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2021 NFL Draft Prospect OC Landon Dickerson

Power, attitude and a whole lot more

Alabama v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

When you play on the offensive line it never hurts to be big, not super tall but just a really big dude. Landon Dickerson was a really big dude back in 2016 when he graduated high school as a 6’ 5” 285lbs senior. He was the 4th best rated tackle in the country. Since then he has continued to grow from his time at FSU until the last two years at Alabama where he has blossomed to not only a great prospect but also a dominating player.

Dickerson went to FSU as a left tackle prospect. In fact Dickerson played at every position on the offensive line in his years at FSU and Alabama. Ideally, though, Dickerson projects best as an interior lineman. To be more specific, he projects best at either at right guard or center. In a pinch he could play outside at right tackle, but he doesn’t have the great lateral movement that position requires or great length. What he does have is power with a whole lot of nasty. He would bring an attitude to an offensive line like no other player in this class. He reminds me of Quenton Nelson back in 2018 out of Notre Dame.

Dickerson is a road grader of a player who won the Rimington Award for the best center in college football. While the award is not a guarantee of success in the NFL, a player with the power, attitude, technique and pile driving ability is enticing. He is universally loved and respected by coaches and teammates alike. He was a team leader on the offensive line and in the locker room. He is the type of player who can create a new attitude across the entire offensive line transforming it into a more cohesive, dominating unit.

These first 6 clips are all from the first offensive drive of the game against Mississippi. Some are clips of the same play from a different view, but you will get the picture. This first clip is a simple one on one pass blocking play against K.D. Hill a 6’ 1” 320 lb nose tackle who won’t last long in this game because he is superiorly outclassed by Dickerson.

Hill is 5 inches shorter than Dickerson. You can see the stable wide base, the solid anchor, and the mirroring skills of Dickerson; Hill has no chance to put pressure on Mac Jones who has a clean pocket. This is just basic blocking. If Dickerson was uncovered he you would see his head on a swivel as he would search for areas that needed help. Dickerson enjoys peeling back to broadside a defender while engaged with another blocker. He gives a legal powerful blow to the unsuspecting player which can intimidate a defender.

On the very next play which becomes a jet sweep to the right Dickerson discards Hill like an old tissue then moves out to hunt more prey. Now he doesn’t find anyone else to block, but he still ran 20 yards downfield in hopes of getting another shot in. Dickerson just likes to hit. You can see it as he will hit anyone around him who could be a potential threat.

Remember this is a 320 lb man he is tossing to the side with just a turn of his body. Hill was thrown 3-4 yards to the side on the play which became his last play of the game. The coaches on the sideline must have seen Hill get just manhandled so he was replaced by #93 Sincere David a 6’2” 320 lb senior. He didn’t fare much better, but at least he wasn’t thrown around like a dog chew toy. That was embarrassing.

From another angle you can see the carnage on the play. I actually felt bad for the Hill. He didn’t know what to do as he got himself up and jogged over to the play. He wasn’t really in a hurry to get over there.

Having been trucked on a play so badly myself I can feel for Hill. I was once blindsided by a player going full steam that when I hit the ground every bit of air raced from my body. It took me 5 minutes (it felt like an hour) to breathe normally again.

A few plays later on a WR screen to the left Dickerson disposes of his new nose guard to the right then moves out towards the play. He finds a new victim to smoke then sends him to the ground.

Dickerson is not lazy. He is always following the play to get in on the action. Here he disposes of his man by pushing him to the right, away from the play side. There is no way that DT David is going to make it back into the play so Dickerson heads out left.

Once Dickerson sees he has no chance to make it down to the play he picks off some backside pursuit. Like bowling pins Dickerson takes out one man with a shoulder who then collapses into another player so Dickerson gets a two for one shot.

This is part of the mystic of Dickerson. When you are on a field with him you are fair game. You know you are in for a 60 minute bar brawl once the game starts. It is players like Dickerson who can turn a team into a team that other teams don’t want to play. The Ravens and Steelers were never known as tough guy teams until they got players like Mean Joe Greene and Ray Lewis. When you played for one of those teams you were required to play a physical type of football. Those teams are always respected for how hard they play and they are always tough to win against.

This next play is the last in the first drive as the Tide score on a wide receiver screen. Alabama does a lot of this type of motion where they slant their line left then pull a guard to the left and fake a run in that direction only to throw outside to the right. Here Dickerson takes his man three yards into the defensive back field on the block.

That TD ended the first drive in a game that Alabama would score 60+ points and amass almost 700 yards of total offense. They did so on the back of this drive where they bludgeoned the defense. They set the tone for the game during that drive. Later they would drop back on the first play of the series only to throw a 75 yard TD, but the message was sent early that we can jam this ball down your throat and you can’t stop it. When the opponent realizes that they bring their safeties up then Alabama can throw the ball over top of them. If you can force your will on a team it is hard for them to beat you.

Here against Auburn Dickerson is uncovered on a pass play. He has a LB over top of him but bails out once the ball is snapped. Dickerson has to make sure there are no other stunts or players using a delayed blitz before he can go hunting for rushers.

Once he is sure he is free to roam Dickerson finds a defensive end trying to cut under the block of the tackle left Leatherwood. That takes him directly into the path of our man who lays him out with a shoulder. The end quickly tries to jump back to his feet to climb back into the play, but our guy has other ideas. Dickerson jumps on him with another shoulder ending the play for both men.

