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CONTENT

Post Draft Analysis
Youtube Highlights
ESPN Insider Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
NFL.COM Draft Analysis
NFL Draft Bible Analysis (paid subscription)
Pro Football Focus Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
Gridiron Draft Guide (Simon Clancy) (paid subscription)
Pro Football Network (Tony Pauline) Analysis
The 33rd Team (Ireland et al.) Analysis

 

 

POST DRAFT ANALYSIS

Scott Pioli
“I don’t like him; I love him. In two years, we’ll be talking about a Pro Bowl tight end.”

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Draft Analysis
Long is a big target with good hands and a wide catching radius. He flashes as a route runner and locates pockets in zone looks. He has the speed and frame to make plays down the seam, plus he has some upside as an open-field runner after the catch. -- Steve Muench


Post-Draft Analysis
---

 

Player Bio

Long matriculated to Chestnut Hill from Deerfield Academy in New Hampshire, where he was a second-team all-state selection as a tight end and defensive end. Long averaged 25.8 yards on four catches in his redshirt freshman season (103 total yards) and scored two touchdowns. He was a third-team all-conference pick in 2019 after leading the team with 509 yards on 28 receptions (18.2 per), scoring twice in 13 games (three starts). The second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 decided to leave for the NFL after racking up 57 receptions for 685 yards (12.0 per) and five scores in 11 starts for the Eagles. -- by Chad Reuter

Analysis

  • Draft Projection - Round 3
  • NFL Comparison - Jace Sternberger

Overview

Pass-catching tight end with decent speed and plus ball skills but a concerning lack of consistent aggression in his play. Long is much too passive and unskilled as a run blocker at this point of his development to consistently help against NFL competition. He also needs to get better at controlling his catch space with body control and physicality. However, when the ball is in the air, he plays with a plus level of tracking and focus to make tougher catches look easy, including throws that are down near his feet. He doesn't look like a burner, but he does have success running the seam and working over routes, so play speed should not be an issue. He's unlikely to ever be much of a blocker, so he must learn to become more competitive and feisty in fighting for his space and the football.

Strengths

  • Picks up his play speed as route progresses.
  • Able to attack the seam and potentially all three levels.
  • Uses hand fighting to clear handsy coverage at top of the route.
  • Made first downs on 60 percent of his catches in 2020.
  • Gains some separation out of his turns.
  • Scrambles open for his quarterback.
  • Hands are soft and natural for the routine catch.
  • Hyper-focuses when the ball is headed his way.
  • Able to bring in throws well outside his frame with sticky hands.
  • Could be an issue to cover for some linebackers.

Weaknesses

  • Play strength and aggressiveness end up in minus column.
  • Allows press to beat and ride him early on.
  • Will race through routes rather than selling his breaks at times.
  • Needs to be more competitive in claiming his catch space.
  • Inconsistent finishing contested catches.
  • Not tough enough to handle heavy lifting as blocker.
  • Blocks with folded arms like a player from the old electric football game.
  • Let the running game down in matchup against Clemson.

 

HUNTER LONG | Boston College | TE | #80 | rJr | 6051 | 254 | Exeter, NH | Deerfield Academy | 08.19.98 (22)

OVERVIEW:
Unknown to the masses entering 2020, Long is not a secret among NFL teams, as the tall, long tight end has flashed the speed required to stretch and work all parts of the field. Long shows the ability to break tackles in the open field, along with tremendous yard-after-catch ability due to his quickness and run power. He also shows the strength and technique to be a solid blocker at the next level. Long thrived in the 12 personnel sets under the old coaching regime and then showed his pass-catching skills as he adapted to a more spread attack in 2020 under coach Jeff Hafley. In addition to his sound blocking, his usage off play-action can be lethal due to his size/speed combination.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
"We could not be happier and more supportive of Hunter's decision to enter the NFL Draft. Hunter has been a terrific ambassador on and off the field for our program and we can't wait to watch him play on Sundays." – Boston College Head Coach Jeff Hafley on Hunter Long’s Decision to Declare Early

BACKGROUND:
Hunter Virgil Long; son of Stephen and Jean Long, has two sisters. Played for head coach Brian Barbato at Deerfield Academy; totaled 30 receptions for 508 yards and two touchdowns; rated No. 4 player in Massachusetts by Rivals.com. Recipient of The Thomas J. Condon, Jr. Scholarship; computer science major.

CAREER:

 

Hunter Long committed to Boston College in the 2017 recruiting class as a three-star prospect out of Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts over offers from schools such as UConn and UMass. Long was a two-time all-conference selection while at Deerfield and racked up 508 receiving yards on 30 receptions to go along with seven sacks as a defensive lineman.

