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Harold Landry enters 2022 free agency as the NFL's most versatile edge defender

Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Harold Landry (58) reacts after sacking Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (not pictured) during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff football game at Nissan Stadium. The Bengals won the game 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans edge defender Harold Landry III has had a larger disparity between his pressure production and PFF pass-rushing grade than any other pass-rusher in the NFL over the last three seasons.

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Edge Rusher Pressures since 2019 PFF pass-rush grade rank
Shaquil Barrett 232 11 / 110
T.J. Watt 216 2 / 110
Joey Bosa 201 3 / 110
Maxx Crosby 193 13 / 110
Cameron Jordan 191 16 / 110
Myles Garrett 183 1 / 110
Harold Landry III 165 87 / 110
Markus Golden 163 38 / 110
Matthew Judon 162 31 / 110
Nick Bosa 160 7 / 110

It’s difficult to reconcile Landry's two numbers. More pressure generally means more pass-rushing wins, and more pass-rushing wins equate to a higher PFF pass-rushing grade. However, Landry highlights that isn’t always the case. 

PFF hasn’t been labeling productive pass-rushers with high pressure and sack totals but lower pass-rush win rates and grades as “buyer beware” candidates in free agency. Landry's role in Tennessee’s defense makes it difficult to simply lump him into that group this offseason, though. 

Landry has had one of the most unique defensive roles in the NFL

Outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense are going to be asked to drop into coverage on occasion, but fewer and fewer edge defenders are dropping into coverage regularly in today’s NFL. 

Over the course of the 2021 regular season, just three edge defenders logged over 100 coverage snaps — Andrew Van Ginkel led the league with 168 snaps. Landry’s head coach Mike Vrabel led all edge defenders with 409 coverage snaps in PFF’s first year collecting data (2006), and 14 players at the position recorded 100-plus coverage snaps that year. 

All of that is to say the frequency that Landry drops into coverage is somewhat of a rarity in the modern NFL. 

Edge Defender Most coverage snaps since 2019
Harold Landry III 346
Leonard Floyd 313
Matthew Judon 295

Those are snaps where Landry doesn’t get the sack opportunities that tend to drive contract numbers at the position. 

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2022 NFL Free Agency Rankings: Edge Defenders via PFF

The Titans don’t just ask Landry to drop into coverage from edge alignments, either, as he’s played more snaps lined up off-ball than any other edge defender in the league in each of the last two seasons. 


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