6-2/223 Texas Tech
Pros: Has a good arm. Shows good accuracy, touch, and timing on his throws. Has nice intelligence and leadership potential. Has a quick release. Has mobility to buy himself extra time and extend plays. Does a good job keeping his eyes downﬁeld when he's on the move. Has potential, showing occasionally ability to slide around and move in pocket to ﬁnd throwing lanes. Does a nice job going through his progressions.
Cons: Lacks zip on his throws and has trouble throwing to the sideline. Not really capable of making all the throws, until he improves his footwork and mechanics. Too often throws off his back foot. Works exclusively out of the shotgun and remains to be seen if he can be a drop back passer. Will stare down his receivers and forces a lot of passes because he trusts his receivers. Also trusts his line, and will lead to him holding onto the ball too long and doesn't quite know when to give up on a play. Lacks an ideal feel for pressure in the pocket and not consistent managing it. His mechanics and decision making break down even further when he's pressured. Doesn't deal well when facing adversity.
Overview: You could tell that Harrell was an experienced starter that for much of his career in Mike Leach's spread attack, was used to that offense dictated what defenses did. And when the shoe was on the other foot, he struggled. But while the system inﬂated his numbers, he ran it better than anyone else, setting the FBS record for career touchdown passes. 28-11 as starter, 69.8% completions, and 134:34 TD- INT ratio.
NFL Forecast: He's going to have to sit for some time. I'm talking three or more years riding the pine as you get him comfortable working in a pro offense and working out some of the kinks and quirks he built up running a pure spread attack. I think he has the potential to develop, but he's a real project. It's his footwork and mechanics that will be your biggest obstacles more so than arm and intelligence. If a team is patient with him, he could develop into a decent starter in the pros. Don't think he'll be a star, but could be a decent pro. But what's more likely to happen is that a team will give up on him too soon, and he'll likely land in Canada where he won't really have to change too much to be an impact starter. And then perhaps after a number of years north of the border he can come back to the league and make an impact. And in a lot of ways, he reminds me of Jeff Garcia, who basically did just that.
ATL Forecast: Harrell probably requires too much work and patience for the Falcons to really have a strong interest. Instead, they would be better off letting someone else develop him and then later down the road in free agency trying to snag him. He's just a backup in Atlanta more than likely, but is too long-term right to really interest the Falcons.
Value: For a team that has the roster to let him sit and watch for three or more years, he'd be worth a seventh round pick. But more than likely, don't draft him and invite him to camp.
Scouting Reports of quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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