Defensive End/Outside Backer (EDGE)
Listed Height- 6’2″
Listed Weight- 250 Pounds
Landry will be a senior this year at Boston College but is still fairly young, he will be 21 on 2018 draft day. He wasn’t the most highly sought after of players coming out of high school but appeared in all 13 games his freshmen year, making minimal impact (11 tackles). His sophomore year he really broke out, making 11 starts on the D-Line. He finished with 60 tackles, 16 TFLs and 3 FFs, just didn’t find his way fast enough to the QB, only gathering 3.5 sacks. Landry took another step forward as a junior in 2016, becoming known as one of the most productive edge defenders. He accounted for 50 tackles, 22 TFLs, 16.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles (led the NCAA).
Landry is listed at 6’2” 250 pounds, has decent arm length to go along with it. What really sets him apart from others is how nimble he is. He has excellent agility and I would say elite balance. A lot of his success as a pass rusher comes from his ability to get O-Tackles off balance. You’ll see him flash a nice side step outside (fake), where he pretends he’s going for the “bull-rush” then he shoots back outside, this leaves un-athletic Linemen in the dust. Has really nice bend/flexibility to dip around the hip of O-Tackles. He doesn’t have great burst off the ball as a rusher but at times he’s able to time the snap and explodes past blockers around the edge. Does really well with his hands, you’ll see him get good extension on a blocker’s shoulder and then rip outside to free himself. If linemen are slow getting their hands on him, he has shown the ability to completely explode through their grasps, this shows up more so in the run game. He has flashed a really nice side-step move inside as well, his agility really opens up many possibilities for him (counter moves in his rushes). You’ll see the inside side-step show up on twist stunts, his ability to squeeze himself through tight gaps in the interior of the O-Line is fantastic. They played him all over the the defensive front from 7 tech, 6 tech, 5 tech, outside backer, and even underneath as a 3 tech. He showed the ability to win from all areas. When he hits the QB, he hits with a lot of force and attacks the football with ferocity (7 FFs in 2016, led the nation). When he’s unable to get there on his rush, you’ll see him get his hands into the passing lane to interfere with the QB. Had two pass deflections and an interception in their 2016 bowl game vs Maryland. I think where he’ll really shine in the NFL is with his run defense. I don’t believe he always shows the strength to hold the point of attack but he is extremely hard to block. He does an excellent job of knifing his way through gaps to make tackles in the back-field. Like I said earlier, if you don’t get your hands on him early, he can explode right through and ruin a running play. Often splits double teams and caused distruptions. Don’t believe I have seen someone successfully chop block him down, his great balance helps him big time there. Has shown good ability to chase down running plays away from him and makes a lot of tackles from behind. As a tackler he does well, not much to complain about there at all, wraps up with good aiming point and force.
Weaknesses/Concerns/Room for Improvement
He’s not an explosive athlete but he shows good closing burst to finish plays. My main concern would be his lack of explosion off the edge as a rusher, I don’t see him getting the edge on just speed alone. I believe you could see him add more strength and play with better leverage at times. A lot of his pass rush skill-set depends on him manipulating the positioning of O-Linemen. Still think he could be more explosive with his hands at times, play with more urgency in his pass rush. Many times when he rushes, I feel if he gets beat, he stays beat. Would like to see him find a way to keep fighting throughout the duration of the play. Does he have an answer for O-Tackles who are able to stay in front of him athletically? I didn’t find this too worrisome (didn’t see it often) but I feel if the play went completely away from him, he tended to take the play off. Think he can be a very good run defender but I would worry about him holding the point of attack if a team runs directly at him. At times, I saw him take some false steps (read the blocker wrong, so he went inside when he should have went out) that allowed him to get hooked/cut-off outside, would like to see him clean that up.
Overall, Harold Landry is a very good player. I don’t truly think he’s as talented as his 16.5 sacks in 2016 but he’s better than 3.5 sacks in 2015. Somewhere in-between is the impact you will probably get from Landry. Would like to see him add more strength to combat his lack of explosion off the edge. Could easily find himself in the top 20 of the draft and I would be surprised if he fell out of the first round. Look for him to cause havoc on the top teams in the country, playing in the ACC. Easily will be one of the top seniors coming out this year.
I look at Landry as a guy who has some scheme flexibility. On a team like our Dallas Cowboys, we run an attacking 4-3 Tampa-2/Cover 3 look. In the run game I really like his potential to shoot through gaps as a WDE in a 4-3. However, I don’t like his explosion as a 4-3 WDE pass rusher. I believe his agility could do him very well in a 3-4 defense as a strong side OLB. Has shown some ability to cover in the flats. I would put him in a 4-3 defense, let him move around from left side-right side and even down underneath as a 3-Tech. I believe he could be a serious force in disrupting running plays, shooting through gaps.
Potential Top 20 Pick
Top 40 ?
Highlights/2015 Game vs Florida State
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