: 302 pounds
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Liam Eichenberg attended Saint Ignatius for his high school football career. He was the number one ranked offensive lineman in Northeast Ohio by Cleveland.com. Meanwhile, 247Sports rated him as the fourth best player coming out of the state of Ohio. Before committing to Notre Dame, Eichenberg played in the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game.
During Eichenberg’s freshman season, he redshirted and did not play in any games. He saw action in five games in his sophomore season of 2017. Then in 2018, Eichenberg took over as the starting left tackle. And he has started all of the Fighting Irish’s games since then. In the 2020 season, Eichenberg was a consensus All-American, as well as first team All-ACC. The blocking unit won the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Award this past season also. Additionally, Eichenberg was an Outland Trophy finalist and a Joe Moore Award finalist.
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Eichenberg presents extreme power at the point of attack. In a gap and power scheme like Notre Dame used, he displayed comfort when under pressure. When traffic got murky or lanes got messy, Eichenberg relied on his mammoth strength. Opponents often seemed surprised with how quickly he moved them out of their lane. For some of the weaknesses that he has currently, there are plenty of reps where Eichenberg latches on and wears down defenders quickly. He seals off blocks so well, that running backs do not have to wait long to watch the hole open up. This could mix in well with a smart runner like Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The length that Eichenberg provides makes him difficult to get around on the outside. There are times when opponents appear to have him beat, but then he recovers and shields them off laterally. He slides well to mirror opponents. But when he cannot get there, Eichenberg does well to still get under the opponents’ shoulders. He keeps his strike zone in check. Furthermore, Eichenberg remains consistent with staying on the inside of defenders, and forcing them to work off of his outside shoulder.
His hand placement can be challenged occasionally. However, this seemed to be an asset that he improved on in 2020. Eichenberg not only has the power and strength in his hands, but he also has fast and active mitts. He does well to keep his hands and punches in the chest of opponents. For the most part, Eichenberg does not get too high on the defender’s shoulders. Moreover, he connects his punches firmly. With his prowess in run blocking, Eichenberg also showed a tendency to switch swiftly from one defender to another. He had a ton of reps where he was able to turn opponents parallel to the sideline.
If there is any major weakness in Eichenberg’s current body of work as a prospect, it is in his footwork. Most of his pass sets showed adequate shuffles. However, Eichenberg has a knack for falling backwards too often. He attempts to rely on his back foot and lower half strength to hold down the fort. There will be plenty of times where his feet would become too wide. Thus, Eichenberg became too top heavy and his chest collapsed to the dirt. On the other hand, he has shown to be a bit of a lunger. There just is not enough foot speed and comfort there to consistently and confidently attack speedier pass rushers.
This one is all about timing. Certain twists and stunts gave Eichenberg fits. He was slow to react against defensive linemen working from inside to out in the defensive formation. When they were able to whip around his outside shoulder, Eichenberg’s feet became frozen. Elsewhere, he attempts to attack at extremely accentuated angles. This shows up when pulling or on down blocks. Eichenberg can get a bit steep and run out of room to recover.
Other than the aforementioned footwork, Eichenberg showing quicker reaction skills is still a work in progress. You see him fall to the ground more often than one would like when moving in space, or climbing to the second level. Eichenberg attempts to cut opponents down low. Yet, this often provides little to no impact. He is also not the fastest mover in the open field. When instinctive defenders notice this, they strive to get him to turn around or shift sideways. This can clog up open lanes that running backs are expecting to be open on the second level. Overall, Eichenberg is a smart football player. He will just need to realize that he can stand to lose those wasted movements.
Drafting a player like Liam Eichenberg, would secure Kansas City’s future at left tackle. Since taking over the starting job at Notre Dame, he has not looked back and has continued to improve. I would label Eichenberg as a bit of a throwback. And that is highly acceptable. Despite the other highly athletic tackles in this class, Eichenberg has fared just as well with his own tendencies. Not to mention the recent dominance of Notre Dame offensive linemen to come into the NFL after playing for Brian Kelly. The Chiefs need a blocker with his strength, power at the point of attack and physical nature. Protecting Patrick Mahomes will be at the top of the priority list entering next season, of course. Eichenberg would instill that protection in a prototypical form.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the winter and spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.