Colorado Buffaloes star linebacker Nate Landman has signed on with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent.
The three-time All-Pac-12 honoree had a tremendous career at Colorado. ‘The Hammer’ was a tackling machine in the middle of the defense, finishing his college career as the school’s fifth all-time tackler. He would have been higher if not for injuries — a ruptured Achilles ended his 2020 season, after which the CU defense fell apart, and a shoulder injury that saw him ended his five-year career.
Perhaps the injury concerns are what caused him to fall in the draft. Or perhaps it’s that his playstyle might have fit better in 2002 than 2022. The Zimbabwe-born linebacker is a terrific run stopper thanks to his pursuit, strength shedding blockers and tackling ability. However, he has been a liability in coverage at times, particularly when isolated against a speedy running back, and he doesn’t look quite as athletic since his Achilles injury.
Even if Landman doesn’t fit the archetype of the contemporary linebacker, he can still provide value as a stack linebacker and special teams contributor. He will have plenty of opportunities on the Falcons, who are in the midst of a long rebuild and may need some run stoppers with all their scoreboard deficits.