2018 NFL Draft: Taking a Closer Look at Pass-Rusher Harold Landry

As the NFL Draft steady approaches, Niners Live takes a closer look at Boston College pass-rusher Harold Landry; is he worthy of the ninth overall pick (assuming the 49ers don’t trade down)?


Why are we here?

In 2017, the 49ers had 30 total sacks (pedestrian like production) as a defense. The 49ers haven’t had an elite level pass-rusher since former 49er and ex-Oakland Raider Aldon Smith (2012, 19.5 sacks), and Andre Carter (2002, 12.5 sacks). To say the 49ers have a major need for an elite level pass-rusher, is an understatement. No pass-rusher, “no rings.”

Important to note: there’s a ten-year gap between the two pass rushers who were originally drafted by the 49ers.

The 49ers are currently on a six-year drought for a double-digit sack leader. Elvis Dumervil, who was released by the 49ers recently, led the team last season with 6.5 sacks.

Looking at Landry‘s career production

Harold Landry, OLB Boston College. 6’3”, 250 lbs., 21, Senior (Pro Football Focus grade of 83.9) is a pure pass-rusher with an extremely quick first step, playmaking ability, and a high motor (as seen in both videos from 2016 and 2017, respectively).

In his four-year career (38 total games played), he’s amassed 158 tackles, 48.0 for a loss, 25 sacks (five sacks in 2017), one interception, six passes defended and 10 forced fumbles.

Taking a Closer Look at Pass-Rusher Harold Landry

Landry is a pure pass-rusher (he feels he’s the best in the draft) with an explosive first step and the speed to get around the edge, while displaying fluid hips that allow him to bend at will. Landry can dip/get low under the shoulder pads of offensive tackles like it’s second nature.

Landry recently spoke with the 49ers, he needs more counter pass rushing moves (paging 49ers’ pass rush specialist Chris Kiffin) in his arsenal, and some additional strength and muscle couldn’t hurt.

Landry’s combine results. 

In the above video, Landry talks how he had five sacks in six games in 2017 and was just hitting his stride by mid-season, before he was forced to miss the remainder of the year due to a severely hurt ankle (that he tried to play with but got rolled on the following week which made it worse).

Bottom Line:

The last thing that NFC West quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Jared Goff or any franchise quarterbacks playing in the NFC conference wants (or in the NFL in general), is to have Landry breathing down their necks on Sunday’s. Unlike edge rusher Marcus Davenport out of Texas-San Antonio, Landry faced stiffer competition during his collegiate career. If the 49ers are uncomfortable with taking Landry with the ninth overall pick, I’m perfectly fine with the team trading down a few spots to secure his services. To be continued.  

Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course. Often imitated, but never duplicated.

All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, player break down specialist, Co-Editor, Sequoia Sims

One thought on “2018 NFL Draft: Taking a Closer Look at Pass-Rusher Harold Landry

  • April 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Harold Landry should be the 49ers pick at #9 & may possibly be still on the board at #12 if John Lynch trades down with Buffalo.
    Derwin James at Strong Safety is also a consideration & Tremaine Edmunds exhibits Lawrence Taylor type athleticism & should also be in the mix.
    However Roquan Smith has shown a tendency to be washed out by large athletic offensive linemen as revealed especially in the Georgia vs Oklahoma game & although Mock Drafted numerous times to the 49ers, is the worst of all potential choices.
    Plus do not sleep on Mike McGlinchey as Joe Staley is 34 & Trent Brown will be a UFA at seasons end with a history of weight & conditioning issues plus is among the worst NFL starting Tackles in the running game.

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