Once again the Saints drafted at least in part to bolster depth at a position they are thin at and this time they went offensive line with interior lineman Andrew Tiller of Syracuse. This kid was coached by Doug Marrone, former Saints’ assistant, at Syracuse, so you know the Saints’ staff had a lot of trustworthy inside information on the player. I love this move because behind Matt Tennant as a backup, and he’s really a center, the Saints have no one. This kid can come in immediately as has a real good shot at making the team. I also trust that as a Marrone disciple, the Saints got the best and more accurate information possible on him, so I feel it’s a good pick.
Here’s his write up on NFL.com:
Overview: “Tiller has NFL size for the guard position. He is a below-average athlete, which hurts his ability to contribute early at the next level. A strong, positional blocker who really excels in the run game, Tiller can overpower his defender with ease. His footwork is his Achilles heel and the reason he could be relegated to the practice squad during his first few years.”
Strengths: “Tiller makes his mark as a run blocker. Although not very explosive, he is generally able to move defensive linemen out of the play if he can get his hands on them. Size and strength are the shining attributes of his game.”
Weaknesses: “Tiller is a interior lineman who lacks explosion and struggles in pass protection. It seems he hasn’t honed in on a stance and pass-set that he feels comfortable with, as he gets too high at times and can be caught off-balance by powerful pass rushers. He struggles in space to work upfield and get his hands on linebackers, and really would excel more in a zone blocking scheme.”
I read another report that suggested he seemed weak at the combine, so that’s a concern as his write up above lists power as one of his strengths. None the less, again, interior offensive line was a must and I think this guy has a real shot at making the 53 man roster.
Welcome to the Saints Andrew!