With the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner, it's time to take a look at some intriguing prospects to keep an eye on in Indianapolis.
Next up — Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard.
Dillard is already viewed as one of the top available players at his position heading into the Combine. His size and athleticism are everything the NFL loves from elite blindside protectors. His has decent footwork and pretty solid technique all around, stemming largely from his development in college. He has plenty of room to improve in terms of forcing pass rushers outside. He excels when defenders challenge him to the inside, as he just pushes them into a no-man's-land garbage pile inside.
Recruited as a three-star, he has worked to improve himself to the point of being a solid Day 2 prospect. He has the skills to step into any offense in the league as a starter on either side of the line.
What sets Dillard apart from other tackles at the position is the offense he comes from. As NFL teams scramble to hire young coaches from the Mike Leach coaching tree — looking to install a variation of the "Air Raid" offense, players already familiar with the scheme and terminology have extra value. For this reason, Dillard will be on the radar of any of the teams who have recently hired a new coach or coordinator looking to air it out.
At the Combine, Dillard can help his cause by showing improved handwork than what he displayed in college, as well as demonstrating elite lateral quickness. Additionally, any improvement he can display in terms of positioning himself to better force defenders outside will go a long way.
If he can do all of that and just post competitive numbers in workouts, there is a very real chance that Dillard can improve his draft stock to the point where several teams may consider spending a late first-round pick on him.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.