The Miami Dolphins will face a daunting task at the end of the month: trying to find the right pieces to add onto the roster to help guarantee that the team pushes past their 2020 performance and confirms their status as officially “back” as a contender. Miami saw their rebuilding effort rapidly accelerated in 2020 with a 10-win season in year two of an ambitious rebuild — which has raised the stakes and expectations entering this year’s critical draft.
And with the No. 6 overall pick, it seems fairly safe to assume that the Dolphins will be adding an offensive prospect to the depth chart; be it a pass catcher or potential left tackle Penei Sewell from the University of Oregon. Sewell is something of a long shot at this point and may not even get past the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5 overall, but the fact that he can’t be completely dismissed is all the evidence you need that Miami must continue to tinker with their offensive line and find the right blend of five starters to solidify their offensive front.
And with that in mind, it’s time we acknowledge the candidacy of one of the bigger sleepers for the Miami Dolphins’ pick at No. 18 overall. This is a prospect who has been widely tied to the Dolphins — but not a player you’ve often seen mocked to Miami this early on.
Don’t sleep on Alabama center Landon Dickerson at No. 18 overall.
Miami’s second first-round pick comes in a difficult position. There’s a chance the top pass rushers will be gone at this point and it may be too premature for the team to target a running back in the draft, despite what many Dolphins fans feel is necessary to secure Alabama running back Najee Harris (a fan favorite in mock drafts). If not for a knee injury that cut Dickerson’s season short in 2020, he’d be widely considered a top-flight center prospect ready to “plug and play” in the heart of an offensive line. But even with the knee injury, Dickerson is widely considered a plus prospect from a football smarts perspective and he’s got rare size, physicality and effectiveness in the heart of the Crimson Tide offense.
And as far as his rehabilitation is going, it seems safe to assume things are going pretty well.
Landon Dickerson tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game.
Today, he’s doing cartwheels in the middle of Mac Jones’ interview 😂 pic.twitter.com/PU6u9F5f8O
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 30, 2021
Would Dickerson be a “reach” at No. 18?
That depends on what you quantify as a reach. No, you don’t see Dickerson often placed this high in mock drafts, but you’re starting to see more and more of a push for Dickerson to land in the 1st-round of mocks, meaning Miami would presumably only have a swing at him at No. 18 overall before he comes off the board.
Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah dropped a new mock this week as well. And in Jeremiah’s mock, the Green Bay Packers draft Dickerson at No. 29 overall to replace the departing Corey Linsley at center.
The momentum is starting to build and Dickerson appears to be making a case for his health and readiness to play. If he arrives in Indianapolis for medical checks and things go well, we could be seeing the last of Dickerson sitting outside the 1st-round of mock drafts. And while getting a better running back is one way to improve the run game, so is getting a better offensive line. After the Dolphins came up empty in their bid to sign Patriots center David Andrews (even after signing Matt Skura), one would think the team has plans to address the interior at the end of the month.
Dickerson may have the strongest resume and case to make given his working history with Tua Tagovailoa, his athletic profile relative to the Dolphins’ trends up front and his swelling momentum as a 1st-round prospect.