Xzavier Dickson, OLB

School: Alabama  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Griffin, GA
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 260 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.742.79-19 29 1/2-4.537.56
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.712.791.7019 29 1/28'4"4.537.56

Player Overview

Like most at Alabama, Dickson had to wait his turn to see consistent playing time for Nick Saban, entering his senior season with six starts among his 33 career games with 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks to his credit. Dickson ended his collegiate career in style, however, matching his previous career totals with a breakout final campaign, recording 42 tackles and leading the Tide in both tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (nine).

Though listed as an outside linebacker by the Tide, most of Dickson's playing time in 2014 was out of the three point stance in a traditional defensive end role. His powerful frame, long arms and surprising lateral agility could lead clubs using a four man front to keep him on the line of scrimmage in this capacity. Dickson doesn't currently possess ideal strength for this role, however, and is a good enough athlete that 3-4 clubs might see him as more natural rushing off the edge out of the two point stance.

Dickson's breakout senior season and potential versatility could make him a surprisingly highly valued commodity come draft day - especially if he's able to ease concerns about his straight-line speed and maturity at the Combine.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Looks like a traditional 4-3 defensive end, sporting broad shoulders, long arms and good weight distribution, including a thick lower half. Flashes a quick first step to the outside, which he uses well to get pass blockers leaning before bursting back inside. Alternates his "speed" strategy with an effective bull rush, showing good leg drive to walk pass blockers deep into the pocket. Relatively light on his feet for a man of his size, showing good lateral agility and balance to change directions. Has some short area quickness to surprise ball-carriers with his pursuit. Long arms and good strength for the drag-down tackle. Emerged as the Tide's most reliable pass rusher as a senior, racking up an impressive nine sacks despite often being substituted.

WEAKNESSES: Isn't yet the sum of his parts. Shows power on his bull rush but struggles to disengage when blockers latch on, showing limited hand technique. Quick for his size but doesn't possess ideal straight-line speed to chase down ball-carriers and may project best as a base end in the 4-3, rather than as a stand-up edge rusher because of this limitation. Moved around in this scheme, swapping sides often as the Tide attempted to find him favorable matchups and was frequently subbed for... Was suspended for the 2013-14 Sugar Bowl for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

--Rob Rang

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