 

HUNTER LONG - BOSTON COLLEGE #80

  • SIZE: 6ft 5ins, 253lbs
  • CLASS: Redshirt junior

THE SKINNY:
Long has a big frame to go along with some okay athleticism. An in-line TE who spends 75 per cent of his time with his hand in the ground, he can get movement in the run game, is a decent option in the short and intermediate area and he runs nice routes, especially off play-action concepts. Whilst you’d never mistake him for Kellen Winslow, he does have the ability to work vertically down the seam and defeat linebackers, coupled with some toughness to get yards after the catch. Although he was completely erased by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah late in the 2020 season, he could develop into an Austin Hooper-type. I suspect his ceiling is as a solid number two with some versatility and ST upside.

OFF FIELD:
Has a reputation for being focused, hardworking and tough. Reportedly ran a handheld 40-yard dash in 4.59 at high school. From New Hampshire, he would be only the 25th player
from the state to play in the NFL since the league’s inception in 1920. Loves to rebuild computers in his spare time. Broke his hand as a senior in HS.

 

HUNTER LONG - TIGHT END

  • Height: 6'4 1/2"
  • Weight: 252 #
  • School: Boston College
  • Year: RS Junior

CAREER SNAPSHOT:
A three-star recruit who attracted little atten-tion early in the recruiting process, Hunter Long also had to wait for his chance to shine at Boston College.
During the past two seasons, however, he’s amassed 1,194 receiving yards and 7 touch-downs as the main receiving threat for the Ea-gles.
His performances in 2020 earned him All-American honors, a rare feat for a Boston Col-lege tight end.

POSITIVES:
Nice-sized tight end with a reliable game. Fluid and natural as a pass catcher, nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns and adjusts to grabs the errant pass in stride.
Tracks the pass in the air, displays terrific focus and concentration, and holds onto the catch after big hits. Uses his hands to separate from defenders and extends to make the reception away from his frame.
Plays with excellent balance and body control, knows where he is on the field, and uses the sidelines well. Possesses outstanding blocking vision, keeps his head on a swivel, and looks for someone to hit.
Stays square and seals defenders from the action.

NEGATIVES:
Shows limited play speed and doesn’t stretch the seam. Must improve his playing strength and finish blocks.

ANALYSIS:
Long was a consistent, reliable tight end for Boston College and has a game that translates well to the NFL. He's not flashy, nor is he a true playmaker, but he’s a natural pass catcher who holds his own as a blocker. I believe Long can develop into a starting NFL tight end, though he'll never make big plays down the field.

PFN’S BEST NFL FITS
New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills

 

THE 33RD TEAM

BUILD
Excellent build and frame, great example of what you look for in an NFL Tight End. May be maxed out in growth as a 22 year old, but still has some room on his frame to add muscle.

ATHLETICISM
Fluid athlete with good speed. Very good catch radius, showcases the ability to go down and scoop the ball from the turf as well as the ability to go up and high point a ball.

TECHNICAL
Route running is inconsistent, with some sloppy footwork at times. Has a tendency to catch with his body when he expects contact.

SUMMARY
Long is an athletic, big-bodied TE that can be worked into nearly any system in the NFL. He is good enough right now to be a starter, but he would thrive in a TE2 setting to learn from and grow under a more developed, veteran player like Dallas Goedert has done in Philidelphia. He is an impressive athlete for his size and shows high effort on blocks, making him arguably the most well-rounded tight end in the class. While I don't think he is a day 1 pick, I think he may be one of the players that teams are scrambling to trade up to the top of round 2 for.

CONTENT

Post Draft Analysis
Youtube Highlights
ESPN Insider Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
NFL.COM Draft Analysis
NFL Draft Bible Analysis (paid subscription)
Pro Football Focus Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
Gridiron Draft Guide (Simon Clancy) (paid subscription)
Pro Football Network (Tony Pauline) Analysis
The 33rd Team (Ireland et al.) Analysis

 

 

POST DRAFT ANALYSIS

(Coming Soon)

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Draft Analysis
Eichenberg has below-average length and might have to kick inside at the NFL level, but he's an effective pass-blocker on tape. He gets set quickly, shoots his hands, stays inside-out and powers down to take away inside moves. Eichenberg is a technically sound and tough run-blocker with the ability to move defenders off the ball. -- Steve Muench

Post-Draft Analysis
H

 

Player Bio

Eichenberg was so impressive in youth football camps that Ohio State offered him a scholarship before his freshman year at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. The High School All-American and top-100 overall recruit nationally decided to sign with Notre Dame instead (though his brother, Tommy, signed with the Buckeyes as a linebacker in 2019). As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Eichenberg played in five games as a reserve. He started all 26 games for the Irish at left tackle in 2018 and 2019, portending a big senior season. Eichenberg came through, starting all 12 games at his left tackle spot to earn second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-ACC accolades. League coaches voted him the winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top lineman in the conference, and he was also an Outland Trophy finalist. -- by Chad Reuter

Analysis

  • Draft Projection - Round 2
  • NFL Comparison - Justin Pugh

Overview

A better run blocker than pass protector at this juncture, Eichenberg is a three-year starter at left tackle but might be asked to move to the right side due to average slide quickness and inconsistencies in pass protection. He's well-schooled in a variety of running schemes and attacks his job with above-average strain and leg drive once he has his block centered. His punch lacks crispness, accuracy and is too easy for defenders to time up. He could see early starting reps at tackle but could face early difficulties until he learns to cinch up defenders with his grip rather than popping and separating so often.

