Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Dickerson has to take it back to Florida State

(Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Landon Dickerson to be their center of the future.

On another team, say, the pre-Billy Price New York Giants, Dickerson would have already been on the field for Week 1 – assuming health – and would be locked into an interior role for the next decade-plus.

Fortunately, Philly wasn’t in such dire straights when they selected Dickerson 37th overall and could play the long game in getting the pride of Alabama onto the field in a full-time capacity… until now.

That’s right, in a crushing blow only overshadowed by Brandon Graham’s torn Achilles, Brandon Brooks left the Eagles Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a chest injury that was later diagnosed as a pec injury.

How long will Brooks be gone? We don’t yet know. According to Nick Sirianni, the tear is only partial, so it’s expected that Brooks will return before the end of the 17 game season, but is he going to be on the mend for four games or 14? Should the Eagles prepare for life after Brooks, or could he be back in time to face off against the best nose tackle in the business, Vita Vea, in a Week 6 bout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Either way, it looks like Landon Dickerson will be playing a major role on Jeff Stoutland’s unit indefinitely, at a position he hasn’t played full-time since all the way back at Florida State.

Landon Dickerson has big shoes to fill for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Before he was drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, before he became a cartwheeling national champion, and even before he first donned an Alabama Crimson Tide jersey, Landon Dickerson was a right guard at Florida State University.

A four-star tackle recruit out of Hickory, North Carolina, Dickerson received interest from basically every team in the SEC and beyond before signing up to play for Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles.

After a quick transition inside to right guard – where he was the number one ranked prospect in the nation according to Rivals – Dickerson became the first freshman to start a home opener at guard for Florida State since Jamie Dukes in 1982. He went on to appear in seven games as a true freshman, four more as a sophomore, and two as a junior before having all three of his seasons in Tallahassee end in injury.

Still, when Dickerson was healthy and actually on the field, he was dominant. He was a pivotal part in turning Cam Akers into a future second-round pick in 2017, kept the pocket clean for both Deondre Francois and James Blackman, and put enough good work on tape to graduate transfer to Alabama and immediately start for the team as a redshirt junior.

Granted, the Crimson Tide did have a hole on the interior of their offensive line after watching eventual Philadelphia Eagles practice squad member Ross Pierschbacher get drafted by Washington in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but being that they are Alabama, surely the team had a wealth of potential deployment players who could have adequately done the job in his place. By starting Dickerson off as their right guard and eventually transitioning over to center full-time in 2020, Nick Saban gave the former four-star recruit a vote of confidence in his ability to keep quarterbacks like Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jalen Hurts upright in their pursuit of a National Championship.

Oh hey, Jalen Hurts; I thought that name sounded familiar.

Next. Nick Sirianni’s first loss was a mixed bag of ugly. dark

While losing Brandon Brooks is unquestionably a significant blow, as the ninth-year pro is arguably a top-3 right guard in the League today, his absence presents the Philadelphia Eagles with a unique opportunity to size up their most recent second-round pick against NFL talent and see just how close he is to becoming a long-term starter at right guard, left guard, or even center.