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Preseason Scouting Notes: Greg Eiland, OT, Mississippi State

Redshirt Senior | 6’8″ 335 lbs | Philadelphia, MS | Feb. 2, 1998

 

A versatile offensive tackle who has a threatening punch and trustworthy mobility packed into a mountainous frame

 

Overview:

After coming to Mississippi State as a 3-star recruit, Greg Eiland redshirted his freshman year (2016). In 2017, he managed four starts for the injured Martinas Rankins. As a sophomore, he took over for Rankins as the starting left tackle in all 13 games of the 2018 season. In 2019, he played in only 11 games, missing one due to injury and suspension respectively, while also switching sides to right tackle. Eiland played under Joe Moorhead’s gap-power run heavy scheme that averaged just above 62% of the offense being run plays, which went up to 64% versus SEC opponents. As of 2020, Moorhead has been relieved of his duties as head coach and has been replaced with Mike Leach. Leach is notoriously Air Raid coach, so Eiland will have a lot more opportunities to improve his pass blocking.

Strengths:

– Functional short area mobility leads to promising, NFL-caliber footwork
– Punches are forceful, accurate and timed well often
– Holds blocks long enough to let ball carriers slip by. Sets timely positional blocks on runs
– Massive, NFL-ready frame for the position
– Has plenty of experience at both tackle spots
– As sturdy as they come. Will rarely see him on the ground due to balance based missteps
– Shows functional flexibility and  proper posture

Areas to Improve:

– Sluggish when asked to pull or block in space
– Gets beaten outside consistently by bendy speed rushers. Simply does not have the recovery speed on vertical sets to get out to the edge
– Poor second level blocker. Consistently whiffs or gets juked to the ground by backers and DBs
– Play more like a gentle giant rather than the expected man mover his size suggests
– Seems lost when looking for work as a free blocker
– Reacts too slowly to stunts and other movements pre- and post-snap
– Willing, but poor cut blocker. Does not perform these often but fails to take his man out more often than not
– Was off the field relatively often. Unsure if it is due to a stamina issue or otherwise

Injury Concerns:

– Missed one game in 2019 due to ulnar collateral ligament in elbow
– Missed Homecoming game against Abilene Christian due to suspension for violating team rules

Projection:

As of now, Eiland projects as a PFA, but has serious Day 3 potential due to his size alone. Pair that with short-area quickness, and he will likely be drafted simply for his physical gifts; though his play needs work before it is a serious consideration. He has performed fairly well on both the left and right side, but his future most likely lies on the right due to natural pass protection limitations. Eiland’s pass blocking development under Leach this upcoming season will be vital to his stock.

What to Watch in 2020:

Eiland’s game needs a lot of work. He developed well from his sophomore to junior season but with a completely new scheme, how will he fare? The Leach hiring could potentially be extremely hurtful for Eiland as the areas he needs work with the most will be exposed in the air raid offense Leach is likely to implement. As well as recalibrating to a new offense, can Eiland clean up the messy holes in his game? Said holes, while all similar in ability, have proven to be a problem for him so it will be vital that Eiland cleans up the technical aspects of his game.