It was easy to be uneasy when the Eagles made Landon Dickerson their second-round pick in 2021.
There was no doubting his talent. He was the Rimington Trophy winner given to the nation’s top center in his final season at Alabama, where he was also a first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC.
The doubt was with his health history.
Dickerson had torn his left ACL in the SEC title game in December, just a handful of months before the draft. He was no stranger to the operating room, with surgery to repair his right knee ACL in 2016, right ankle surgery in 2017, and left ankle surgery in 2018.
He stayed healthy for 2019 and most of 2020.
Dickerson, though, remained healthy in his rookie season, though, and was a key cog in the Eagles’ rushing attack that led the NFL in 2021.
He checks in at No. 15 on our top 25 list of current Eagles players.
The process behind the list started with Eagles Today site publisher Ed Kracz and staff writer John McMullen putting together their top 25 lists independent of each other’s and then assigning point values, with 25 points awarded to the player ranked first on each list, 24 to the player ranked second, and so on, with one point going to the player that was put 25th.
The highest ranking from either reporter broke any ties in the balloting.
Dickerson didn’t have the traditional training camp after being placed in the PUP (physically unable to perform) the day camp began so he could continue rehabbing his repaired left knee.
On Aug. 30, he was activated from PUP but was still inactive for the opener in Atlanta.
The Eagles could afford to take their time with Dickerson. After all, right guard Brandon Brooks was back at right guard after missing all of 2020 rehabbing a torn Achilles’. Left guard Isaac Seumalo was healthy again after a knee injury limited him to nine games a season earlier.
All was well again on an offensive line that was decimated by injury in 2020, leading to an NFL-record 14 different starting combinations.
Then, it wasn’t.
Brooks went down with a chest injury in week 2. Dickerson stepped in.
The following week, Seumalo suffered a Lisfranc injury. Dickerson moved from the right side to the left and hasn’t looked back.
The one thing that was easy to learn about Dickerson in his first season as a professional is that he is a perfectionist, never satisfied with how he plays. And while it’s true he needs to get better in pass protection, he is already playing at an advanced level for this stage of his career.
He and Jordan Mailata form a solid wall on the left side that, if Dickerson can continue to stay healthy – and Mailata, too, for that matter - should be a force for years to come.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR
No. 25 – Jack Driscoll
No. 24 – Derek Barnett
No. 23 – Kyzir White
No. 22 - Quez Watkins
No. 21 – Jake Elliott
No. 20 – Isaac Seumalo
No. 19 – James Bradberry
No. 18 - Jordan Davis
No. 17 - T.J. Edwards
No. 16 - Miles Sanders
No. 15. Landon Dickerson
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.