There was never a question about Landon Dickerson’s immense talent. He could easily turn into the best offensive linemen in the 2021 draft class and no one would be surprised.
Dickerson probably would have been a top-25 pick in this year’s draft if not for a serious left knee injury last December. It was his fourth major injury in five collegiate seasons, including two separate ACL tears. Yes, people are concerned about the health of the man thought to be Jason Kelce’s future replacement at center for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team invested a second-round pick (37th overall) in an “unusual player” from Alabama, per Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. The franchise was fully aware of Dickerson’s injury history but felt it was a risk worth taking.
“We knew all that,” Roseman said about Dickerson. “To quote Coach Stoutland, he’s unusual. He’s an unusual player with an unusual personality. And we think that the upside of what he can do not only as a player but as a person and the people he can bring along with that, with some of our young linemen, can make a huge difference in our football team going forward.”
If he’s healthy.. Landon Dickerson is a steal here. He earned his black belt at the age of 11.. youngest in the history of his dojo
— trey wingo (@wingoz) April 30, 2021
When one reporter compared the pick to taking Sidney Jones with the 43rd overall pick in 2017, Roseman attempted to calm those fears by chalking it up to chance.
“But we also don’t want to be risk-averse. We want to take chances,” Roseman said. “When we think about Landon, think about what kind of player we think he is and what kind of player we think he can be in the National Football League.”
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Dickerson Named ‘Most Inspiring Player’
Dickerson made his mark at Alabama with his play and his attitude, something that seems to be in the air down in Tuscaloosa. He was named a permanent team captain in 2020 and then named “Most Inspiring Player” at the program’s awards banquet. That honor is voted on by teammates and given to the player who affects the whole team by his attitude as well as his performance. Dickerson won it hands down.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 7, 2021
“You know, it’s really — you can call it leadership or however you want. I care for every single guy I play with,” Dickerson told reporters on draft night. “I love being a part of a team, especially a football team. Everybody at this level has a mindset that not only do they want to be the best athlete, player they can be, but we also want to create the best team, a winning team.”
Former Eagle Drooling Over Rookie’s Potential
Former Eagles offensive lineman Brian Baldinger heavily criticized last year’s draft class in Philadelphia. He didn’t want Jalen Reagor or Davion Taylor. Time will tell there. But the knowledgeable NFL analyst was on board with the talent Roseman brought in this year for the Eagles. His favorite pick? Landon Dickerson.
“He’s my favorite player in the draft,” Baldinger told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He’ll start the fight and finish the fight. [Nick] Saban has called him the best leader they’ve ever had. He’s just a culture builder.”
— Wade Sunderland (@SunderlandWade) May 4, 2021
Baldinger took it a step further by saying he could see Dickerson taking over for Kelce sooner than later. Maybe before the end of the year.
“I know there are injury questions about him. But I didn’t have any problem with them rolling the dice on this kid in the second round,” Baldinger said. “Because if he stays healthy, he’ll be the best lineman in this draft. He might take over for Kelce this year.”