Passing on a cornerback in the second round wasn't the issue for Howie Roseman, especially when the Philadelphia Eagles started a string of offensive lineman being selected in that round of the NFL Draft. Philadelphia selected Landon Dickerson at No. 37 overall, the reigning Rimington Trophy winner that was a first-round talent before multiple injuries caused his draft stock to fall.
Sidney Jones was in the same boat as Dickerson four years ago. A top-15 talent prior to the draft, Jones ruptured his Achilles, which eliminated any chance of him becoming a high first-round pick. The Eagles took the gamble selecting Jones in the second round (No. 43 overall) and used his rookie season as a redshirt year. Jones never became the player the Eagles scouted when he was in college, as the Achilles injury limited his development. Philadelphia released Jones after three seasons.
Roseman is positive Dickerson, who suffered an ACL injury during the SEC Championship Game in December, won't need to be "redshirted" this year. Different player, different scenario.
"We're confident it's not going to be a redshirt season. That's not what we were thinking about with Landon," Roseman said on a conference call during the draft. "You understand there is risk/reward in it. I think, again, we rely on our medical staff to try to figure out the best way to handle these.
"If guys are fails and they're off the board, those aren't discussed anymore after the medical meeting. Again, we look at this guy as a guy that's one of the top talents in this draft, a really talented guy and a culture setter for our organization, and we're really excited to get him."
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Dickerson's credentials are off the charts for a player at his position. He allowed just one sack in 825 pass-blocking snaps from 2018 to 2020. Dickerson allowed just four quarterback hits and six hurries during that stretch. It wasn't hard to see why Dickerson was a unanimous All-American and a first-team All-SEC selection last season.
The pick is risky considering Dickerson's injury history. In addition to the torn ACL last year, Dickerson tore the ACL in his right knee as a freshman at Florida State and suffered season-ending ankle injuries his sophomore and junior years for the Seminoles. The torn ACL in his left knee as a graduate transfer was the fourth major injury in five years for Dickerson. He's played through pain regardless, taking the field for the final two snaps in Alabama's national championship victory.
"My recovery is right where I want it to be. We don't have an exact time frame," Dickerson said. "My ultimate goal is to be able to do whatever I can to make the team better no matter what stage I'm at this summer or when we get into the season.
"I want to be able to compete, be at practice, by the start of the season, but obviously things may change. Right now, I'm right on schedule with where I want to be. I come to work, and I want to compete every day. I don't let the past bother me. What's in the past is in the past. You can't change it. Just got to live with it and move on."