April 28, 2012

Andrew Tiller, offensive guard, Syracuse

Andrew Tiller, offensive guard, Syracuse
179th overall selection, 9th pick in the 6th round
6'4 3/8", 324, 5.46 40

Picking sooner in the sixth round thanks to the Reggie Bush trade, the Saints got a recommended pick from former running game coordinator and offensive line coach Doug Marrone, who sends a two-year starter to the Saints.  Syracuse produced two 1000 yard rushers in the past two seasons behind Tiller.



Enormous Andrew Tiller, whose weight has long been an issue, arriving from junior college weighing 400+ pounds, reportedly because of a foot injury.  Lost 70 pounds in 2010 and played in the 335-340 area, got it down to 324 for the scouting combine.  Pushed up 225 an embarrassing 16 times at the combine, bringing to question the amount of muscle in the mass.   Near the bottom of all offensive linemen in the jumps, did respectively in the agility drills.

Tiller is a hard-fighter and a bulldozer in the run game.  Doesn't bend well, and stays too upright - Marrone couldn't get his footwork perfected in three seasons.  Similarly to Carl Nicks, who Doug Marrone helped turn into a star, Tiller has massive size and potential that needs careful coaching.

The Saints have an inside track on what it takes to motivate Tiller, who has experienced a complete lifestyle change in the past three years.  Should he continue the personal progress and physical improvement he's made in  since his 400-pound junior college days, Tiller could follow a track similar to Nicks in New Orleans.

Behind entrenched starters Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans, Tiller shouldn't be needed immediately.  He will compete with Matt Tennant, Nick Howell and Eric Olsen for roster spots.

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