Updated: Apr 21, 2021
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger was on 93.7 The Fan today and gave much praise to Alabama center Landon Dickerson, who is considered by many as the ultimate boom-or-bust player in this year's draft. It has nothing to do with Dickerson's play, however, as he's physical and nasty and does a great job of getting up to the second level, but it has everything to do with his medical history.
Dickerson suffered two ACL injuries in his college career and is recovering from an ACL tear right now from this past season at Alabama. He's also sustained season-ending ankle injuries in 2017 and 2018 when he was at Florida State.
According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, "several teams" would avoid Dickerson until after the fifth round due to injury concerns. That would be quite the drop-off, as he's considered a second-round talent at the least.
"The long-term effects of prior injuries (with Dickerson) are as much of a concern as the short-term possibility of suffering a major injury again," Pauline wrote. "Most recent of these would be a torn ACL sustained in the SEC Championship Game over the winter. Earlier this spring, the big man was actually caught on video performing a series of cartwheels (!) during a Mac Jones interview, so at least outwardly, it would appear that his recovery is coming along well. Still, should Dickerson end up sliding to late on Day 2 or early on Day 3, injury concerns may well be the cause. Dickerson is a borderline first-round caliber prospect when healthy."
Despite the injury concerns, Baldinger thinks Dickerson would be a perfect fit for the Steelers, and he wouldn't mind seeing Pittsburgh picking him at No. 24 overall.
"There's no better offensive lineman in this draft than [Alabama center] Landon Dickerson," Baldinger said. "He's gonna make everyone around him better. When you're coming out of the tunnel in Baltimore, he'll lead the charge!"