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Harold Landry, a top draft pass rusher, to visit Detroit Lions

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The Lions need a pass rush, and they are hosting one of the top pass rushing prospects.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL draft is fast approaching and it has remained mostly quiet from the Lions on the official visit front. Then Freep’s Dave Birkett casually rattled off five more visits all at once and we’re off and running. The most notable name on his list is Boston College pass rusher Harold Landry.

Background

Landry is from North Carolina and was a four star recruit when he committed to Boston College. He put up 17.0 sacks his final season of high school and was one of the top recruits in his home state. He was eased into play for Boston College before breaking out in 2016 and was considered a consensus top ten player entering the 2017 college football season. Playing through injury in 2017, he saw a drop-off in production but is still considered a top three pass rusher in the 2018 class.

Athletic Profile

Harold Landry RAS

Landry, who dealt with injury in 2017, was viewed as someone who could potentially fall at the Combine if medicals didn’t pan out or if he didn’t measure out as the elite athlete he appeared to be on tape. He was also viewed as someone who could rise if everything went well, and after passing his medicals he posted the second best 3-cone time of all pass rushers on his way to putting up great numbers across the board.

Stats

2014 - 10 Tackles, 1.5 TFLs
2015 - 60 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 16.0 TFLs, 3 FFs, 1 FR
2016 - 50 Tackles, 16.5 Sacks, 22.0 TFLs, 7 FFs, 4 PDs, 1 Int
2017 - 38 Tackles, 5.0 Sacks, 8.5 TFLs, 2 PDs

Though his sack numbers weren’t up yet, you could see the potential Landry had off the edge the season before his breakout 2016 campaign. No pass rusher had better tape in 2016 than Harold Landry, including the draft’s consensus top DE Bradley Chubb. If his 2017 season had gone differently then we would have been talking about whether Landry or Chubb was going to be drafted first. Once scouts started going back to his 2016 tape after he blew up the Combine, Landry was right back into the conversation.

Medicals and character

As mentioned, Landry was slowed due to an injury in 2017. He injured his ankle after appearing in eight games and recording five sacks. He doesn’t have any major injury concerns, and the ankle injury was not considered a serious issue. There are no major character concerns and he has a positive reputation for both film study and a desire to improve.

Lions outlook

Landry developed a close connection with Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni at Boston College where the latter was the defensice line coach. If drafted, he would slide into the pass rushing rotation immediately and would certainly start almost immediately. There wouldn’t be much of a learning curve, if any, and Landry could be a legitimate DROY candidate if he has returned to his 2016 form. Landry would require the Lions first-round selection if they want to pick him, but it’s possible he has pushed his value too high to be a realistic possibility.