When the Detroit Lions were on the clock with the 20th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft late Thursday night, the entire city of Detroit held their breath in hopes that Boston College defensive end Harold Landry would reunite with his former coach Paul Pasqualoni, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Lions.
The Lions did not call his name. Neither did the 12 teams behind the Lions in the first round of the draft. While the majority of analysts had Landry being selected before Detroit was even on the clock, when the first day of the draft came to a close, Landry remained unselected.
So the question isn’t why did the Lions pass on Landry, but, rather, why did everyone pass on Landry? The answer to that could be a familiar one. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, some teams have flagged Landry because of injury concerns to his knee and back:
A note on BC edge player Harold Landry as he remains on the board: Some teams have him flagged medically (knee/back). A difference-maker at an impact position when healthy, though. Had 16.5 sacks in 2016.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 27, 2018
Publicly, the only notable injury in Landry’s career was an ankle injury last year that limited his productivity and caused him to miss a few games. Many pointed to that ankle injury as the biggest reason why Landry failed to build on his phenomenal 2016 season with Boston College.
But this report suggests that there may be a lot more going on with Landry, and it could potentially be serious. Knees and back injuries are not typically the kind of ailment that can be fixed up easily, and that could be the reason why teams passed on an undeniable talent on the first day of the draft.
How long will Landry continue to slide? Would the Lions take a chance on him in the second round? Round 2 of the NFL Draft begins at 7 p.m. ET.