There’s a lot to like about Landon Dickerson. He’s a big, physical, nasty presence on the interior of the offensive line. The former Alabama standout center is also an amateur gymnast. Go figure.
Dickerson went 37th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night in the second round of the NFL draft. The Rimington Trophy winner projects to take over for Jason Kelce one day, but right now he just has to get healthy. Dickerson is still rehabbing from a torn left ACL suffered in the 2020 SEC Championship Game. While he’s hoping to join the Eagles at training camp, nothing’s guaranteed at this point.
“So my recovery is right where I want it to be. We don’t have an exact time frame,” Dickerson said. “My ultimate goal is to be able to do whatever I can to make the team better no matter what stage I’m at this summer or when we get into the season. I want to be able to compete, be at practice, by the start of the season, but obviously, things may change.”
The injury marks the second ACL tear for Dickerson — the 325-pounder tore his right ACL in 2016 — and the fourth major injury for him in five collegiate seasons. The scouting reports on him are off the charts, plus NFL analysts and draft experts agree that he’s a star in the making. But seeing all the medical red flags has Eagles fans a wee bit scared. Otherwise, Dickerson is the complete package: a whole “Can of Nasty” to quote former Eagles offensive lineman Brian Baldinger.
“Looking to get back as soon as I can and work on competing and doing whatever I can to make this team better,” Dickerson said. “I’m going to give everything I got to the city of Philly and my team and I’m going to work every day. That is my goal.”
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Doing Cartwheels, Tumbling For the Cameras
If that surgically-repaired left knee was bothering Dickerson it should didn’t show back in March. Not when he was doing full-on cartwheels in plain view in the middle of Mac Jones’ interview. The hilarious scene quickly went viral and helped reassure NFL front offices that he was on the road to recovery.
Dickerson was asked to explain what was going on in that crazy video during his media availability on Friday night. He didn’t hold back. Apparently, he has a gymnastics background dating back to his childhood.
“I have a gymnastics background, so I did that for quite a few years. When I was younger, I tumbled a lot,” Dickerson said. “It was just something I was told that I wasn’t allowed to do drills at pro day, so I was just trying to find a way to mess with Mac. Mac is one of my good friends and we always mess with each other in interviews, so it was just kind of going back and forth with him.”
Plays All Five Positions on Offensive Line
Dickerson’s primary position is hiking the ball — a veteran of 24 starts at Alabama, 20 at center — but he has experience playing all five spots along the offensive line: left guard, right guard, center, left tackle, right tackle.
That versatility makes him doubly appealing to an Eagles team ravished by injuries last year. Dickerson revealed that he talked to the Eagles a few times in the pre-draft process, but a role was never discussed.
“I have on tape I’ve started all five positions on the offensive line,” Dickerson said. “Like I said before, my role is whatever coach thinks, whatever position I need to be in to make the team better, that is the position I’m going to serve no matter where it is on the offensive line, where it is on the depth chart or anything.”
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