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Versatile Gordon Looks For Year 2 Jump

Posted Jun 1, 2017


Finally, Dillon Gordon admits, he is an offensive lineman.

That is significant for Gordon, the work-in-progress athlete who started at tight end for three seasons at LSU and then signed with the Eagles after the 2016 NFL Draft and was immediately moved to the offensive line.

The Eagles liked Gordon’s upside enough as an unrefined offensive lineman to keep him on the 53-man roster as a rookie. He played in one game, at Baltimore, and saw action for two snaps. His first snap came as an extra offensive lineman in the first half. Later, Gordon lined up as a fullback. Gordon also played in four snaps on special teams in his regular season taste of the NFL.

Athlete. Prospect. So what does Year 2 bring for Gordon, a 6-4, 322-pounder who is vying to make this offensive linemen-deep roster in 2017?

“I’m very comfortable with it now,” Gordon said in the NovaCare Complex locker room. “I’ve got a year under my belt and I think for me being in that O-line room and being with (center Jason) Kelce and (G/C Stefen) Wiz (Wisniewski) and knowing the terminology that they use, it makes it easier to know where Kelce’s playing and where I have to go.”

Gordon has been taking reps as the second-team left tackle in these Organized Team Activities with Jason Peters not here and with Lane Johnson moving from right tackle to the left side. Certainly, on a line deep in veteran talent with NFL starting experience, Gordon isn’t guaranteed a thing. He’s still young in the game as far as understanding the nuances of the offensive line position, but Gordon is doing what he can to show his ability – and his versatility.

As the Eagles don’t have a true fullback on the roster, they’re giving Gordon a look there in certain short-yardage situations in the spring. Gordon has also lined up in tight end spots in certain instances in the OTAs, going with the theory that every little bit helps further a roster case.

“You really just have to know where the point is and where you’re going and you just have to be explosive and be quick and deliver a hit so our running back can get free,” said Gordon, explaining the key to playing the fullback position. “I think this year they’re going to put me in different spots to get me on the field with my athleticism. That’s why you’ll see me lined up sometimes at tight end, sometimes at fullback.

“I’m not trying to take anything away from Jason Peters, because he’s a (future) Hall of Famer, so I just have to wait my turn and just learn from him while he’s still here.”

These spring reps are invaluable for players like Gordon, who have so many rough edges to smooth out and perfect. Being an athlete helps the case for making the roster, but in the end it’s going to come down to technique and consistency.

Gordon has to be outstanding to make the 53-man roster. The Eagles have added a significant amount of depth the last two seasons both in the draft and in free agency.

“Last year went by fast, but now it’s on to something bigger and better,” Gordon said. “I’m so much better of a football player now. That’s my focus, just continuing to work hard and get better every day.”


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