From Prospect To Pro: Comparing Jarvis Landry To Hakeem Nicks
By Ken Scudero
In a draft which figures to see more than a dozen quarterbacks taken, there’s another position shaping up to be just as stacked -- the wide receivers. Not only is this receiver class talented with both big targets and quick slot guys, there are about 15 prospects who could step right into an NFL offense and start as rookies.
One guy who is quietly having an excellent junior season is Jarvis Landry of LSU. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Landry is well-suited for a starting job next year, and he plays just like Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 208).
Landry is having his best season as a collegiate receiver, catching 58 passes for 882 yards and 8 TDs through nine games. Last year, he caught 56 passes for 573 yards and 5 TDs. He’s slightly above-average height for an NFL receiver but, like Nicks, his wide frame and long arms provide a nice target for the quarterback. They both run precise routes and are good when working the sidelines. Like Nicks, Landry uses his big hands to haul in passes, and if you don’t believe me, check out his one handed TD grab against Alabama last year. Landry is an exciting receiver to watch because he knows how to get open, and even if he’s covered, he’s a threat to make a big play each time the ball’s thrown his way.
Landry has good speed and can break a play for a TD at anytime but he’s more of a possession receiver who knows where the first down markers are. Skinny posts and flag routes to the sidelines are staples in his repertoire, and that’s why he will excel immediately in an NFL offense.
Nicks is also known for his blocking on run plays, at the line of scrimmage as well as his tendency to run downfield with the ball carrier, leading the way with consistent blocking. Landry is the same way, and he’s one of the reasons LSU has run the ball so well this season.
The only knock against Landry is the sporadic appearance of alligator arms. There have been a few times when, in traffic, he either drops a ball or doesn’t give 100% effort, trying to avoid the approaching hit of a defender. For every three great catches Landry makes, he’ll drop one. If he can cut down on the drops, he is one of the most complete wide receivers in this draft.
Nicks and Landry are similar receivers. Interestingly enough, Landry’s partner at LSU is Odell Beckham, who is the more explosive of the two and is similar to Nicks’ counterpart, Victor Cruz.
Landry is right on the bubble of top-10 receiver prospects in the 2014 Draft. With good pro day and Combine performances, he could climb up the ranks and be drafted early in the third round.