Coming into the 2020 season it was widely believed that the New York Giants guards would be the strength of their offensive line. As we enter the 2021 offseason, the guard positions are no longer as solid as they once were. We don’t know what the perception of Will Hernandez or Shane Lemieux are inside the building, nor do we know how much longer Kevin Zeitler will be a Giant.
On top of that, the Giants could probably still stand an upgrade at center, perhaps moving Nick Gates back to a valuable depth piece.
Alabama center Landon Dickerson is a big (6-foot-6 inch, 326-pound) and powerful offensive lineman who has played every position on the offensive line. He’s settled in along the interior offensive line, bringing experience, high football IQ, and toughness to the guard and center positions.
Could he be a value pick on the second day to give the Giants flexibility on their offensive line?
Prospect: Landon Dickerson
Games Watched: vs. Missouri (2020), vs. Auburn (2020), vs. Georgia (2020)
Red Flags: Knee (ACL - 2016, 2020), Ankle (2017, 2018)
Games Played: 36 (11 in 2020)
Best: Size, technique, strength, power, competitive toughness, versatility
Worst: Length, athleticism
Projection: A starting interior offensive lineman in a power-based scheme.
Alabama interior offensive lineman Landon Dickerson is an experienced, big, and massively powerful lineman. Dickerson transferred to Alabama from Florida State and has played every position along the offensive line, but most recently aligned at center for Alabama. Dickerson has very good size for the interior offensive line, with the power to match up against any interior defender.
As a center, Dickerson does a good job of snapping the ball and is able to get his hands in position quickly enough to block most defensive tackles. Dickerson shows adequate mobility within his range as a pass protector, with the ability to mirror most nose tackles. He has truly stand-out power, with great strength in his upper and lower body. Dickerson is able to absorb and anchor against all but the most explosive power rushers, and shows the ability to toss smaller defenders aside with relative ease.
That power is central to his game as a run blocker. He plays with great leverage, keeping a good knee bend, as well as hip and pad level. Dickerson is also careful to play with good hand technique as well, consistently working to gain both inside leverage with his hands. He also works to establish half-man leverage on the defender, maximizing his power advantage.
Dickerson also shows great competitive toughness. He is a consistently aggressive blocker who looks to sustain his blocks through the whistle, often finishing with the defender on the ground.
Dickerson is a limited athlete, which is his primary weakness on the field. He can struggle against more athletic defensive tackles, as well as A-gap blitzers. In particular, Dickerson can struggle against tilted nose tackles, and has issues getting into position to absorb their rushes. He can also labor when asked to block while running laterally on outside zone or slide protections. In those instances he can be prone to lowering his head and lunging at defenders.
Dickerson also has a significant injury history, only able to complete one full season (Alabama, 2019).
Overall Grade: 7.9 - Dickerson has a high ceiling in the right scheme as well as a high floor in a variety of schemes. However, he also has some athletic limitations as well as injury concerns.
Landon Dickerson projects as a starting interior offensive lineman with some scheme and positional versatility.
Dickerson played center his final season at Alabama and should be able to play the position at the NFL level as well. He is at his absolute best when he can block downhill and bring his power to bear, and with that in mind he would be at his best in a power-based scheme in the NFL. It’s possible that he could struggle against NFL caliber athletes at defensive tackle, and in that case he would still be able to start at guard.
Dickerson is a limited athlete for the NFL level, and wins by using a combination of his football IQ and initial quickness to get himself in position to bring his power to bear. He shouldn’t be asked to block on the move that often. He is capable of tossing linebackers or defensive backs aside like rag dolls when he gets a clean shot at them, but he has a limited range when asked to run. Dickerson can also struggle against particularly long-levered defensive linemen. He has relatively short arms despite his height, and can find himself needing to re-anchor or use his mass to deflect rushers if he isn’t able to get his hands on them first. That being said, he is almost always able to control defenders throughout the snap when he does get his hands on them.
Teams will likely be more concerned about Dickerson’s injury history than his ability on the field. He has suffered a pair of knee injuries (ACL in 2016 and “ligament damage” at the end of 2020), as well as a pair of ankle injuries (2017 and 2018). He is a solid blocker with the ability to be dominant in the right circumstances, but that doesn’t count for much when he isn’t on the field.