Chris Landry has spent a lifetime in and around football. Chris currently operates a consulting business that serves N.F.L. teams, as well as collegiate programs. Bill Belichick hired him in Cleveland in 1992, and Landry has worked for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans. You can hear Chris on many television and radio platforms around the country including NBC Sports, and other media outlets. Point is, when Landry talks, I listen.
I had the privilege to speak with Chris on a number of Hokies' topics, as well as some general draft talk. This year Virginia Tech doesn't have the sizzle of years' past, with the focus primarily on a group of Hokies that are hoping to earn a spot on an N.F.L. club. Detrick Bonner is one of the players hoping to find a fit playing on Sundays.
"Bonner is a late round candidate with enough speed and instincts to be a backup player at the NFL level and a core special teams performer. He has the versatility to backup at strong and free and is an outstanding blitzer."-Chris Landry
He seems a perfect fit for teams that run a 3-4, or just need the type of guy that finds the football on defense or special teams. My prediction is that Bonner goes to the Eagles in the fifth round. They need athletic, versatile guys on the "D" side, and Bonner seems a natural to fit this need. Kyshoen Jarrett is another name that will be called in Chicago, as his lineage as a DB at Tech might help him here. There has been huge hype in Blacksburg surrounding the "streak" of getting DB's drafted. Kyshoen has turned heads amongst scouts, and fans alike.
My 6th year doing the NFL Draft thing, far and away the player I've loved most who received the least hype in comparison is Kyshoen Jarrett— Ryan Booher (@bootang25) March 27, 2015
Landry agrees with the masses with his overall grade of Jarrett. I asked Chris what his thoughts were on the player, and he echoed most evaluators sentiments.
"Kyshoen Jarrett is a physical ball hawk but struggles to much in coverage to play deep at the next level. Backup box safety and special team's ace. Late round possibility."-Chris Landry
The last piece of the Hokies triangle involves Laurence Gibson. As an offensive lineman, Gibson started all 13 games for Tech. He was credited with 6 knockdowns against Ohio State, and started at left tackle in the bowl game. He's a big boy at 6'6", 300 lbs, but some doubts linger as far as his draft stock goes.
"Laurence Gibson has good quickness but is stiff and lacks explosive qualities. Could be a late round zone tackle possibility."-Chris Landry
I asked Chris who the first A.C.C. player would be taken outside of Winston. He didn't hesitate by saying Vic Beasley of Clemson. Landry bucks the trend of most prognosticators, as he feels Mariota might be the smart play for Tampa. "So much depends on proper development. When close, always go with the better intangibles-and that is Mariota." The intangibles are a bigger concern for draft guys like Chris, than most of us appreciate. I asked him who he had rated higher coming out of college, head to head. You are sitting at number one overall and you have Bruce Smith and Michael Vick available. What's the smart play?
"I had Bruce Smith rated higher than Vick. Bruce was an elite power end with pass rush speed. Vick was always a character concern for me and I worried about his pocket presence."-Chris Landry
Wow. I would hate to be that G.M.. If Bruce ends up like Clowney, and Vick ended up like Russell Wilson, then you are out of a job. That's the great thing about hindsight though, you can always second guess your position. It's an easy pick now, but Roger Goodell isn't staring at you waiting for your card. It's funny how character is a concern when you aren't winning ball games. Folks, please visit landryfootball.com, to hear more of Chris' excellent draft coverage. He's also on twitter @LandryFootball, and on Facebook at LandryFootball. He is omnipresent on sports talk radio, and the guy brings a professional take on all things football. If you aren't already following him, you need to.