The Tennessee Titans have snapped up one of the best edge rushers in the 2018 NFL Draft by selecting Boston College’s Harold Landry with the No. 41 overall pick in the second round.
Landry was one of the most productive players in the nation in 2016 before an ankle injury only allowed for him to play in nine games in 2017. However, he’s healthy now and he’ll be looking to prove that the film he created in 2016 is a more accurate representation of who he is as a player.
2018 NFL Draft: Harold Landry taken by the Tennessee Titans
At this stage of his career, Landry might be a bit of a one-trick pony as a pass-rusher. However, it’s a helluva a trick and it’s hard to imagine a better skill to specialize in during this era of the NFL.
He’s 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds and ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash while leaping 36 inches at the NFL combine. He uses that explosiveness to bend the edge aggressively and wreaks havoc when he gets to the quarterback.
Landry only had 3.5 sacks when he broke into the lineup as a sophomore, but he did record 16 tackles for loss in that season. The next year was his breakout, though, as he recorded an astonishing 16.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss, announcing his NFL potential very loudly for the world to see.
As mentioned, he battled that ankle injury but still recorded 5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, finishing with 25 and 46.5 for his career. And the tape that accompanies those numbers has scouts excited.
“Landry lacks premium size, but his burst, stride length and ability to dip and rip around the edge give him special potential as an edge rusher,” NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote. “Landry lacks strength at the point of attack and may be a designated pass rusher early in his career.
“While he can play standing for 3-4 teams, he’s at his best with his hand in the dirt as a rusher. Landry can get by as an NFL rusher with just speed and athleticism, but he has an opportunity to become a Pro Bowler if he can improve his hand usage and develop an inside counter.”
Even as a specialist, Landry could have a pretty profound impact from the start because he’s not only a sack artist but he’s shown a knack for attacking the throwing arm, as well. He forced 7 fumbles in that incredible season in 2016.
Get to the quarterback 5 or 6 times in a reserve role and force a couple game-changing fumbles, and he’ll already be a great addition. Add more strength to anchor and he’s got clear star potential.