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Brock Huard’s 2018 NFL Draft preview: Boston College DE Harold Landry

Apr 11, 2018, 10:00 AM | Updated: Apr 25, 2018, 9:27 pm
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Boston College DE Harold Landry lead the nation in sacks (16.5) his junior season. (AP)
(AP)

Each day, Brock Huard is profiling a different draft prospect that he considers an early-round possibility for the Seahawks. His draft previews continue with Boston College DE Harold Landry. The audio is embedded above.

Seahawks’ biggest question marks for 2018: Part 1 | Part 2

Position: DE
Height/weight: 6-3, 252
Class: Sr.
Hometown: Spring Lake, NC

Scouting report: Sports fans on the West Coast may not be as familiar with Landry. His best year came in 2016 when Boston College went 7-6 (2-6 in conference play). But Landry was a phenom, posting 34 tackles, 16.5 sacks (leading the nation and setting a Boston College single-season record) and an interception. As a senior, he recorded three sacks in an October game against Virginia Tech before suffering a Grade 2 ankle sprain that ultimately cut his season short.

Brock’s take: “When Cliff Avril retires, which is more likely to happen over the next couple months, and you look at this roster, man, does it miss some twitch. Where’s the Michael Bennett? Where’s the Cliff Avril? Where’s the proven pass rusher outside of Frank Clark on this roster to go out and get it done?

“Well, Harold Landry, his junior year in 2016, was 1,000 percent that guy. He led the country in sacks with 16.5. He’s 6-3, 250 pounds. He vertical (jumped) 36 inches at the combine; that was third-best among all the D-linemen. He was number one at the combine when it came to his 20-yard shuttle, he was number two when it came to that three-cone drill, he was number three when it came to that vertical, and by the way, that 4.64 blazing time was the third-fastest of any D-lineman in this draft.

“The problem was that 2017 wasn’t as pretty. Now, Harold Landry’s different than Malik McDowell [who also faced questions about his uneven play]. This was not an engine issue. I had Boston College (as a broadcast assignment) very late in the year against NC State and Bradley Chubb, who’s going to be a top-5 pick. And when I watched that game from 2016 I was like, ‘Chubb was nice, but who’s this No. 7 for BC? He’s unblockable.’ You can’t stay in front of him. He was a nightmare. And where was he in 2017? Well, in 2017 he played eight games and he played most of those compromised (with) knee and ankle injuries. And to be clear, he tried to fight through those (but) was not nearly the player, unfortunately.

“Does a pass rusher and LEO work in this system? It absolutely does. And how about having a huge chip on your shoulder, does that fit in this system? Do you want that again? Do you want those hyper competitive guys to prove everybody wrong, especially those that doubt because of a senior season that was riddled with injuries? Well Harold Landry fits in that boat, too.

“(But I wouldn’t take him.) You have to understand the scale here for John Schneider and Pete Carroll. And that scale is trading down from No. 18 adds that second- and third-round pick that they need. They need more players. So if you’re going to be at 18, you better be Von Miller special… and unfortunately, at 18, I don’t think he’s quite that caliber. But, man, is he immensely talented.”

How he’d fit: As Brock Huard noted, the Seahawks’ biggest area of need heading into the draft is the defensive line, especially defensive end. Seattle scooped up two defensive tackles during free agency (Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen) but haven’t yet filled holes on the edge. A Boston Globe profile of Landry in 2016 highlighted a work ethic Pete Carroll and his coaching staff would appreciate: “He just leads by example,” one of Landry’s teammates said, “he’s always doing great things on and off the field, and we all – us younger guys, and even the older guys – try to emulate that.”

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Brock Huard’s 2018 NFL Draft preview: Boston College DE Harold Landry