Strengths

  • Three-year starter who learned under Quenton Nelson and Ronnie Stanley.
  • Adequate thickness with proportional frame.
  • Allows slanting defender to declare before he fits and runs him.
  • Strikes with force into first contact.
  • Well-schooled working hip to hip on double teams.
  • Works with good strain during sustain phase as run blocker.
  • Adequate athleticism and body control up to second level.
  • Diverts and turns his block away from run lane.
  • Displays feel for drop depth in his sets.
  • Reloads and fires when his punch is discarded.
  • Able to slide and recover once pass rush disengages.

Weaknesses

  • Could struggle gaining early depth with kick slides versus NFL speed.
  • Timing, hand placement and body control all need work in pass sets.
  • High hands easily swatted and discarded.
  • Punch is monotonous and predictable.
  • Needs to eliminate punch hitch and diversify his attacks on rushers.
  • Reaches looking for two-hand contact rather than sitting back and ripping it.
  • Has a tendency to play too far forward when seeking moving targets.
  • One-pop hitter, allowing rushers secondary opportunities.

Sources Tell Us:
"He can get better in some areas but he plays like a short-armed guy and that concerns me if he's going to be a tackle. He will start and probably early on." -- Director of scouting for NFC team

 

LIAM EICHENBERG | Notre Dame | OT | #74 | rSr | 6051 | 305 | Cleveland, OH | Saint Ignatius | 01.19.98 (23)

OVERVIEW:
Dating all the way back to 2009, the Fighting Irish have had a future first-round pick manning the left tackle position. Eichenberg looks to continue that trend it the 2021 draft. With a lot of experience at the position, Eichenberg has seen a positive progression in his play during his career. He boasts a prototypical frame to slot in early as a blind-side protector. Eichenberg hits all the requisite size thresholds wanted at the position. He is a very smooth pass protector who possesses outstanding patience and balance to remain square against more athletic edge rushers. Eichenberg has good hands, remaining active early in reps. In the run game, Eichenberg is powerful enough to compete at a high level. He is a hustler who plays with a bit of a mean streak, working to the echo of the whistle on more than a few occasions. The biggest question is: Just how high is his upside? There is nothing physically that pops out about Eichenberg. He is a solid but not exceptional athlete who could cause some issues working in space on the next level. There is a clear projection moving forward. With a consistent and calculated approach, Eichenberg possesses a solid blend of size, athleticism and consistency to hear his name called on the first two days of the 2021 draft.

BACKGROUND:
A four-year letter winner for the Fighting Irish, Eichenberg started 38 games at left tackle for the team, earning first-team All-America nods in 2020. Was a consensus four-star recruit by every major recruiting service coming out of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Played for head coach Chuck Kyle while at Saint Ignatius.

 

 

5. LIAM EICHENBERG - NOTRE DAME #74

  • School: Notre Dame
  • Size: 6'6", 305#
  • Class: Senior

HE SKINNY:
Ultra-consistent, hardworking, battle-tested LT who is the epitome of the phrase ‘don’t overlook good college players’. Solid down-to-down player who’s calm and under control.

DEEP DIVE:
Eichenberg is a three-year starter at left tackle and as NFL-ready as anyone at the position in the class. Not only is he the only tackle to not allow a sack on 400-plus pass-blocking snaps this past season, he also just goes out and does his job snap after snap, game after game. He’s not the fastest, the strongest or the most athletic but he has the right makeup to be a long-term starter in the NFL. He understands when to short-set guys and when to jump them on the LOS and use his physical ability as an asset. He understands when to use those powerful hands as a pass protector, or to cut off angles. It may be that he transitions to the right side in time, but he should get the chance to start on the left side from early on in his career. There’s some Mitchell Schwartz to his game in terms of his traits and you could easily see him talked about in the same way as the former Chiefs All-Pro. Eichenberg is a better run blocker than he is in pass protection: for me he has a tendency to play a little high in his pass sets – he pops up, his pad level can be poor and he’s immediately leaving his chest open to being bull-rushed. Powerful edge rushers will use that against him unless he snaps out of that habit. He’s also a two-hand puncher which can lead him to being unbalanced, especially against speed, and although he has incredibly fast hands with great timing and location of delivery, he does need to find some independent hand usage. However, he’s so experienced that when he eliminates those issues or when he’s winning reps, he will sink his hips and play with really nice leverage. He had a number of issues with false starts in 2019 and I wonder at times whether it was part of a wider concentration issue that sometimes rises its head. He played really well in 2020 and although he might be a little limited physically in comparison to Sewell and Slater, he understands that and adjusts his game accordingly.

