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Dickerson lands on list of Eagles’ most important players originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2022 season.
How well did Landon Dickerson end up playing in 2021?
Well enough that he’s not moving.
The Eagles had a decision to make after last season ended. They could give Isaac Seumalo his job at left guard back and try to move Dickerson to the right side. Or they could simply leave Dickerson at left guard, the spot where he got stronger as his rookie season went on and where he showed incredibly chemistry with left tackle Jordan Mailata.
The Eagles made the right choice.
And now they have 700 pounds of friendship manning the left side of their line for at least the next several years.
“For us, going through the season and seeing Landon and Jordan [Mailata] next to each other, I mean, that's imposing,” Eagles GM Roseman said during the draft. “We felt like the chemistry that they had developed going forward and how young those guys are, just developing that left side (makes sense).
“And we've seen something like that when we played really well when we had Brandon (Brooks) and Lane (Johnson) … and kind of looked at where we were and saw how powerful that side is and how important that was going forward and the chemistry that they developed, we felt like going forward that was the right thing for us to keep that way.”
Dickerson, 23, ended up starting 13 games for the Eagles during his rookie season and 12 of them came at the left guard spot. Dickerson was coming off an ACL tear early in his rookie season and he wasn’t very good at right guard in Weeks 2 and 3. Because of his lengthy injury history in college, taking Dickerson with the No. 37 overall pick last year was a risk; so far, that risk looks like a good one.
Although, he likely would have improved mightily if he stayed on the right side, his huge growth didn’t begin until the Eagles flipped him to the other side. He ended up ranking as the 22nd-best guard in the NFL last year, according to ProFootballFocus.
In 535 snaps in pass protection in 2021, Dickerson gave up just 2 sacks and 8 QB hits as a rookie. And from Week 11 on (in the 6 games he played) Dickerson gave up 0 sacks and just 2 QB hits.
While the Eagles’ wild card loss to the Bucs was ugly, Dickerson still played well. He had the second-highest offensive grade on the team in that one, according to PFF.
This time last year, Dickerson was still rehabbing a torn ACL. So he will go into his second NFL season with the benefit of a healthy offseason. That should help.
“I feel like I’ve moved past the rehab part of my injury last year but it’s still about getting stronger, maintaining that, staying healthy throughout the season,” he said. “We’ve got a long season and we’ve still got a long time before we play.”
In general, the tackle spots are more important than the guards. They just are. But that doesn’t mean an elite guard can’t be an absolute game-changer. The Eagles saw that up-close when Brooks was at the top of his game.
Dickerson is still young. If he can reach that level, he’ll be a Pro Bowler before long.
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