The Washington State left tackle killed it at the combine

Texans and Andre Dillard are a match made in heaven

Texans and Andre Dillard are a match made in heaven
Cody Stoots/SportsMap

The Texans need Andre Dillard. More specifically, they need a player like Andre Dillard. A freakish athlete who backs up his wow workout moments with success on the field at left tackle.

Currently scheduled to pick 23 in the first round and with need on the offensive line, the Texans would be very lucky to be able to pick Dillard. His floor might be higher than the Texans selection after today.

People Andre Dillard's size shouldn't be able to do the things Dillard did Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. The former Washington State left tackle manned the blindside in Pullman, WA for years and he is well on his way to making that his career path in the NFL.

Dillard started the day showing off his freakish speed.

That would end up being the fourth best number by an offensive lineman on the day. He would be the top performer in the 20-yard shuttle among the offensive linemen as well.

He would again be the best in the combine class with a huge broad jump.

It is the second-best offensive lineman broad jump since 2006.

Now how about the actual on-field play. After all, he's not getting drafted to play gym he's getting drafted to play football. According to Dillard's former quarterback Gardner Minshew his left tackle took a lot off his plate.

[ia_video source="" videoControls=true shortcode_id=1551483322181 expand=1 id=1551483322181 caption="Andre Dillard's QB Gardner Minshew on his LT ability" attribution="Cody Stoots" expand=1 ]

Having started 39 consecutive games for the Cougars running a Mike Leach offense there is plenty of film for teams to consume and get used to Dillard's pass blocking. Each of the past three years Washington State led the nation in pass attempts.

"A lot of teams have said it's a good thing that I have pass-protection ability," he said. "Because the NFL passes a lot. It's something that's not easy to master, so they like that I have lot of that in my background."

He credits some of his footwork success to being a multi-sports athlete.

[ia_video source="" videoControls=true shortcode_id=1551483341193 expand=1 id=1551483341193 caption="Andre Dillard on what helped his footwork improve" attribution="Cody Stoots" expand=1 ]

Now, about run blocking. The Cougars have been dead last in rushing attempts the past two seasons meaning any inconsistency in his run blocking sticks out more with less reps to analyze.

"I'm pretty critical of myself," Dillard said at his combine media availability. "So one area for improvement is definitely continuing to improve on the run game.I showcased a bit of that ability at the Senior Bowl, and I just plan to continue that."

He joked the offense in college had just two zone running plays and that was it.

Helping the ground game will obviously have to get better but the Texans need help at tackle and they need it now. The team met with Dillard at the Senior Bowl but as of Thursday he hadn't met with the Texans at the combine. The league leaders in sacks allowed and a talent like Dillard, though initially maybe lacking in the rushing game, can help the pass game tremendously. Also, with teams having reservations about his ability to run block, he could slide down the draft board to where the Texans select.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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