The Los Angeles Rams are in need of a center in the NFL Draft after Austin Blythe left in free agency. The only question is what direction they will go. This is a deep class at center and therefore there will be a lot of options. One option that the Rams could consider as early as 57th overall is Alabama center Landon Dickerson.
The issue with Dickerson is his lengthy injury history. Talent-wise, he’s a potential first round pick in the NFL Draft. However, while at Alabama he tore his ACL twice and had two ankle injuries. For an offensive lineman, that’s a huge red flag. His injury history has him at a mid-2nd round pick. According to Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network, some teams have said that they wouldn’t take him before round five.
Several teams I’ve spoken with tell me they would not draft Dickerson in the first five rounds due to medical concerns. The long-term effects of prior injuries are as much of a concern as the short-term possibility of suffering a major injury again. I’ve also learned that several teams gave Dickerson a medical grade of 3-minus off medicals, the equivalent of a C-minus in letter grades.
This is an interesting situation to keep an eye on that could end up benefitting the Rams. If Dickerson is undraftable or has a fifth round grade from some teams due to his medical history, the Rams could get a steal at center later than expected. The Rams could trade back from 103rd overall and pick up an extra fourth or fifth round pick and take Dickerson.
If he stays healthy, you get a potential all-pro player. If his injury issues continue, it’s not that big of a loss as he was a day three selection with an extra pick that you acquired in a trade.
Even if the Rams were to take Dickerson, they would need to think about taking another interior offensive lineman as a backup plan. That player wouldn’t necessarily need to be taken 57 to 88, but someone like David Moore or Drake Jackson.