#41 Titans: OLB Harold Landry
NFL Draft Scout
With a year longer to get stronger and hone their technique, most prospects boost their stock by returning for another year of college.
Due to both injury and game-planning against him, however, that may not be the case for Boston College's Landry, whose production in 2017 - 38 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and five sacks - pales in comparison to previous years. Landry, notably, was limited to just one tackle in his most eagerly anticipated matchup of the year, a faceoff against fellow highly regarded senior NFL prospect, left tackle Mike McGlinchey of Notre Dame.
Landry surprised many by electing to return to Boston College for his senior season after a dominating 2016 campaign in which he recorded 51 tackles, including 22 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles - the latter two of which not only were career-highs and led the ACC, they set the standard for all FBS defenders that season.
Landry was not quite as flashy a year earlier as a true sophomore but he was highly effective off the edge, racking up a career-high 60 tackles (including 37 solos) and 15.5 tackles for loss to go along with 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He earned Honorable Mention accolades from league coaches, the first of three consecutive years in which he was recognized with All-ACC honors after seeing limited action as a freshman (11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss while appearing in all 13 games).
While Landry's disappointing production in 2017 is a factor every NFL will weigh, it does not necessarily eliminate him from first round consideration. Every team in the league is looking for pass rushers and few can boast Landry's explosive first step and bend off the edge. Better yet, Landry has experience rushing off both sides and from the two and three point stances.
Further, with all due respect to Landry's teammates at Boston College, the Eagles simply do not possess the same supporting cast as some of the other top-ranked edge rushers in this class, explaining why his statistics slipped a bit even before sustaining the ankle injury which robbed him of the final month of the season. Much more than in the previous two seasons, opponents clearly game-planned for Landry in 2017, often sending double-teams his way (or at least a chip from backs and tight ends), running away from him, keying him on read-option and drawing him upfield only to run draws or screens around him.
With impressive performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine, Landry's ranking as one of the elite senior defenders in the 2018 draft and a likely first round selection would seem secure.
Landry turned down offers from some of the most prominent programs in the country to sign with Boston College, including Clemson, Auburn, Ohio State, and Florida State. He earned Semper Fi All-America honors as a high school senior in 2013 with 96 tackles, including 78 solo tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 17 sacks.
Landry possesses a compact, well-developed frame with above average arm length for his height. His most exciting trait for the NFL is his first step explosiveness. Whether rushing from the two or three point stance, Landry fires off the ball like out of a gun, often exploding past college tackles with just his initial burst. Complementing this speed is terrific core flexibility to dip under the reach of tackles, scrape the corner sharply and close on the ball-carrier. Landry shows very good lateral agility and balance to sprawl to avoid would-be cut-blocks and slip by lunging linemen. Though he lacks ideal length and power, Landry's quickness upfield helps him maintain his run containment responsibilities and he fights for position, ripping free from much bigger blockers at the final moment to get in on the stop on the edge. Landry also is effective when opponents opt to run away from his side, showing excellent vision, agility and effort to pursues from the backside. He shows good speed and a second-gear to close to deliver some impressive hits. Landry shows very good hand-eye coordination and an obvious focus on attacking the ball, forcing 10 fumbles from 2015-2016. He was rarely used in space as a pass defender but shows the instincts and agility to handle more of this duty if asked. - Rob Rang 12/16/2017
Landry is a bit of a one-trick pony as a speed edge rusher, relying upon his initial burst to cross the face of offensive tackles and making it relatively easy to game-plan against him and mitigate his effectiveness. While agile enough to use on stunts, Landry needs a lane as he does not possess ideal girth or strength to bulldoze through NFL offensive linemen. Though competitive, Landry can be overpowered at the point of attack in the running game. For an edge rusher, Landry only flashes awareness of passing lanes, recording five passes defensed as a junior (including an impressive interception vs. Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl) but only two (one each in his first two games) as a senior. -- Rob Rang 12/16/2017
COMPARES TO: Kevin Greene, Rams/Steelers/Panthers. Just like the 6-3, 247 pound Greene, Landry is an explosive edge rusher whose best attribute is his ability to harass opposing quarterbacks, whether it be from the left or right side, out of two or three point stance.
IN OUR VIEW:
Landry may not possess ideal height or length but his exceptional initial quickness and flexibility make him one of the best - and proven - edge rushers in the 2018 NF draft. A three-time All-ACC selection, he set the school record and led the country with 16.5 sacks as a junior but saw his