There is now less than three weeks remaining before the start of the 2021 NFL league year and on Thursday Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN decided it was a good time to release his second mock draft of the offseason. After previously mocking Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins to the Pittsburgh Steelers at 24 overall in his first mock draft, Kiper now has Alabama center Landon Dickerson being selected by them in his second offering of 2021.
Below is what Kiper wrote about mocking Dickerson to the Steelers.
The Steelers have major cap issues and a long list of free agents that includes edge rusher Bud Dupree, wide receiver JuJu-Smith Schuster and tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Zach Banner, so their needs will be clearer once we get through free agency. But a center makes sense because of Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement — Dickerson could be an immediate replacement. I really like his game. The Florida State transfer injured his knee in the SEC title game and didn’t play in the College Football Playoff, but the Alabama coaches rave about him on and off the field. He can be the anchor the Steelers need.
While Dickerson did not play in this year’s Senior Bowl due to a serious knee injury that required surgery, he did measure in at 6060, 326-pounds in Mobile, AL. with 32 1/2-inch arms and 10 3/8-inch hands. He was the 2020 winner of the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s top center and a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy. He was also a unanimous first team All-American in 2020 and earned first-team All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press and league coaches.
While Dickerson primarily played center the last three seasons at Alabama and Florida State, he did log snaps at all five positions on the offensive line during that span with his second most amount of playing time coming at right guard.
Below is what Pro Football Focus wrote about Dickerson in their annual draft guide.
The NFL team that drafts Dickerson will immediately be lauded by draft analysts — including myself. That’s simply the brand of football the Alabama center plays and the leadership qualities he brings to the table. This is a man who suited up for the national championship game and took the kneel-down snaps at center despite tearing his ACL in the SEC title game. He’s a burly 6-foot-6, 325-pound center who proved to be scheme-diverse in his time with the Tide. He’s lined up at every single offensive-line position at one point in his career between Florida State and Alabama, although he’s likely interior only in the NFL.
The Steelers currently have a big hole at the center position following the retirement of veteran Maurkice Pouncey a few weeks ago so drafting another early this year would certainly make a lot of sense. Dickerson would seemingly fit the bill for the Steelers if they drafted him. Offseason medicals will be key when it comes to Dickerson and there is a good chance he wouldn’t be ready to play at the start of the 2021 season and could even need to start off his rookie season on the Reserve/PUP list if not close to being ready. If not for his knee injury, Dickerson would likely be a slam-dunk first-round selection by some team.
Below is the scouting report that Alex Kozora did on Dickerson several weeks ago.