OFF FIELD:
Eichenberg was one of the top players in the state of Ohio in HS. He played in the Under Armour All-America game. He backed up first-rounder Mike McGlinchey as a redshirt sophomore and initially lost the RT job to Tommy Kraemer. Great work ethic and highly respected off the field

 

LIAM EICHENBERG - OFFENSIVE TACKLE

  • Grade: 3.87
  • Projected Round: 2
  • Position Rank: 7
  • Overall Rank: 63

CAREER SNAPSHOT:
A highly touted recruit out of Cleveland St. Ig-natius in the 2016 class, Liam Eichenberg chose Notre Dame over Ohio State.
The Fighting Irish have a history of producing stellar offensive linemen, and Eichenberg spent two years learning behind now San Francisco 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey.
As a three-year starter at left tackle, Eichen-berg has proven solid against some of the na-tion’s top edge rushers and didn’t allow a sack in 2019.

POSITIVES:
Large, strong college left tackle who projects to the right side at the next level. Blocks with proper lean and displays outstanding vision as well as awareness.
Terrific position blocker who picks up stunts and blitzes, squares into opponents, and seals defenders from the action. Keeps his feet mov-ing, correctly places his hands into opponents, and makes terrific use of angles.
Strong, flashes power as a run blocker, and moves defenders off the line. |
Better-than-average range off the edge, gets leverage on opponents, and looks to hit multiple defenders on each down.

NEGATIVES:
Really doesn't sink his butt at the line of scrimmage. Struggles handling speed rush-ers and gets exploited on the blitz.
Not light on his feet or effective blocking in motion and lacks quick, fluid footwork off the edge.

ANALYSIS:
Eichenberg is an imposing offensive lineman who gets the most from his ability and plays in-telligent, intense football. He was productive and durable for Notre Dame and comes with growth potential. Eichenberg has the tools necessary to develop into a terrific right tackle in the NFL.

PFN’S BEST NFL FITS
Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

THE 33RD TEAM

BUILD
Prototypical length for a tackle, though narrow hips may limit his ability to add weight to his frame at the next level and is a bit light for the position. He has started every game since his Sophomore season with no injury concerns.

BODY LANGUAGE
He shows solid toughness and fight to recover when beaten. As a puller and at the 2nd level, he shows the patience to get square. In pass protection, he shows good awareness of stunts and blitzes in his peripheral and can identify potential blitzers well pre-snap. His is not overly aggressive as a run blocker and does not have a finisher's mentality.

ATHLETICISM
Has the mobility to get out in space effectively as an outside zone blocker with the upper body strength to keep defenders within his frame when properly engaged. He shows the lower body strength to drive smaller interior lineman out of the play down blocking. A tendency to lunge as a run blocker can limit his explosiveness at the point of attack. He lacks the lateral agility to properly adjust when over running his block, though his length usually allows him to shove the defender out of harm's way. As a pass blocker, he shows the initial quickness to get back in his vertical set effectively with the change of direction ability to use his length to guard against inside counters and has the balance to recover from awkward positions.

TECHNICAL
As a run blocker, he can tend to lunge with poor hand placement, as a wide punch does not allow him to routinely get his hands on the breastplate of the defender. This deficiency can allow the DL to get into his chest and limit his ability to move them or sustain. He can reset his hands after initial contact, and when properly engaged can roll his hips to create leverage and drive his feet through the block. As a combo blocker, he does not use his hands very well to seal, but at the second level and as a puller he shows the patience to get square and drive 2nd level defenders out of the play. In pass protection, he shows patience to allow the defender to come to him and can use his long arms to keep edge rushers at bay. He does not have the smoothest footwork which can cause him to have to lunge against faster pass rushers, creating opportunities for him to be pulled off his base or have his hands slapped down. He does fight well when initially beaten and can use his long arms to widen defenders past the arc. He has the lower body strength and ankle flexion to anchor effectively, and his length makes it difficult for bull rushers to get into his body.

SUMMARY
Eichenberg is a tackle who wins with his length, awareness, and patience whose lack of consistent hand placement and tendency to lunge hold him back from being a top tier tackle prospect. He projects as a low-end starting LT at the next level who could develop into a solid starter.

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