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Crabbs | Harold Landry built in same mold as Vic Beasley

Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Crabbs | Harold Landry built in same mold as Vic Beasley

Earlier today, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com released his latest rendition of Monday Musings. Included was a snippet on Boston College Defensive End Harold Landry:

“Despite the dreary outlook, I’ve been told several scouts rate Harold Landry of Boston College as the top prospect from the senior class and handed him a stratospheric grade not equaled in more than a decade.”

That’s quite a pedestal to place the senior prospect on as we enter the final stretch before the start of the 2017 college football season. Is that level of hype warranted for Landry?

Not necessarily. I’ll say this: I like Landry as a player quite a bit and see some parallels to former Clemson Tiger Vic Beasley in his game. For context, you can read my 2015 NFL Draft report on Beasley below:

Kyle Crabbs’ 2015 NFL Draft report on Atlanta Falcons DE Vic Beasley.

I missed the mark on one item of interest with Beasley, speculating an optimal projection as an off ball player. But the valuation of him as a top 20 player is accurate and it’s a fair expectation and bar to set for Landry. Landry, like Beasley, has a long, lean frame. He isn’t especially tall; so he has some natural leverage to work with. Much like Beasley, he isn’t especially effective setting the edge but finds astronomical levels of production in the backfield thanks to twitch, burst and bend.

Both players’ careers hold a greater than 1.00 TFL/game average. Landry, much like Beasley, is no stranger to splash plays.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Landry is a lock for a top 5 selection and it certainly doesn’t guarantee he’ll enter the NFL firing past Offensive Tackles effortlessly. Beasley did have a transitional/specialist year in 2015 on account of learning to play with more bulk and understanding how to work through traffic and bodies more effectively. That’s a flaw that Landry is going to have to learn to work around as well. Landry is listed at 250 lbs but he didn’t appear to tip the scales at anywhere higher than 235 lbs or so during the 2016 season.

This means I don’t necessarily regard Landry as a “generational talent”. But I do regard him as one of the top pass rushers in the class.

Even the ways in which Landry gets past Tackles and challenges the Quarterback will echo sentiments of the former Clemson standout.

A hard up field challenge and burst out of his stance puts Offensive Tackles in a difficult position. They must either hinge early in their sets to protect the outside or try to utilize their length to run Landry past the peak of the pocket. Above, Landry forces the Tackle into crossing over his feet to get width and protect the edge; leaving a gaping alley back inside for Landry to counter into a hit on the passer.

If the Tackle wants to hug inside, Landry will take the shorter angle to turn the corner.

Two things are evident on this rush. Landry’s violent club move ensure the Tackle isn’t going to get a clean stab and also the cornering and tilt Landry’s body is able to produce is tremendous. Both variables on this rush yield to one of Landry’s NCAA leading 16.5 sacks from last season.

Late in the season against Wake Forest, Landry wins another boundary rush but shows a different move, implementing a rip move to sweep the Tackle’s hands up on another tight pass set. This angle is too shallow and this Tackle doesn’t get nearly enough depth to adequately protect and Landry makes it look elementary to run past him. Landry likes this move a good deal; it’s one of the textbook counters in any pass rusher’s arsenal.

But his burst, tilt and leverage make it a move that is consistently difficult to stave off; especially when Landry is given the open end of the formation (with no Tight End). Even when it’s stopped, it’s at times at the expense of playing in the rules.

Don’t let these clips coming against Buffalo, Wake Forest and North Carolina State fool you either, Landry logged a sack in 10 of 13 games this past season, including against Florida State and Clemson. The three teams Landry didn’t log a sack against? The triple option unit of Georgia Tech (who attempted all of 15 passes vs. 44 rush attempts), Virginia Tech and Louisville (where Landry missed 3 separate sack attempts trying to tackle Lamar Jackson in the pocket).

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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