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Alabama Crimson Tide NFL Draft 2021 Prospects: Landon Dickerson

Will the Rimington Trophy winner be a first round pick?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like ages ago when it was first reported Alabama was adding some offensive lineman from Florida State (it’s been less than two years since it was official). I have admitted to being skeptical about the signing at first, but his film at FSU won me over.

Dickerson came into an offensive line room that had multiple returning starters and plenty of former blue-chip recruits (Dickerson was as well); and, because of the timing, he missed spring practice. All he then did was quickly earn a starting job and become part of the heart of the team.

Dickerson started all 13 games in 2019, four at right guard and nine at center. He allowed just one sack and four quarterback hurries; and, in 727 snaps, he missed a whopping four assignments. Dickerson was named second team All-SEC by the coaches and the AP.

He returned for his senior season and picked up right where he left off. I’ll crib from my senior salute to him.

He was named to the All-SEC first team by both the coaches and the AP. He was a unanimous first team All-American (the first Alabama center to become one since Ryan Kelly in 2015). He won the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best center, becoming the third Alabama player to win it (Ryan Kelly in 2015 and Barrett Jones in 2012). He was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman (his teammate Alex Leatherwood won it). He was the co-winner of the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy with Leatherwood.

Beyond that, he was the heart and soul of a championship team and was voted a permanent team captain. It’s easy to see why.

If you want to see how much his teammates loved him, check out the clip I included in my salute of the entire team coming to him before he was carted off after suffering an ACL injury against Florida.

That injury was unfortunately his third season-ending injury in four years. Although “season-ending” is not quite accurate since Dickerson returned mere weeks later to handle the final two snaps of the national championship before carrying Saban across the field like a child.

Dickerson is in an interesting spot with NFL teams. Were it not for the torn ACL in the SEC championship, he would likely be a near-lock for the first round. He would have gone two straight, full seasons without the injury bug that bit him often at Florida State striking again, and he would be neck-and-neck for the best interior lineman in the draft.

Dickerson very well could still go in the first, and many mock drafts have him being selected towards the end of Thursday night. But the injury concerns are there, and he could easily slip into the second or even third round.

If Dickerson can stay healthy, he’ll be a steal. He’s a mauler who loves contact, loves messing with defenders, and loves his team.