Dickson May Prove To Be NFL Bargain

In the spring of 1976, Alabama Coach Paul Bryant was in his office. He got the news that Woodrow Lowe, who had been Alabama’s single season tackle leader and an All-America, was selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

“Getting Woodrow Lowe in the fifth round is like getting a $50 gold piece for 50 cents,” Bryant said.

To the surprise of no one, Paul Bryant knew a little bit more about football players – certainly more about Alabama players -- than the NFL draft experts.

After being drafted in fifth round by San Diego in 1976, Lowe went on to play 11 NFL years. He missed only one game because of injury. Although run-defense was his strong suit, he turned in 21 interceptions in his career and returned four of them for touchdowns.

Alabama has been the top provider of NFL talent under Coach Nick Saban. This year’s NFL draft begins at the end of the month.

This year Xzavier Dickson, an outside linebacker for the Crimson Tide the last four years, is being projected as a fifth-round draft choice. Last season the 6-3, 270-pound Dickson had 42 tackles, including 12 for lost yardage and had a team-high nine sacks. He also had 10 quarterback pressures and broke up two passes.

Dickson is considered by the experts to be the “wrong body type” for outside linebacker, and probably not quick enough at that position. He’s also judged to be not quite big enough to play inside.

Dickson looked to be performing well in his Alabama Pro-Day workout.

It may be he’s drafted late. It may also prove to be quite the bargain for the team that gets him.

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