NFL Draft Prospect Breakdown: Harold Landry

Other Breakdowns

Quenton Nelson – 93/100
Saquon Barkley
 – 92/100
Tremaine Edmunds – 89/100
Bradley Chubb – 89/100
Derwin James – 88/100
Roquan Smith – 87/100
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 87/100
Will Hernandez – 85/100
Rashaan Evans – 84/100
Baker Mayfield
 – 84/100
Sam Darnold – 83/100
Josh Rosen – 83/100
Lamar Jackson – 82/100
Marcus Davenport – 82/100
Calvin Ridley – 81/100
Josh Allen – 77/100
Leighton Vander Esch – 77/100

Stats, Awards, and Accolades

landry

*All Stats via sports-reference.com*

Class: Senior
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 252 lbs
Awards & Accolades: Second team All-ACC (2016), Third Team All-ACC (2017)

An ankle injury sidelined Landry for the final third (plus the bowl game) of his senior season, so we will generally look at his junior year for stats, and boy did he put up some numbers. Landry led the country in sacks with 16, and in forced fumbles with seven in 2016. His 48 career tackles for loss ranks 2nd in ACC history, his 25 sacks ranks 6th, and his ten career forced fumbles ranks 1st in the ACC and 10th in the history of the NCAA.

For this NFL Draft prospect breakdown, I rewatched three conference games from this year, his games against Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Wake Forest. These offenses ranked 96th, 45th, and Wake surprisingly ahead of the other two at 22nd in Bill Connely’s offensive rankings for the 2017 season. Virginia Tech and Clemson were ranked when Boston College played them, I wanted to see how he performed with that added spotlight.

Pros

Very quick
Big hitter
Great closing speed
Always has a plan
Flips hips
Good hands
Bend
Can disengage blockers
Can fake out blockers

Cons

Undersized
Not great in run defense
Not a huge pass rush move repertoire
Below average length
Does not fit in a 4-3

Grades

Hand Use/Pass Rush Moves – 7/10
Bend/Speed – 10/10
Run Defense – 7/10

Scheme Fits

4-3 Defensive End – 7/10
3-4 Line Backer – 10/10

Overall Grade: 85/100

A reminder, this where I think he should go, not where he will go, these rankings also DO NOT take into account positional importance

90+ Superstar
85+ Elite Player (Top Ten)
80+ First Round Talent
77+ Second Round Talent
74+ Third Round Talent
66+ Third Day Talent (Rounds 4-7)

10/10 Rating – Best in the class or close to it
7.5/10 Rating – Average
5/10 Rating – Poor

Harold Landry is undersized and therefore doesn’t have a great fit in a 4-3 scheme, and his run defense is subpar, but other than that he is one of the best edge rushers in the draft. His bend, his hands, and most of all his speed are at the top of this class. Landry’s 4.64 40-yard dash time at just over 250 pounds came in the 87th percentile among edge rushers, and his strength is underrated. With 24 bench press reps he actually beat the average for edge rushers. Technique wise, Landry may be at the top of my list. He doesn’t use a lot of crazy spins and swims to get past defenders, he really returns to basics. He uses his hands to grab his blocker’s jersey and pull them away to free space. I saw him jab step to fake out a defender, and because of his speed, he can draw offensive lineman to commit false start penalties, and can get them off their balance and prone to a bull rush as they scramble to get in position to defend his speed.

I might like Harold Landry more than some, I seem to be able to look past a player’s size as long as they play well when they get on the field (see my Roquan Smith preview). Some will have certain requirements that edge rushers should conform to, but as long as you can look past the size, Landry is a player that can have a day one impact on an NFL roster. I think he would be best suited as a blitzing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Landry will make the top ten on my big board, and he will probably go in that top 15 range during the actual draft.

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