Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Jon Ledyard
Name: Harold Landry
Position: Edge Defender
Date of Birth: 6/5/1996
College: Boston College
High School: Pine Forest (N.C.)
Games Played: 38
Games Started: 23
Team Captain: N/A
Production: 122 tackles, 21 sacks, 39 tackles-for-loss, 10 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery.
High School: Consensus 3-star defensive end prospect. 2013 Semper Fi All-America honors. AP All-State. 2013 first team all-conference. 2013 Mid-South Defensive Player of the Year. 2012 second-team All-Conference. Turned down offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee, among others.
College: Walter Camp All-America Second Team. AP All-America Second Team. All-ACC Second Team (coaches and media). AP and Phil Steele All-ACC First Team. Boston College sacks single season record with 16.5.
Strengths: Good-looking frame with no bad weight. Steps down in unblocked situations and finds the puller, initiating box technique with a strong punch to the chest. Stout run defender who will hold his ground with leverage and hand placement. Keeps full arm extension so blockers can’t get into his frame and control him. Flashes bend and flexibility in his ankles and hips that can’t be taught. Will dip under offensive tackle’s punches at the top of the arc without losing speed. Good first step out of his stance and eats up space with solid stride length. Seldomly employed push-pull moves shows up successfully a few times on tape. Targets the ball as a pass rusher and creates splash plays.
Weaknesses: May need to add muscle and bulk up a bit to be an NFL defensive end. Despite holding his gap, will struggle to free himself from blocks in a timely fashion and make stops. Often stalls out at the top of the arc in his pass rush, failing to employ a counter move. Does not string together moves well and will often fail to attack with an intricate plan. Hand usage is plain and unoriginal, must be more violent and detailed to create softer corners. Flips his shoulders to the pocket too soon and exposes surface area for opposing tackles’ to land their strikes. Inconsistent out of his stance and will too often be the last guy off the ball. Slow-developing push-pull is his only strategy when clamped up, and it won’t work against bigger tackles with better posture. Generates zero push as a bull rusher.
Summary: Landry is a finesse pass rusher with enticing cornering skills and the athletic tools to develop into a really valuable prospect this season. Although inconsistent, Landry has first step explosiveness you can’t teach, good quickness up the arc and the ability to dip under or bend through punches that most pass rushers can’t. Despite his tools however, Landry doesn’t offer much variety as a pass rusher, consistently failing to employ counter moves even when his burst opens up B-gap rush lanes. Landry must learn to play speed-counter games at a high level, as too many mentally-savvy tackles sat on his speed rush and stalled out his attacks at the top of the arc.
Landry doesn’t offer much as a power rusher outside of the occasional push-pull when tackles get sloppy with their strike timing and technique. He generates very little as a bull rusher, and struggles to free himself from opponents once he’s locked up. Landry’s hands need to become much more violent and detailed in order to keep himself clean and clear contact on his way to the pocket. His pass rush plan is plain and unoriginal right now, but in college his athletic and physical tools were enough to achieve production. In the NFL, things won’t be so simple.
As a run defender Landry shows good technique, block recognition and hand placement, which allows him to survive despite lacking substantial power at the point of attack. The senior’s built-in leverage as a 6-2 line of scrimmage player certainly helps him anchor and hold his gap, but if Landry is fighting a block square, don’t expect him to get off of it in a timely fashion. His physical profile appears to fit better as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and Landry does have experience playing from a two-point stance as well as with his hand down at Boston College.
The tools and traits are there for Landry to elevate his stock this season, but more detail and technical refinement will be required before he can be billed as a complete threat off the edge. After all, we aren’t talking about Von Miller or Danielle Hunter athleticism here, despite how Landry checks the boxes in that regard. If he can develop his hands and readily access an inside counter move, it’ll make him far less predictable for blockers and much more successful in the variety of ways he can win as a pass rusher.
Predicted Value Range: Early 2nd Round