The Alabama Crimson Tide created headlines when quarterback Jalen Hurts transferred to the University of Oklahoma. However, they did acquire a big-time transfer during the summer in former Florida State Seminoles guard Landon Dickerson. Training camp was the first opportunity the Crimson Tide to get a look at Dickerson. He started three years for the Seminoles. Each of those seasons, however, he encountered season-ending injuries. He was able to use a redshirt last season thus he is considered a redshirt junior. He is eligible to play with the Crimson Tide as a graduate transfer. Now, we begin breaking down Landon Dickerson’s transfer to Alabama.
Dickerson started immediately as a freshman for the Seminoles in 2016 against the Crimson Tide in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff. He started eight games at right guard before he missed the remainder of the season due to an ACL injury. The following season, he started in four games before missing the final nine games from a season-ending injury. Last season, he started in two games before suffering another key injury. Dickerson’s football career has been plagued by injuries at Florida State. He is hoping a new start with a new program will rejuvenate his football career.
What Dickerson Brings To The Table For Alabama
The Crimson Tide seemed confident of their offensive line unit throughout spring training. That seems to be the case with the most recent depth charts listing freshman Emil Ekiyor Jr. as the starting left guard and redshirt junior Chris Owens as the starting center. Junior Jedrick Wills Jr. returns as the starting right tackle and senior Matt Womack returns as the starting right guard. Returning starter Alex Leatherwood moves to his natural position at left tackle. That doesn’t mean that Dickerson couldn’t be a starter when the Crimson Tide open the 2019 season against the Duke Blue Devils. Dickerson has been excelling on the field for the Crimson Tide this training camp. Dickerson impressed fans and the media with his size and frame and the aggressiveness he displayed in drills.
At Florida State, Dickerson brought a stout but versatile style of play by playing guard and tackle. Dickerson is also listed as the third-string center for the Crimson Tide. Dickerson was ranked as the most efficient run blocker going into the 2018 season for Florida State by Pro Football Focus. They gave Dickerson a 73-overall rating with a run-blocking grade of 82.5. Now that he is with the Crimson Tide, he’ll be able to provide a more stable run system with running backs Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. Dickerson will be the first offensive lineman off the bench as a substitution or could be a potential substitute for an injured or struggling starter. This could be put Dickerson on the field sooner than expected with the number of injuries to the offensive line for Alabama last season.
Major Concerns Regarding Dickerson
While Dickerson provides depth and a great rotational run blocker, he does provide some concerns for Alabama. Throughout his entire three-year collegiate career, he has never played a full season due to major injuries. Apart from his freshman year in 2016, he has never played through a majority of a season. His transfer from Florida State could make an indication of his overall dissatisfaction with the Seminoles program.
Another huge concern for Dickerson is his inconsistency as a pass blocker. Pro Football Focus rated his pass blocking with a low 46 grade with the Seminoles from the 2017 season. This was one of the weakest pass protection performances of the entire Seminoles offensive line. The Seminoles offense was significantly better with Dickerson starting at the right guard. The Seminoles tied for 31st in the nation in point scored per game (35.1) and ranked 25th in the total yards per game (466) in 2016. That season, the offensive line gave up 36 sacks. That was tied for 17th most in the nation. For the past three seasons, the Seminoles offensive line gave up at least 32 sacks each year. Dickerson might benefit more playing with a more efficient offense with the Crimson Tide. This might result in more efficient pass protection performances during games.
Dickerson’s Potential Will Be Better For The Future
The Crimson Tide’s offense relies on a balance of explosive playmaking ability and depth. For now, Dickerson will be a reliable offensive lineman when Alabama calls for him on specific run plays or when a starter gets injured. There will be plenty of opportunities for him to start on the offensive line in the future, but he will still have to develop properly. It’d be too soon to utilize Dickerson before he gets a chance to fully learn the system at Alabama. If developed effectively, Dickerson could be next in line of the many great Crimson Tide offensive line to take his talents to the NFL.