Some fans were not to thrilled when Landry’s name was called. They cited more proficient WR’s still on the board. They cited bigger WR’s who could play the outside and the inside. Other fans loved the selection. Like all draft picks on draft day it’s all personal opinion until they prove they can or they can’t on the field of play. It’s no different here.
I was not pounding my fist on the desk for Landry but I will say of the entire draft, he is probably my favorite selection. At least as far players who could impact the team early in his NFL career. Some in the media compare him WR Anquan Boldin without the size. Others to a richer version of former Miami Dolphins WR Davone Bess. Yes, he is somewhere in the middle with the potential to be as good as Boldin.
The biggest knock on Landry is his lack of size and lack of speed. In each of those two categories are the sub categories of speed off the line, deep speed in which he lacks, the inability to get body separation, meaning the use of his body to create that separation due to his lack of bulk. You may also hear that he can’t get off the jam well either. He doesn’t need to. In the slot, the jam is used far less as a defensive means against WR’s.
The reality is Landry is a footballer. He isn’t short but average tall. He has some of the best hands in the entire draft class and last year dropped only one pass. He is fundamentally sound and has great concentration. While smaller than most “bulky” WR’s Landry isn’t afraid to hit someone and often looks downfield to hit someone in support of the run. Perhaps his best attribute is what the Dolphins truly lack. A playmaker at the position.
I know we have Mike Wallace and we have Brian Hartline and both have big play potential. What neither of them do however if fight for the ball. Especially Wallace. Landry does exactly that. He will challenge a defender at the high point of the throw, meaning he will go up for it instead of waiting for the ball to come to him. Landry is the kind of player coaches love. He doesn’t quit or take plays off and is always moving finding something to do regardless of his involvement in the play.
On the practice field Landry is 100% all the time. He expects the same from those around him. He isn’t afraid to get in someones face and motivate them to do better. He expects that of himself and he expects that of those around him. While I can’t see a rookie getting in the face of Wallace or Hartline I would not be surprised to see him showing them up in practice with his natural desire to do more and get better and work harder. Landry is a player that won’t be outworked. This reminds me of Reggie Bush’s practice ethic.
For Ryan Tannehill, the addition of Landry may be the best thing the Dolphins have done for the QB all off-season. Landry is more than outlet receiver. If used right he could have the same impact a natural TE moved into the slot. He isn’t great with the yards after the catch but he makes up for that with over the head catches and concentration.
For most WR’s the first year in the NFL is tough to acclimate to. The speed is so much faster. The reads are different and while the routes may be the same the progressions are tied to what a QB is thinking. Landry has a chance to excel in year one due to his understanding of the game and the time he puts into the tape. I like this pick more and more and my expectations for the kid continue to rise. Of all the players Miami drafted I expect the most playmaking production from him.