As the offseason begins, the Eagles have time to reflect on the ups and downs of the 2021 season. The team started 2-5 while struggling to find their identity. After the rough start, they found their groove and finished the season with both a playoff berth and a winning record at 9-8. While the praise has gone to the coaching staff’s ability to focus on the strengths of the offense and defense, there’s one man who deserves a heap of praise.
In the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Eagles took a gamble on a lineman out of Alabama. Landon Dickerson was regarded as a sure-fire first-round pick, but due to an injury to his knee, he fell right onto the Eagles lap at 37th overall.
After the punt on Sidney Jones fell short of expectations, it was easy to see why many were hesitant to applaud Roseman’s aggressiveness, especially after vowing to not make the same mistakes again.
Landon Dickerson suffered a torn ACL during Alabama’s victory over Florida in the SEC Championship game. Due to that injury, many felt the Eagles reached for him as league executives expected a long rehab for the young offensive lineman. Fortunately, the Eagles were rewarded greatly as Landon was ahead of schedule to start the season. He may not have practiced until August 30th but Dickerson was more than prepared for his number to be called.
While that did come at the expense of two starting offensive linemen, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo, Dickerson finally found his footing at the left guard position right next to Jordan Mailata. The two became very close due to their time spent together throughout the season and their bond has led to a potentially great duo on the left side of the offensive line.
“I’ll keep the plant analogies. It’s blossomed, mate. Mailata told reporters. When you play next to somebody new, you kind of have to figure out just being on the same level. For us, I think it just kind of came natural, the type of personalities we have.”
While it was like riding a bike for the first-year guard, the more unnatural thing was in the way he bounced back from his injury. Dickerson went on to play 859 offensive snaps in 14 games and also gained experience in the first playoff game against a very stout defense. During his first season in the NFL, Landon Dickerson only allowed 2 sacks from the guard position.
Dickerson’s placement on the line may not be set in stone as the former Alabama rookie’s role could be dependent on Jason Kelce’s decision. If Kelce retires then the expectations for Dickerson could be at the center position. If Kelce plans to play another season then I can’t see a better place for Dickerson than the left side of the offensive line.
I would assume that Sirianni would place long-time starter Isaac Seumalo on the right side of the line which should solidify the protection up-front for the upcoming season. One way or another, Landon Dickerson was a huge steal in a draft that was filled with productive rookies. If he can continue to start healthy then the team is set with another stud on the offensive line for years to come.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire