by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of ElevenWarriors.com.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Ohio State, Inside Linebacker, Tommy Eichenberg
Name- Tommy Eichenberg
Pos- Inside Linebacker
Team- Ohio State
HT/WT- 6’2” 239 lbs.
Home – Cleveland, OH
Eichenberg was ranked a top 20 linebacker by all the major scouting outlets during his senior season at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He was a first team All-Ohio selection as a senior by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association and was a state qualifier in track and field in the shot put. After being rated as a 4-star recruit and being heavily recruited, he selected Ohio State.
He played in only five games on special teams in his first two seasons, and he redshirted in 2019. 2021 was a breakout year for Eichenberg, and he played in all 13 games, starting 4, and was second on the team in tackles with 64. He took his game to a star level in 2022 and was named first-team all-Big Ten and 2nd team All-American after finishing the season with 120 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and an interception. His 77 solo tackles were 5th nationally and first in the Big Ten.
Tommy Eichenberg is a physical and athletic linebacker who has become the heart and soul of the Ohio State Buckeyes' defense. He’s a quick downhill attack and is relentless in pursuit of the ball carrier. He drops back into coverage and reads the quarterback's eyes well. He has a high motor and plays the game from whistle to whistle. His mechanics are fluid and he is always moving with a purpose. He plays zone defense well and knows when to drop into coverage.
Though he does a good job of getting to the ball carrier, he needs to finish his tackles with more authority, being too much of a “grab tackler.” Eichenberg is not much of a pass rushing threat, and Ohio State only uses him on blitzes during special schemes. He can overreact on pursuit against the run, and struggles at times breaking down on running backs with good cutting ability. He can do a better job of taking angles, instead of looking for blockers to fight through.
As an aside, Tommy Eichenberg’s brother Liam was an All-American tackle for Notre Dame and is in his third season of football for the Miami Dolphins, after being a 2nd round pick in the 2021 draft.
Admittedly, when you watch a bunch of videos of a player, it is easy to compare them to a former player from the same school. Draft 412 couldn’t help but think of A.J. Hawk who played in 159 NFL games and if not for injury, had a decent NFL career.
Eichenberg will not get drafted as high as Hawk (5th overall, 2006), but he has a chance to play the same type of high motor game. Hawk was a little bit heavier and an inch shorter, but they are both always around the football. Hawk only ended up with 20 sacks in his 159 games, and Draft 412 thinks Eichenberg will put up similar stats.
Whistle to whistle
Pass rush moves
Tommy Eichenberg can be a nice addition to the middle of a linebacking core and a player who will get you 100 plus tackles without blinking an eye.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 2nd or 3rd round