After dropping out of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Boston College football defensive end Harold Landry heard his name called about 30 minutes into Friday night’s Day Two festivities. The Tennessee Titans struck a deal with the Oakland Raiders to trade up to the 41 spot and snag the edge rusher, making Landry the highest-picked BC player since Luke Kuechly in 2012.
The selection ships the Eagles’ premier defensive lineman to Nashville, where he’ll team up with new Titans head coach and former New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, whose son committed to play for BC this past winter.
For Landry, the wait is finally over—one year after many assumed he’d leave for the pros.
After all, he most likely would have been a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Instead, he joined Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller as just the second prospect to ever lead the nation in sacks and forgo the ensuing NFL Draft. In order to finish out his collegiate career, raise his draft stock, and receive his degree, Landry returned to the Heights for one final season.
Unfortunately for the Spring Lake, N.C. native, things didn’t exactly go to plan. Six games into the year, the senior suffered what would eventually be a season-ending ankle injury. Landry suited up a couple more times before sitting out the final five games of the year, including the Eagles’ New Era Pinstripe Bowl loss to Iowa. Although he performed well at the combine and was projected by many to go in the first round, Landry never got a chance to hold up a personalized jersey in front of a packed AT&T stadium.
Still, his nagging ankle injury wasn’t enough to turn away Tennessee. In many ways, the Titans are stealing a first-round talent. Landry—who ranks second on BC’s all-time career sack chart—is as explosive as it gets on the outside, often drawing comparisons to Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley.
Throughout this season, the 6-foot-3 defensive end was frequently double-teamed, and for good reason. As a junior, Landry took the country by storm, racking up a nation-leading 16.5 sacks, en route to Second-Team Walter Camp All-American honors. Not only that, but he also piled up 50 total tackles—including 22 behind the line of scrimmage—forced seven fumbles, deflected four passes, and returned one interception for 20 yards in the Quick Lane Bowl.
With Landry’s ability to pressure the quarterback, stuff the run, and drop back in coverage, analysts have often discussed whether or not he will play outside linebacker in the NFL. Considering that Titans new defensive coordinator Dean Pees ran a 3-4 hybrid scheme during his six-year tenure in Baltimore, there’s reason to think that Landry will spend a good amount of time off the line.
Regardless of where he ends up on the field, he’ll have his eyes on the quarterback, along with the rest of Tennessee’s defensive line—a unit that cracked the top five in sacks last season.
Sometime in the next 24 hours, the second-round pick will hop on a plane and fly to Tennessee for his introductory press conference. The former three-star recruit is heading back down south. There’s no doubt, though, that Landry—the first BC player recruited by head coach Steve Addazio to reach the NFL—is leaving behind a legacy in Chestnut Hill.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Senior Staff