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Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Can Finally Find RDE in Boston College’s Harold Landry

While the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles were busy on Wednesday improving their teams through aggressive trades, the Dallas Cowboys’ first move of the 2018 offseason was the release of DE Benson Mayowa.

Mayowa’ release is not a surprise, but it does leave a need at the RDE position in Dallas once again. Unable to find a long-term starter here while Mayowa was under contract, this Cowboys defense does have their “alpha” pass rusher in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Pairing Tank Lawrence with another premier defensive end should be a priority for the Cowboys, enough so to consider Boston College’s Harold Landry in the first round.

Here’s why.

Landry3

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“At his best, Landry fires off of the ball with an elite first step, snapping back to the quarterback with equally impressive bend.”

This film clip and quote comes from my full scouting report on Harold Landry at Slant Sports. Despite him getting to the quarterback as a LDE here, you can see the traits that make him an ideal talent for the speed-rushing right end spot with the Cowboys.

Landry is at his best using this speed to run the arc, but he also has more than enough power throughout his lean frame to beat blockers in a variety of ways.

“This is a square player with better-than-expected power in his hands and upper body.”

Landry1

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Drafting Harold Landry at 19th overall would mean the Cowboys double up on defensive ends in consecutive drafts, with Taco Charlton being their pick at 28th overall a year ago. Projecting as a left end all the way, Charlton was finally able to earn some snaps on the strong side near the end of his rookie season, looking much better than he ever did previously at RDE.

This doesn’t mean that Taco shouldn’t remain a rotational player at both positions. A strong run defender that lacks speed and bend, Harold Landry could be the perfect match up piece to add to this Cowboys’ front – rushing with fresh legs that should allow him to run the arc consistently.

“Harold Landry should play primarily RDE in the NFL, where his speed and bend can be used most effectively.”

The term “starter” is a very loose one when it comes to Rod Marinelli’s defensive line, and Landry absolutely showed starter’s potential over his final two seasons at BC. A concerning dip in production from 2016 to 2017 has scared some scouts away from Landry, but his refined collection of NFL-ready traits is more than enough to warrant a first round pick.

Add in the immediate need that Harold Landry fills in Dallas, along with the Cowboys’ ability to protect Landry from wearing down as an every-down DE, and you have a nearly perfect fit.

Landry1

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

“Landry rushes with a plan to beat the man across from him on every snap, which may very well be his best NFL-ready trait. Lined up above at RDE, the left tackle is able to sit on Landry’s inside shoulder and – despite being completely off-balanced – seal off the edge.”

Despite his initial quickness not allowing Landry to snap the corner on the play above, he finds a way to power back to the quarterback and attack the football. This tipped pass was intercepted, showing off the difference making ability that Harold Landry has as my second-highest graded EDGE defender.

It is easy to get blown away by Landry’s flash plays on obvious pass rushing sets, but this is a player with a full range of ways to win, including above average upper body strength and consistent hands-above-eyes technique.

“College EDGE rushers do not often come out with the level of polish Landry has, particularly when it comes to bending the corner for pressures and sacks.”

The truth is, the Dallas Cowboys deserve some slack when it comes to their inability at finding another top talent at RDE post DeMarcus Ware. This is one of the hardest positions to fill without commitment to a proven – and overly expensive – free agent.

Developing EDGE rushers takes time and patience. These are both things that Harold Landry could capitalize on as one of the biggest potential draft steals of this 2018 class. Landry did more than enough this season to prove he can make an instant impact at the next level – also deserving to be drafted based on his elite potential.

If the Cowboys feel as good about the ceiling for Harold Landry as a prospect, there is no reason they should pass on him if given the chance come April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Can Finally Find RDE in Boston College’s Harold Landry” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

What do you think?

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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