Howie Roseman has drawn plenty of criticism through his tenure as the GM of the Philadelphia Eagles and rightly so. But if there’s one thing he deserves credit for, it’s the drafting of Landon Dickerson.
At the time, the decision was met with mixed reactions. Roseman spent the previous two seasons preaching growth in his decision-making and how he’d no longer take gambles on players with worrying injury histories. Dickerson had sustained four major injuries in five years during his college career, with the most recent being a torn ACL in the prior SEC Championship game.
To Roseman, this risk was worth the reward. Dickerson was touted as the Draft’s best interior lineman and rightfully so. He boasted a freaky athletic profile and was dominant throughout his career, when healthy. If he could shed the skin of an injury-prone player, the Eagles would be left with a cornerstone player who not only has chemistry with former Bama teammates Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith, but brings that Saban-esque mentality to the table as well.
He missed the entire summer due to rehabbing the torn ACL, leaving plenty of doubt as to whether or not he’d see the field in 2021. That was expected, though. What wasn’t expected was his NFL debut in the second game of the season. Brandon Brooks went down with what would eventually be a season-ending injury, and Dickerson jumped right in. No preseason, no training camp, no OTA’s, a rookie.
He would start the third game at RG before eventually shifting over to the left-hand side in place of the injured Isaac Seumalo. Not only did he showcase versatility, but real brute force as he manhandled those in front of him, with no better example than him decimating Vita Vea in the playoff loss to Tampa Bay.
859 offensive snaps and 13 career starts later, Dickerson was as good as new. No injuries, no setbacks, and only two sacks allowed throughout his rookie campaign. He ranked 12th among all left guards in the 2021 season, according to PFF, which is truly staggering.
As far as what 2022 holds, it’s tricky to gauge. It all depends on the man in the middle, Jason Kelce. With Brandon Brooks now retired, there is a vacancy at RG, but we don’t know how much longer Jason Kelce is going to play for, and which in-house options, if any, they deem to be suitable replacements in the event it’s sooner than we think.
It is likely that Dickerson will play on the right-hand side in 2022, with Isaac Seumalo holding down the LG spot and Jason Kelce coming back for one last rodeo. If he doesn’t, there is the potential for either Dickerson or Nate Herbig to trial snapping duties through the Summer.
Whatever the immediate role may be, it’s safe to assume that Dickerson will be a pillar of the Eagles’ offensive line for many years to come.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire