The Las Vegas Raiders continued the revamp of their offensive line by trading three-time Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson.
While the re-signings of Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good potentially solve the guard positions, they now have a hole at the keystone position on their offensive line.
That could mean the Raiders might go shopping for a new center in the 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s not a group stacked with can’t miss prospects, but could provide multiple quality players, starting with Alabama’s Landon Dickerson.
Originally enrolling at Florida State, injuries were the story for the first three years of Dickerson’s career.
Sustaining a torn ACL and consecutive ankle injuries from 2016-2018, Dickerson ended up playing only 13 games for the Seminoles.
After redshirting during 2018, Dickerson entered the transfer portal and found himself at Alabama, where he would immediately gain a starting role.
Taking over at guard and then at center, Dickerson enjoyed his first fully healthy season of his career and earned second-team All-SEC honors.
He then returned for a fifth year in 2020, anchoring arguably the best offense in all of college football.
Dickerson would end up being named first-team All-SEC, All-American, and won the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the best center in college football.
Unfortunately, Dickerson’s injury history came back to haunt him when in the 2020 SEC championship game, he once again suffered a torn ACL.
The timeline that Dickerson will be on to come back from the injury will likely determine where he falls in the draft, because of he was healthy, he’d likely go no later than the second round.
Absolutely huge at 6-6 and 325 pounds, Dickerson uses that size and strength to put men on the ground on a consistent basis.
That’s why he was ranked as the second-best center in college football last season by Pro Football Focus.
Dickerson is a plus at both run and pass blocking, has experience playing in varied pro schemes at Alabama and brings it on every snap.
Of course, his injury history could give a lot of teams pause, and he’s considered to be lacking in athleticism, which contributes to him not blocking as well when he gets to the second level.
If Dickerson is able to rebound from his injuries and stay healthy, he could have a long career as a quality starter.
The Raiders should know how important having a good center is, and that’s why he could be the main target for them in the draft.
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