NAME: Dillon Radunz
POSITION: Left Tackle
SCHOOL: North Dakota State
WEIGHT: 304 pounds
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Ben Cleveland
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Nico Collins
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Aaron Robinson
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Brady Christensen
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Payton Turner
Dillon Radunz spent most of his early life growing up in Becker, Minnesota. Besides football, he also starred in basketball and track and field at Becker High School. On the court, Radunz was a three year starter and all-conference player. He also placed sixth in the shot put during his senior season at the state track meet. On the gridiron, the offensive tackle started in both his junior and senior seasons. Becker won back to back state championships and went 25-1 over those two campaigns. Following his senior season, Radunz was named All-Area Football Player of the Year, East Central District North Division MVP and first team All-State. He ultimately chose North Dakota State over schools like South Dakota, South Dakota State and Wyoming.
After joining the Bison program, he redshirted in his true freshman season of 2016. He was named a starter for the following season. However, Radunz suffered a season ending knee injury after 15 snaps in the 2017 season opening game. He returned from the injury with a vengeance, as he started all 31 games across both 2018 and 2019. North Dakota State won the FCS Championship in each of those two seasons. Radunz was also named second team All-MVFC (2018), first team All-MVFC (2019) and first team FCS All-American (2019).
Due to the pandemic, NDSU only played one “showcase” game in the fall of 2020 against Central Arkansas. This would be the final game that Radunz would play with the Bison. They currently are playing most of their season in the spring of 2021. His younger brother, Nick Radunz, is currently an offensive lineman on the North Dakota State team. Dillon had a dominant week while participating at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. In fact, he was named the Overall Practice Player of the Week.
Radunz anticipates oncoming defenders very well. His vision stands out a ton, especially on plays where he is reaching the second level or pulling. On those specific plays, Radunz usually meets the defender in the gap before the opponent can get set up. His understanding of twisting defensive linemen is extremely high as well. Very rarely, does Radunz get confused in these situations. He and his fellow guard are in sync with their timing, if defenders attempt to switch them up. Teams may like to see him react quicker and not sit back. Nonetheless, Radunz plays under control and dictates the line of scrimmage in a technically sound way.
Not many other offensive linemen in this year’s class have the balance that Radunz has. He never falls to the ground or loses his base. The only time the offensive tackle will go to the ground, is if he is asked to cut down the opponent and take away their legs. Meanwhile, Radunz has shown a strong ability to move laterally. His transitions are smooth, as he can redirect quickly. On the other hand, Radunz displays sufficient footwork. You do not see clunky or stagnant feet in short areas. The only real question here is, how will Radunz be able to consistently handle speedier pass rushers? Building more lower half strength will help.
Firing out of his stance, Radunz physically wears down opposing defenders at a rapid pace. His power at the point of attack is long-lasting. Radunz can overpower opponents and topple them into the dirt. Additionally, the North Dakota State product finishes with authority. His finishing power is an attribute that is rarely missing. Out of 50 plays, it shows up on about 49 of them. Especially in the run game, Radunz loves to show that he can maul you. He simply controls the opposing man so easily.
We mentioned the need for building lower half strength earlier. In terms of being able to anchor, his slightly lacking mass can hurt him. On pass block reps, his strength and proportion does not quite measure up to his frame. The length Radunz has at his disposal will likely help. But, he can still become even more productive as his build and physique continue to grow. NFL teams should have no issue in getting Radunz to work in that area.
Overall, he is an advantageous pass blocker. Radunz’ strength currently lies more in run blocking, though. He takes short, compact shuffles when mirroring opposing rushers. This can be as much of an issue, as it is a benefit to him. Radunz can be slow at times to latching onto or reacting to opponents. To boot, his hand timing is a work in progress. He can also stand too upright. This allows defenders to get hands on his chest quicker.
This is an issue that can be worked through. Although, Radunz has less aggression on certain reps than others. That mauling mentality is lacking more on pass block reps, as mentioned. Radunz playing with a lower center of gravity will help against faster, bendier pass rushers. Those kind of players can stack him so well right now, due to plays where he is a bit too high. The way he performed at the Senior Bowl shows that he has improved in this area to a degree already.
Dillon Radunz has the athleticism, power and length to excel in an offensive blocking scheme like the zone style the Kansas City Chiefs use. Of course, both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz suffered injuries last season. Each of those two are also starting to get on the other side of 30 years old. Neither of those two are guaranteed to be on the Chiefs for an elongated period of time. Overall, Radunz can work through his minimal issues in pass protection swiftly. Kansas City would love his physically dominant attitude up front too. Above all, the athletic ability and movement skills that Radunz has is exactly what the Chiefs have leaned on in the past with their blockers.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the rest of the 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.