With the exception of the left tackle spot, the Eagles offensive line starting five seems to be set in stone. Jason Kelce will man the center position, with Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson to his right. Isaac Seumalo will presumably be the starting left guard, with Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard battling it out for the starting left tackle spot.
While that starting line is just as good as any offensive line in football, the Eagles have some optionality at the left guard spot. Second round pick Landon Dickerson was drafted to be the heir apparent to Kelce once he hangs up the cleats. But Dickerson’s played every single position along the offensive line during his collegiate career, making him an invaluable asset.
If it wasn’t for Dickerson’s concerning injury history, he would’ve been a high first round pick and most likely the first interior offensive lineman taken in this year’s draft. He’s currently rehabbing an ACL tear that he suffered in December of last year, but all signs are pointing towards Dickerson being available once training camp rolls around at the end of the month.
His injury history is nothing to overlook. Dickerson’s suffered two ACL tears, one in each knee, and he’s dealt with ankle injuries as well. But it’s important to note that prior to his most recent ACL tear, he started 24 straight games for Alabama.
If Dickerson is fully healthy by the start of camp, it’s not far fetched to think he may give Seumalo a run for his money at the starting left guard spot. Seumalo is a good, not great, left guard who has been a bit underrated throughout his career. His 77.4 pass blocking grade on Pro Football Focus last year was the second-highest mark of any Eagles lineman in 2020.
From the Eagles standpoint, they’d ideally like to see Seumalo remain the long-term answer at left guard. He’s under contract until 2023, and he’s making below average salary for the position. But if Dickerson is as good as advertised, the team may not have any choice but to thrust him into action as soon as possible.
While Seumalo is a very serviceable starting lineman, he doesn’t wow you in the athletic measurables. Dickerson has two inches on Seumalo and outweighs him by about 30 pounds, yet, Dickerson blows Seumalo away in the athleticism department. If his knee recovers fully, he’ll likely outshine Seumalo is most drills during training camp.
Having options along an offensive line is never a bad thing, and that’s exactly the type of value Dickerson brings to this unit. It may not be the headline camp battle, but Seumalo vs. Dickerson is one of the more intriguing ones on paper.