Penei Sewell is the odds-on favorite to be the first offensive lineman off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. But how will offensive linemen such as Alabama’s Landon Dickerson, who has a questionable injury history, fall after that? And which blockers are piquing the interest of teams? Here’s the latest on what I’m hearing.
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Offensive Lineman rumors: What is the latest on Landon Dickerson?
The player who gets the widest variety of opinions from teams is Dickerson. Many have mocked the Alabama center as a first-round pick. Off the game film, Dickerson is an extremely effective blocker who can play guard or center and has shown terrific progress the past two seasons.
Landon Dickerson’s medical history presents a serious concern
While many focus on the knee injury Dickerson suffered during the SEC title game against Florida, his medical past reaches much further back. Dickerson saw his freshman season at Florida State halted seven games in due to a right ACL injury. Each of his next two seasons were cut short by major ankle injuries. That’s four campaigns that ended prematurely due to season-ending injuries, most of which required surgery. That’s not a good history for a 335-pound lineman.
Several teams I’ve spoken with tell me they would not draft Dickerson in the first five rounds due to medical concerns. The long-term effects of prior injuries are as much of a concern as the short-term possibility of suffering a major injury again. I’ve also learned that several teams gave Dickerson a medical grade of 3-minus off medicals, the equivalent of a C-minus in letter grades.
While it’s not a devastating grade, especially for a player with Dickerson’s history, it’s something that will most certainly flag him with teams.
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What are the other potential landing spots for offensive linemen?
Alijah Vera-Tucker and Christian Darrisaw
The Minnesota Vikings would like to draft Darrisaw, but they aren’t sure he’ll be around at pick 14 with the Los Angeles Chargers selecting ahead of them. If he’s not there, I’m told the Vikings are taking a long, hard look at Vera-Tucker, who they could end up selecting in Round 1.
Which offensive lineman could be in the frame for the Jaguars?
Finally, I expect the Jacksonville Jaguars to address their offensive line early in the draft, including the center position sometime on Day 2. In fact, I’m told the player they covet at the pivot is Ohio State junior Josh Myers, who could be their pick at the top of Round 3.
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