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Joe Nicholson/Bob DeChiara/Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


Why NFC West quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Jared Goff are hoping the 49ers don’t draft Harold Landry

Sequoia Sims
Apr 12, 2018 at 8:03 PM



Recently on 49ers Webzone, I laid out several reasons why the 49ers needed a pass-rusher while featuring Harold Landry from Boston College in No Pass-Rusher, "No Rings."


Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson and division rival quarterback Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams combined for 718 yards passing, six touchdowns and one interception, while only being sacked three times in three games (all sacks credited to Wilson in week two)--all wins--versus the 49ers in 2017. The two signal callers also combined to complete at least 65 percent of their passes.

Wilson has led the Seahawks to a current nine-game win streak over the 49ers, dating back to 2014. He's also currently under contract with the Seahawks through 2019 and by today's market for franchise quarterbacks, he's vastly underpaid.

In 2018, Wilson will earn a base salary of $15 million while carrying a cap hit of $23 million (according to Spotrac.com).

As for Goff, he's heading into his third season with a plethora of weapons at his disposal, while still playing on his rookie contract that pays a base salary of $3 million, while carrying a cap hit of $7.6 million, in 2018.

Goff will lead a Rams team that finished with an 11-5 record in 2017 and won the NFC West. The Rams also have aspirations of winning (or at least contending for) a Super Bowl this season and in the future.

Why are these two quarterbacks' contracts relevant to this article? Wilson who led the league with 34 touchdowns passes and was an MVP candidate last season, is in line for a substantial pay raise. Goff, after finishing his third up and coming season, will be eligible for a contract extension at today's NFL market rate for franchise quarterbacks.

Both have hundreds of millions of reasons why they should play at a high level in 2018 and beyond. Is anyone planning to take them down anytime soon? No pass-rusher, "no rings."

Think Goff isn't already looking at dollar signs? Think again. When Oakland Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr signed his new contract of $125 million over five years back in 2017, this was Goff's reaction:

"Awesome to see that happen to a guy like him in this league," Goff said during a teleconference for the American Century Championship golf tournament. "Obviously, great for guys like myself and younger quarterbacks."

The Rams have a projected $99 million in cap space in 2019 and $168 million in 2020 (according to OverTheCap.com). The Seahawks have a projected $80 million in cap space in 2019 and $140 million in 2020.

Goff and Wilson want their piece of the financial pie and will be highly motivated to build on their past and recent dominance over the 49ers.

One of the most important things that can help nullify the success of a quarterback and an offense on the field is a feared pass-rusher and a consistent/disruptive pass rush with "Extreme Violence." Harold Landry, for example.

Who does Landry model his game after?


  • He takes the explosiveness and freakish athleticism of Atlanta Falcons' pass-rusher Vic Beasley and adds that aspect to his game, which he has naturally.

  • He takes the ability to bend/get low under an offensive tackle's pads, mimicking the ability to drop in man-to-man coverage, while being able to deliver a game-winning sack like Denver Broncos elite pass-rusher Von Miller

  • He's been utilizing Oakland Raiders' premier pass-rusher Khalil Mack's long arm move the last two years in his repertoire (spoken in his own words).



This should bring some added perspective to his down 2017 season


In the above video, Landry talks how he had five sacks in six games in 2017 and was just hitting his stride by mid-season, before he was forced to miss the remainder of the year due to a severely hurt ankle (that he tried to play with but got rolled on the following week which made it worse).

Now, he's finally at full strength and 100 percent healthy with a major chip on his shoulder; something Wilson and Goff are hoping the 49ers aren't taking heed to.

If Landry came out in the 2016 NFL Draft, he probably would have been a top-10 pick based on his 16.5 sacks and outstanding play (according to ESPN's draft guru Mel Kiper).

Why quarterbacks' Russell Wilson and Jared Goff are hoping the 49ers don't draft Harold Landry


Landry is a pure pass-rusher (he feels he's the best in the draft) with an explosive first step and the speed to get around the edge, while displaying fluid hips that allow him to bend at will. Landry can dip/get low under the shoulder pads of offensive tackles like it's second nature.

Therefore, throwing offensive tackles off balance, and making them vulnerable, ultimately succumbing to his pass rushing presence (as seen in both videos from 2016 and 2017, respectively).

He has a high motor and is relentless in his pursuit/assault on the quarterback. His 10 career forced fumbles are higher than any of the other the top pass rushers (Marcus Davenport-six, Bradly Chubb-six, and Arden Key-three) in his 2018 draft class.

His 48 tackles for losses in 38 games, by comparison, is on pare with Chubb's 54.5 tackles for losses in 40 games. Landry has been more effective at racking up tackles for losses than Davenport (37.5) or Key (24.5). Landry has a natural knack for being in opposing opponent's backfields.

Landry had 24 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the NFL combine (by comparison Hall-of-Famer Jason Taylor had just 18 reps in 1997, and his strength was never questioned on the field). Miller had 21 reps in 2011. Landry has a bullrush in his pass rushing arsenal and knows how to use his hand punch technique with power, to his advantage.

The notion that he doesn't have adequate power may be misleading, based on the information laid out in this article.

The 49ers hired a new strength and conditioning staff last offseason so Landry would be in good hands while getting the help he needs to build on the strength and power he's already displayed on tape.

Important to note: the 49ers recently, hired a pass rushing specialist in coach Chris Kiffin, who would help add to Landry's pass rushing game already.

The last thing that Wilson, Goff or any franchise quarterbacks playing in the NFC conference wants (or in the NFL in general), is to have Landry breathing down their necks on Sunday's. To be continued.

Recent Niners Live article alerts: In the wake of the Reuben Foster charges, the 49ers will stay the course.

Sequoia Sims: Founder of Niners Live, Content Creator, player breakdown specialist, and Senior Author. The home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, and different perspective, of course.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Aint Chon
    Now, he's finally at full strength and 100 percent healthy with a major chip on his shoulder; something Wilson and Goff are hoping the 49ers aren't taking heed to. Sequoia Sims..how do you know this?
    Apr 12, 2018 at 10:51 PM
    1

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