If we could fast forward to two weeks from now, we’d find ourselves dissecting what went down in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Between now and then, we’ll be combing through the rumor mill and analyzing the latest set of prospect notes and mock drafts to pop up on our radar.
Hub Arkush’s latest mock draft at Pro Football Weekly puts the Chicago Bears in an interesting position after some of the team’s top targets come off the board early. With the top pass-rushing and offensive line prospects already taken, Arkush has the Bears passing on players like Florida State safety Derwin James, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, and others in order to trade down with the Arizona Cardinals.
In a deal that also lands the Bears picks in the second and third rounds, Chicago would then use the No. 15 pick to draft Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry.
Landry would have probably been higher on draft boards this season had it not been for an ankle injury that literally slowed him down in 2017. And yet, he still recorded five sacks, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, and a pair of pass breakups as a senior. Landry’s breakout season as a prospect came in 2016 when he racked up 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles-for-loss, and forced seven fumbles. The 2016 season ended with Landry being named second-team Associated Press All-American. But rather than enter the NFL Draft, Landry returned for his senior year at Boston College.
Versatile enough to play with his hand in the dirt or as a standing 3-4 outside linebacker, Landry boasts high-end speed (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds) and athleticism that allows him to successfully rush the passer. Landry could get even better in that regard with proper coaching and improved technique.
So while Landry won’t be mistaken for North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb, landing him would be quite the consolation prize. And with Arizona ending up with Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, all is well that ends well for both parties. I mean, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?