These picks will be hailed as solid value players for the Eagles one day if all the stars of health and talent align…
The Eagles selected center Landon Dickerson in the second round with the 37th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
Arguably the best interior offensive lineman in the nation in 2020, the 6-5, 333-pound Dickerson was the recipient of the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the best center in college football. A unanimous All-America and a first-team All-SEC selection, Dickerson anchored the National Champion Crimson Tide offensive line until he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the SEC Championship Game.
“I care for every single guy that I play with. I love being a part of a team, especially a football team,” Dickerson said during a virtual press conference following the selection. “Everybody at this level has the mindset that not only do they want to be the best athlete, player they can be, but we also want to create the best team – a winning team. That’s the biggest thing. I just care for my teammates. I love each and every one of them because we’re a select group of guys that come to work every day knowing we want to get better.”
“My recovery is right where I want it to be,” he added. “We don’t have an exact timeframe. 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 whenever we get to the season. I want to be able to compete, be at practice by the start of the season, but obviously things may change. Right now, I’m on schedule with where I want to be.”
Pro Football Focus rated Dickerson as the top-rated run-blocking center and the No. 2 center in the country in 2020 at the time of his injury. Alabama’s coaches graded Dickerson with a 99.6 on his assignments and a 91.3 for his overall blocking.
The fifth-year senior, who was a graduate transfer from Florida State, started 24 games in his Alabama career, 20 at center. The Crimson Tide offensive line won the 2020 Joe Moore Award, and the Alabama offense was No. 1 among all FBS schools in scoring offense (48.5 ppg) and pass efficiency (198.9), and No. 2 in total offense (541.6 ypg) and passing (358.2 ypg).
In his first year with the Crimson Tide in 2019, Dickerson started nine games at center and four at right guard, earning second-team All-SEC honors. The Hickory, North Carolina native began his college career with the Seminoles, where he became the first true freshman to start along the offensive line in the home opener since 1982. Overall, Dickerson has 20 starts at center, 11 at right guard, four at left guard, one at left tackle, and another at right tackle.
“My role is whatever position coach thinks I need to be in to make the team better. That’s the position I’m going to serve. No matter where it is on the offensive line. No matter where it is on the depth chart or anything.”
Dickerson reunites with the Eagles’ first-round pick, Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. “DeVonta is a great dude. I love him to death,” Dickerson said. “I’m really excited to work with him and play with him.”
The Eagles selected Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Milton Williams with the 73rd overall pick on Friday after trading back three spots with the Carolina Panthers. The Eagles received a sixth-round pick (191st overall) from the Panthers to move back.
The Crowley, Texas native played three seasons with Louisiana Tech. He produced 106 tackles (19 for loss) and 10 sacks during his college career.
The 6-foot-3, 284- pound lineman is likely to be the Eagles’ third defensive tackle behind starters Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave this season. Given his upside, he might be considered a long-term heir apparent to Cox at three-technique.
So AFRA was the only MACH-10 contestant to predict Landon Dickerson, and we have a 6-way tie for the lead going into Saturday’s rounds 4 through 7. If my math is correct the Eagles still have 8 picks left on paper.