Chris Landry is a veteran NFL scout who has worked for the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Previously he ran the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and served as an assistant coach at LSU. Landry is now a consultant for mulitple NFL teams and major college programs.
This Week’s Q&A With Chris Landry:
How close are the Raiders to contending for the playoffs?
The defensive front is rounding into shape and if they can get more from the secondary this year, they may have a great defense. Offensively, they care coming along and with more consistency with the running game, they are closing in towards the top of the division. They may be a year away but Denver will take a slight step back making the AFC West race more interesting. Only San Diego lacks the roster to compete for the division title currently.
How will Chip Kelly’s system work with the 49ers?
Only time will tell but his concepts are useful in many ways. I feel he is very resourceful and will adjust to the thinks that did and did not work in Philadelphia. I think the roster acquisitions and development have fallen off considerable since Jim Harbaugh’s departure so I feel they are q ways off in that regard. However, I feel there is more talent than Jim Tomsula was able to muster out of it last year.
What rookies will make the most impact for the Raiders and 49ers this year?
For the Niners, I like the fit of DeForest Buckner in their system but he won’t be a big sack guy but will give them the push and stability to generate pressures. I like Garnett but not as much as the 49ers did but I still see him as a plug and play OG early. keep an ey on 5th round pick Ronald Blair who could develop into an effective rotational player in their front. RB Kelvin Taylor is an underrated runner with excellent 6th round value who I think can make and help the team and their other 6th rounder, Aaron Burbridge is an excellent physical possession receiver.
For the Raiders, I love their first 4 picks, Joseph is an early starter and playmaker for their secondary. He was the most productive pure safety in the draft. Jihad Ward is a bit of a project but with loads of potential, Shalique Calhoun is long and can rush the passer and give them depth and insurance for Aldon Smith. Along with the addition of Bruce Irvin, they have improved their pass rush even more. Connor Cook may have been a head scratcher for some but great value and anytime you can add a good young QB prospect at that price, it helps your team to do so directly or in trade value. RB DeAndre Washington is a space runner who can add to the run and pass game and Vadal Alexander is a road grading run blocker that fits their scheme well.
What Pac 12 team looks the strongest heading into this college season?
I like Stanford and Oregon’s roster in the North but look out for Washington as they are getting better. The South will be interesting with USC and UCLA having the most complete rosters.
Who are the top draft prospects for next year’s NFL draft?
I think we will have some elite defensive front players like Texas A&M DE Myles Garett, Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, interior defenders Malik McDowell of Michigan State and Jonathan Allen of Alabama. Clemson QB DeShawn Watson will have a chance to earn his way into the top tier of the draft with a good junior year.
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