With the Titans holding the 25th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, I really didn’t expect to have a consensus already from the mock drafts, but here we are. Just about anywhere you look, people are connecting the Titans to Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry near the end of the first round. Things are sure to change, but this seems like a guy that we need to take a deep dive on. I did that here.
Size (pre-combine) and Production
Age: 21, will be 22 in June.
2015: 12 games played, 3.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, 60 total tackles.
2016: 12 games played, 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 50 total tackles.
2017: 8 games played, 5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, 38 total tackles.
What does Landry bring to the table?
This is a fascinating evaluation. His monstrous 2016 season put vaulted him towards the top of draft boards, but he chose to stay in school for one more season. That’s always a risk for top guys and it probably cost him some longterm money. Hindsight is 20-20, of course.
The production fell off for Landry, plummeting back down to earth with a five sack season. He naturally garnered more attention as teams tried to gameplan for him. Landry missed the final five games of the 2017 season due to an ankle injury. That likely took Landry from the top ten discussion to the back-half of the first round. Of course, all of that could change with a good performance at the NFL Combine.
When 100 percent healthy, the talent is obvious. Landry’s pass rushing ability is centered around his speed and ability to bend.
Here’s a really good example of that. Note the get-off here. That burst puts him ahead of the game against the right tackle. Landry then turns the corner, keeping his balance around the corner. The quarterback gets the ball out just before Landry gets home, but this gives you an idea of what he brings to the table.
Landry’s other go-to move is the “dip.” He has consistently shown this move throughout his career, giving tackles something else to worry about. When it works, it’s really pretty. It’s a really nice changeup after Landry has spent the whole afternoon sticking his arm into the tackle’s chest.
Look how easy he makes this look.
Here’s another example of Landry dipping under a right tackle and getting home for the sack. Again, note the bend to turn the corner at the end.
The bag of tricks is full here. I’ve shown you speed, bend and a dip move, now watch him win with pure power. This is just an overpowering moment for this poor right tackle, who takes it on the chin — literally. Landry gets him totally off balance and backs him right into the quarterback, forcing a quick off-balance throw.
Here’s a similar play from the other side against Clemson. Landry overwhelms the left tackle with power. He tries to re-anchor, but it’s too late. Bryant tried to get rid of it, but Landry was able to get a piece of it and force the bad pass.
When things don’t go as planned right off the bat, Landry has the hands and the pure desire to still make something happen. His active hands help him here as the play breaks down. This is 100 percent effort and motor.
I thought Landry did a pretty good job of setting the edge against the run in the games that I saw. He’s able to hold his ground and force things back to the inside, generally, which is what you want out of your edge player.
If Landry makes it to the 25th pick, he’s the ideal player for Jon Robinson to select. The production is there, which is know is paramount to Robinson. More importantly for me, the athletic ability is there. Landry can win in a number of different ways already and his burst and flexibility should allow him to grow even more as a player.
The tricky part here is the ankle, which forced him to miss a chunk of the season. There’s no doubt that team doctors will want a look at it during the NFL Combine. If all is clear, I wouldn’t have any hesitation.
With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan set to see their contracts expire after the 2018 season, Robinson has to re-stock the edges. Landry would be a great place to start.