You can see on tape that Dickerson really enjoys this. He likes the contact, the intimidation of the other team. His teammates love that about him too. Dickerson is a bully on the offensive line and at 6’6” 326 lbs there are not too many players who will be able to do anything about that. It’s all legal and if it gives your team an edge. Why not use it?

This next play is an action off the TD play we saw earlier against Mississippi. The line slants left again with the QB faking the wide receiver screen to the right then tosses the ball on a sweep to the left with the RB. Dickerson is up against Tyrone Truesdell a 6’2” 326 lb senior DT who he starts blocking at the hash mark on the 18 yard line.

You can watch as Dickerson has Truesdell blocked all the way to the sideline at the 25 yard line. He pushed his man the entire way and he is still blocking him as the play is over. We call this blocking until the echo of the whistle. This shows super tenacity to stay on your man to the sideline but also until the whistle blows.

When you watch film you will see Dickerson is a relentless player who loves the game of football. His passion shows in his body language, his attention to detail, and his unbridled joy in making plays. He is having fun out there while working.

On this next play Truesdell is double teamed quickly by Deonte Brown and Dickerson. This is almost unfair as Dickerson gets the snap off, and he is right into the side of Truesdell putting him on the turf.

Yet again Dickerson is not finished as he quickly heads off to hunt for more prey. The corner is too nimble of an opponent to get a block on, but the play was over anyway. One thing that Dickerson has worked on is his hiking the ball to block quickness. This is an underrated aspect of center play since a center is vital to making quick double teams or reach blocks when he is not covered. Even with his immense size Dickerson is better than average at hiking the ball then getting onto his blocks.

Also you can see Dickerson isn’t the most nimble player, but he moves very well for a man his size. He might not be great on very long pulls, but he could work in any offense and even make short pulls easily as you will see on the next play.

This play is a short pull that #4 RB Brian Robinson cuts back into the teeth of the defense. Dickerson has the block on LB #9 McClain. He is expecting the RB to follow his block then cut behind him off his backside. There was a clear lane to the outside with less defenders, but the RB didn’t read the play correctly or follow the play design. All the offensive players are pushing their players right so the RB can cut it outside to the left.

Najee Harris shows you how to follow your blocks on this next play as he will be patient, wait for the blocks to form then explode into the secondary to open space and a TD.

Dickerson is the key block on the play as his man is in the hole. When the RB takes his time, reads the blocks, then uses his burst through the hole, the block doesn’t have to be a pancake to be successful. In fact Dickerson only gets a hand on the agile LB who is only 221 lbs. When the play is done right all you need is for the RB to get a head of steam and the block to stop the feet of the defender. He will never catch up.

When you need a center to make space for the RB Dickerson can do that too. This is a power run play off the A gap with the middle linebacker the key block. With Dickerson uncovered it gives easy access to the second level and room to make the key block.

I mentioned technique earlier. Well this is text book blocking technique you can use to teach kids how to block a middle linebacker, even one shorter than you. Watch as Dickerson comes off the line slowly using choppy steps to square up his opponent keeping his shoulders low. Once he has his man lined up he explodes into him, coming up as he makes contact which increases his leverage and reduces the leverage of the middle linebacker. The linebacker is stepping up into the hole but gets pushed back two yards by the force of the blow and the lack of good leverage.

The A gap hole is not open, but the RB easily steps into the B gap for a walk in score. If the block on the middle linebacker is not made then he scrapes down the line and makes the tackle. Here he doesn’t even get a finger on the ball carrier.

This last clip is from the SEC Championship Game. I mentioned that Dickerson was a well liked team leader not only of the offensive line but in the locker room also. This is the response to Dickerson getting injured during the game and being taken off on a cart knowing he wasn’t going to be able to play for the Championship with his teammates.

You could see him on the cart starting to well up from emotion when his teammates came over to wish him well. This is unheard of for a player. If you watch, players are running to get a chance to wish him well and to know he is in their thoughts. Just about the entire team came onto the field to say, “Good luck.”

This is respect on the highest level for a player to garner that much adoration from his teammates. A player has to be truly special to generate this much caring from a group of athletes. That is a team that appreciates it’s leader. He must be special. It brings a tear to your eye. I want a kid like that on my team.

When you scout a player you look at his talents, his technique, his character, his leadership, and everything he brings to the game. In 1,546 snaps at center in his college career Dickerson allowed a single sack and a total of 4 QB hits which is pretty darn impressive. Landon Dickerson is not perfect. No player is, but he is a darn good prospect.

Sadly this knee injury is his second of his career. Ge had one while playing for FSU. When scouting you never take that into consideration. That is for the medical staff to decide. You rate the player. If the medical team believes the risk is too high then the team will pass on him; take him off their board.

The Jets had a player in the past they drafted with a serious knee problem, but no one examined him before he was drafted. They ended up signing him. That player was Joe Namath who is the single most decorated player in Jets history. It has nothing to do with this situation, or does it?

I have Dickerson rated as a low 1st to high 2nd round pick. The medicals will decide a lot, but I don’t see him making it far into the 2nd round unless the prognosis is dire, which I doubt will happen. Difference makers on the offensive line are hard to come by. Get them while you can.

Let me know what you think.