Given how many reader(s) at Hogs Haven have expressed an interest in Landry, and even I find myself warming to the idea, I was surprised to read this over at the Fanhouse, complements of Football Outsiders Ryan Wilson:
Before I provide those arguments, let me say that FO's peanut gallery is also one of the most hyper informed groups of non-casual Football fans I've found on the internet. I don't think that means they're all perfectly versed in Redskins related football, but as far as commenters go they know as much as anyone about the game. I've found myself disagreeing with them on a number of occasions only to be won over to the competing case by well articulated arguments. Disagree with them at your own risk (and in this instance I do disagree with them). Here are a few of the better ones.
Per user Joe T.:
"Sure, Landry is a great player, but can he improve their defensive line, which is a much bigger need? No."
"Sure Landry is a great player, but will he make a good partner for Sean Taylor? No."
Now let me tell you, I'm no scout and those sentiments were obvious to me as well. I agree with those posters who said the Skins are throwing up a smokescreen. It's so absurd, the only reason any other team might take it seriously is that Washington has a rep for making dumb moves. The Skins want a d-lineman, but if they make it too obvious then their trading possibilities are reduced. What they really want is to trade down. I guarantee that they either draft a DL or trade down. (If they take Landry or trade up, I'm abandoning them and becoming an Eagles fan. I can only take so much mismanagement.)
What I would disagree with Joe T. on is that Landry is somehow harmed by the presence of Taylor. We've talked about the opposite being true, that Sean might be asked to bring the younger player along developmentally, but I don't know if I buy the general argument that players such as Landry and Taylor are best in small doses. Big hitting guys (who happen to be decent in coverage) cause dropped passes and fumbles, and no defense ever complains about generating either. Referring back to the original Post article:
Responding to user SJM, I wouldn't necessarily grant that Landry is a poor fit for Taylor (though I won't categorically deny it either), and I certainly won't argue that Landry makes the line better. His concerns on Landry are legitimate and deserve addressing, hopefully by one of my non-existant reader(s).
I want to focus on the smokescreen point for a moment, though. While I don't think taking Landry is "absurd", I think it's a stretch given that our needs are on the D-Line first and secondary second. And our dearth of Day One picks could be amelerioated by a trade down (which I still espouse as the best of all possibilities). I don't know if I would classify this as smokescreen, as I am sure there are some scouts and positional coaches on the Redskins who really do covet Landry, but allowing loose lips to talk up interest in LaRon certainly won't hurt our chances of trading out of #6, perhaps by trading with the Falcons for the #8 pick.
Reader(s), defend your LaRon Landry.