2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Landon Dickerson
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Alabama has been a factory for offensive line talent under Nick Saban, and Dickerson will extend that tradition via the 2021 NFL Draft. While Dickerson is not the on same level as an athlete or prospect as Ryan Kelly was, Dickerson was a superb interior blocker in 2020, helping the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.
Dickerson started out his career at Florida State and looked poised to be a good player for the Seminoles. He started seven games for them in 2016 before a knee injury ended that season. Another injury took him out of 2017, and he played in one game in 2018 before an ankle injury ended that year.
Dickerson received a medical redshirt for that season and ended up earning the starting center position for Alabama in 2019. In the 2020 SEC Championship versus Florida, Dickerson tore an ACL, ending his senior year and preventing him from participatiing in the College Football Playoff games and the Senior Bowl.
Dickerson is rock solid in pass protection, fielding superb fundamentals that make him a very technically sound blocker. He bends at the knee, maintains good leverage, avoids bending at the waist, and is very good hitting combo blocks with guards. Dickerson is not the fastest or most athletic interior protector, but his skill-set limitations are masked by his intelligence and his natural ability to play the game. As a pro, he should be a well-rounded asset.
Dickerson's fabulous technique as a run blocker makes him effective even though he lacks heavy hands and is not a bull dozer who can over power defenders. While Dickerson struggles to knock defenders off the ball, he beats them to spots and he ties them up with excellent hand placement and by using his large frame to seal them off from running lanes. Dickerson can get out in space and is adept at getting to his defender on the second level.
For the NFL, Dickerson looks like a starting center who could have a long career if he is able to stay healthy. Dickerson enters the next level with serious medical red flags, and some teams could flunk him medically given his extensive history of season-ending injuries. Teams were projecting Dickerson to be a second- or third-round pick of the 2021 NFL Draft prior to his ACL injury, and while he could still go on Day 2 of the draft, he may slide because of the medical concerns.
Player Comparison: Nick Martin. Dickerson is a tough player to find a good comparison because he is much bigger in terms of height and weight than vast majority of NFL centers. In terms of style of play as a smart interior blocker eho is a good technician, Dickerson reminds me of Martin, who has turned into a solid starter for the Texans. Martin was a second-round pick, and Dickerson could be as well if his medical history doesn't frighten teams away.
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