The Washington Redskins have taken LSU safety LaRon Landry, widely considered the best defensive player in this draft class, with the 6th overall pick.
What the Experts Say:
- Rick Gosselin’s Final Ranking: 7th overall
- Mel Kiper Final Ranking: 6th overall
- Scout.com Final Ranking: 4th Overall
STRENGTHS: Body Control, Coverage Awareness, Size
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Hands
Effective defending the run or covering the pass, Landry possesses the athletic skills and football intelligence
Biography: Four-year starter awarded varying degrees of All-American and All-Conference honors since his freshman campaign. Led the team in tackles as a senior, posting 74/3/4 after 69/3/8 as a junior. Freshman and sophomore tackling totals were 80 and 92 respectively.
Pos: Productive safety with a complete game. Instinctive, plays heads-up football and remains disciplined with assignments. Efficient, takes good angles to the action and goes for the knockout blow. Patrols centerfield, displays top sideline-to-sideline range and has a terrific break to the action. Displays speed in a straight-line or laterally. Wraps-up tackling.
Neg: Lacks hands for the pick and drops too many catchable interceptions.
The Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.
It’s impossible to say whether or not this is the perfect move for Washington at this point because the Redskins have so few picks and no one knows exactly what transpired in terms of trade offers leading up to the pick. If they weren’t offered quality value for the pick, then taking Landry is an excellent move. Though the Redskins have more pressing needs than safety, it is a need and there’s nothing Landry can’t do. He is a tough run defender who takes the shortest path to the path and delivers big hits. He times hits well and punishes receivers that go over the middle. He can cover the deep half of the field and can match up with slot receivers.
One area of concern is his ability to play the ball when it’s in the air but he has adequate ball skills and he should benefit from lining up next to Sean Taylor. Taylor’s excellent range and ability to play a centerfielder type role will help protect Landry. Finally, having such talented safeties gives the Redskins more freedom in terms of mixing as well as hiding coverages and helps the pass rush out by forcing quarterbacks to hold on to the ball longer.
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