Dillon Radunz was just a 2-star recruit when he wound up at North Dakota State. Radunz weighed 265 pounds and was a potential defensive end when he arrived. He redshirted his freshman year in an effort to put on weight and transition to tackle. In 2017, he tore his ACL, stunting his growth. However, in 2018 and 2019 he held down left tackle for North Dakota State.
He also came back for their one-game showcase this season to play Central Arkansas. He did not allow a single pressure. Radunz is from a small school and has some questions, but has serious upside as a starting left tackle of a powerhouse offense.
How does he stack up in the 2021 NFL draft class, and should the Chicago Bears be interested in Dillon Radunz?
NFL traits that can transition for Dillon Radunz
As a former defensive lineman, he can move well. This shows most in the run game. NDSU ran an outside zone scheme that asked their offensive lineman to get out on the move and pick up blocks in space and at the second level. Dillon Radunz excelled in this area.
He moves fluidly to the second level and does a great job keeping his hand on you and covering defenders in the run game. Combination blocks may be the best trait that he possesses.
Dillon Radunz also has the foot quickness that helps him recover, and keep himself in pass rush sets. Beyond that, he has the adequate length to excel against longer frames.
Questions that Dillon Radunz will have to answer in the NFL
Dillon Radunz did a check-in at 304 pounds at the Senior Bowl, which boosted his stock. Before the Senior Bowl, there were questions as to how much muscle mass he could put on, and if he could handle power outside of the FCS. With a long and athletic frame comes one that lacks power.
He answered a lot of questions and improved his stock. Still, there are still questions about his ability to deal with strength, and when defenders are able to get inside his chest.
Radunz also played in a primary zone blocking scheme that was a run-first offense. With that, his experience in pass protection is limited, and he is likely not a fit in power, man blocking schemes.
NFL Comparison for Dillon Radunz
Seeing Dillon Radunz move into the second level and execute combination blocks brings out a style similar to Brian O’Neil. O’Neil also has a long, but lean frame, and relies on athleticism as a blocker.
Brian O’Neil was a tight end who put on weight and transformed into a tackle by the end of his college career. The Vikings took a chance on him, and it has paid off. O’Neil has been excellent in their zone-blocking scheme and his ability to get to the second level has helped Dalvin Cook take off in recent years. His foot speed gives him recovery quickness, and it limits his losses that come from power.
O’Neil showed that when you take the chance on a mean blocker who has the foot speed and athleticsm, it can pay off in a big way. You do need to find the right run blocking scheme for him, but the Vikings now have a perfect right tackle for their run system. Dillon Radunz could provide in the run game in the same way with a similar progression as a pass blocker.
Dillon Radunz fit with Chicago Bears
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace both look for athletcism out of their offensive lineman. Charles Leno is an example of a player who loses to power rushers, but does have quick feet.
Dillon Radunz is more athletic than Leno and could provide at right tackle across from him, or in replacing him. It may take time for him to add the NFL strength, but the run-game addition is too hard to pass up.
The best aspect of Dillon Radunz is his draft projection. This is likely not someone who is going at pick 20. There is a chance that a team falls in love with the athletic upside and drafts him in round two. However, there could be a chance that tthe Bears are able to draft Dillon Radunz in the second round, which would make the decision much easier.