Positives: Harris is a very good athlete. He has a good combination of size, athletic ability and ball skills for the cornerback position. He is a very fluid athlete and he has good hips. He turns and runs well with offensive players downfield and has good recovery speed. He mirrors offensive players well in man coverage and has good ball skills to locate the ball in the air and make a play on it. He seems to have pretty good hands for the interception. He is a pretty good tackler, and will make some nice stops in the open field at times. His footwork is pretty good, and he doesn’t waste steps in transitions or when changing directions. Plus, he closes well on plays in front of him and breaks on the ball well in zone coverage. He isn’t afraid to tackle a wide receiver or a running back in the open field and seems to have solid instincts for the position.
Negatives: I am not sure Harris is very disciplined. His tackling is inconsistent as sometimes he will wrap up nicely in the open field but other times he will take bad angles or tackle high. He is a fluid athlete, but in the games I watched him in I didn’t get a lot of chances to see him back-pedal and then transition to running with a receiver. Usually he would just take a slide step to open his hips and then run with the receiver, so I think his footwork could use some tweaking. Harris might have solid instincts but he will also bite on double moves and he will get caught peeking into the backfield trying to figure out where the QB is going with the ball. Harris also doesn’t support the run very well. He will make a tackle on a back once he is beyond the line of scrimmage and has gained positive yardage, but very rarely does he get off a block and wrap up a back at the line of scrimmage or behind it. He really struggles getting off of blocks from wide receivers, especially big, physical receivers, and seems content to avoid them even if it means letting the running back gain yardage uncontested.
Overall: Harris is a good cover corner and I think he is the #3 cornerback in this class. Some have him ranked over Amukamara but I don’t like him enough for that. Harris should be a good cover corner in the NFL as he is a fluid athlete and he does well in man and in zone coverage, and he has #1 corner potential because of this. I don’t think he will ever support the run well though and that might knock him down a peg on some draft boards. He will make tackles if he allows a catch in coverage, but he isn’t a great tackler in general and I don’t think he is the most disciplined corner in this draft. Regardless, he is an impressive athlete and should project well to the NFL. He might be able to play some as a rookie especially because he has a lot of experience playing in the slot at Miami. I just don’t think he will ever be a very disciplined corner and while I wouldn’t say he is a gambler I do think he will give up his share of big plays as well as make some of his own in the NFL.
Projection: Mid-late 1st round. I could see him going in the top 20 but he might slide out of that range. I don’t think he will make it past the Eagles or the Ravens in the later portion of the round though, so that is why I think the Late 1st round is as long as he will last. He just has too much potential in coverage.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 3.5
Zone Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 4.0