Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Syracuse offensive lineman Andrew Tiller runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Andrew Tiller, a.k.a "The Hun"
Offensive Guard, Syracuse #66, 6'4" 324 lbs.
I love studying offensive linemen like a fat kid loves cake, and Andrew Tiller used to be that fat kid and he probably used to love cake, cookies, ice cream, and a whole lot of other things you're not supposed to eat. Because he weighed in at approximately 400 pounds when he started playing at Syracuse. For some strange reason this makes me hope he's on the verge of reaching his athletic potential with the addition of some serious game study and coaching.
You see, Andrew really didn't have a big sweet tooth; in fact, he was on bedrest for three months in high school from an ankle injury, which is how he gained all that weight. Thanks to some serious conditioning at Syracuse, Tiller currently weighs 324 pounds which looks way better on his 6' 4" frame.
In three years at Syracuse, he's developed himself from old school offensive lineman to new school offensive lineman. There is a consensus among most pro scouts that while Tiller has the size and power to compete at the next level, what he lacks is athleticism. Which may be due to the dramatic physical change he's undergone during his time in college. I'm not saying he's the next Carl Nicks, but I do know the Saints didn't come across this guy by accident; they had the Martha Stewart hook up with Tiller.
The scouts don't have the luxury of two years of constant contact with a player. Doug Marrone, who recommended Tiller to the Saints, did spend this much time with the 6th round draft pick. Marrone is a former Saints assistant who happens to coach at Syracuse (no, I don't think he's the Bountygate snitch) and who has worked with Tiller on his technique, which still need more development. If Marrone vouched for him, I'd assume he saw the right work ethic and skills the Saints look for in their offensive linemen.
While I couldn't find any stats like pancake blocks or sacks allowed on this guy, most reports say the Syracuse offensive line improved upon Tiller's arrival. He's been a consistent starter for Syracuse and seems fairly durable, as the only major injury I could find on him was the ankle injury in high school. On a scale of 1-10, I'd grade this guy as a future 8.5, but he needs to be coached up to dominate in the NFL.
He excels at run blocking, which is definitely a plus with the Saints current stable of running backs. His high school team averaged about 300 yards per game on the ground, while Syracuse's running back Delone Carter has enjoyed consecutive 1,000 yard seasons behind Tiller's blocking. As a matter of fact, Carter was not one of the four Syracuse players invited to the NFL Combine, but Tiller was. He needs improvement with his footwork and technique when pass blocking but Aaron Kromer should be able to develop him into either a solid backup or a possible starter after a couple of years on the roster.
"In PayLoo We Trust!"
Hometown: Brentwood, NY
High School: Central Islip/Nassau Community College
At Syracuse: Two letters (another source claims he lettered three times)
Senior Year (2010): Started all 13 games ... Has blocked for 1,000-yard rusher Delone Carter this season ... The offensive line has helped the Orange convert on 34-of-40 (.850) chances in the red zone this season, which is tied for second in the BIG EAST.
Junior Year (2009): Played in 10 games, including three starts.
Nassau Community College: 2008 Junior College Gridwire All-American … Nassau CC coach: John Anselmo.
High School: Named to the 2006 New York State Sportswriters Association All-State Class AA Team … Earned the 2006 Zellner Award, presented to the most outstanding lineman in Suffolk County, after leading the way for the offense that averaged 313 rushing yards per game … Named to the 2006 All-Suffolk County First Team … Selected to play in the 2007 Empire Challenge High School Football All-Star Game … In 2006, posted 103 tackles as a senior defensive lineman, the fourth-best total in Long Island … Also led all players in Long Island with 12 sacks … High school coach: George Powers … In 2007, recorded the 19th-best discus throw in Suffolk County Section XI (122-06.50).
Personal: Andrew J. Tiller … Son of Sharon Tiller … Born in March 1989 … Majoring in communication and rhetorical studies.
40 yard dash: 5.50 secs.
40 Range: 5.25-5.64 secs.
225-lb. Reps: 16 (17 at Pro Day workout; Only event he participated in for Pro Day)
Vertical Jump: 23 inches
Broad Jump: 7' 1"
20 yd. Shuttle: 4.80 secs.
3-Cone Drill: 7.92
Only 1 of 4 Syracuse players invited to the Combine.
Tiller was chosen for the 2011 All Big East Conference First Team
2008 Gridwire Junior College All American at Nassau Community College
Selected to play in the 2007 Empire Challenge High School Football All-Star Game
Named to the 2006 New York State Sportswriters Association All-State Class AA Team
2006 Zellner Award, presented to the most outstanding lineman in Suffolk County
Named to the 2006 All-Suffolk County First Team
In 2006, posted 103 tackles as a senior defensive lineman, the fourth-best total in Long Island
Also led all players in Long Island with 12 sacks