Keeping Patrick Mahomes healthy in 2021 will be the Chiefs’ top priority. Here is how Landon Dickerson could help out with that.
The center is the quarterback of the offensive line for most teams, having the responsibility of making the line calls, as well as identifying what the defensive line is going to try to do on most plays. Add in that after the calls are made they have to go out and bang with other massive men for sixty minutes, it’s not an easy job at all. That’s why when a highly touted center prospect comes along most NFL teams are more than eager to go after them.
Landon Dickerson is an intriguing prospect because before the 2020 SEC Championship game he was making a case to be a first-round draft pick after his dominating play had led a very talented Alabama offensive line. Then he tore his ACL.
That’s pretty much been the story of Dickerson’s career, why he was never really able to reach his full potential at Florida State before transferring to Alabama in 2019, and why many have his draft status up in the air currently. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on with his medical history, but I can tell you Landon Dickerson is one damn good football player.
In his last two seasons of college football a fully healthy Dickerson became a force along Alabama’s offensive line, bringing size, strength, smarts, and athletic ability into the trenches.
From what I have seen he is the best pass protecting center in the draft this year by far, and his body is built to be in a heavy passing offense much like we have seen the Chiefs run the past few years. At 6’6” 325 pounds he is a bigger prospect to be playing center, but it helps him go blow for blow with big nose tackles, as well as overpower smaller and quicker players.
He is a brawler upfront, he looks for a fistfight in a phone booth, and the longer he can be engaged with a defender the more likely he is to win the play. His hands pack power that not many players have, but it’s his anchor and base and protection in pro that help him win the majority of his reps.
For being such a big guy I didn’t expect Dickerson to move so well in the open field, especially with his injury history, but his understanding of angles and timing have helped him work in screen games, and on blocks in space for the Tide.
The Chiefs and Alabama even have similar long passing concepts and explosive plays that they use to get playmakers in space. These long protecting plays will be a familiar transition for Dickerson if he were to come to Kansas City.
Nasty play and high football IQ are great, but one of the qualities Dickerson had displayed so much on his way to winning the Remington trophy for best center, and helping Alabama to another National Championship was his leadership. It was very easy to see the kind of impact that he had on his teammates, as well as how respected he was in the program.
With a torn ACL in the final seconds of the National Championship game, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban even put Dickerson in for the final two victory formation plays of the game.
Of all the great players to suit up for Nick Sabban at Alabama, this might be the greatest form of respect he has ever paid a player. This kind of infectious spirit, grit, and heart can spread across a locker room, and inspire a team.
Multiple times this offseason the Chiefs offense was called out for being “gimmicky” and not “physical” after the Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Drafting Dickerson could be one step to remedying these issues and provide the Chiefs with a leader up front.