Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois

Scouting reports of the quarterbacks in the 2012 Draft.
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Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois

Postby Pudge » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:26 pm

Northern Illinois Senior
40: 4.70e


Has good athleticism and does a good job making plays with his legs. Is a tough runner that will fight for extra yards and finish runs. Can make defenders miss in the open field. Does a nice job getting outside the pocket and throwing on the move. Has a quick release and good arm strength. Willing to challenge downfield. Flashes anticipation at times.


Doesn't have consistent accuracy and placement on his throws. Throws behind his receivers on crossing routes over the middle. Underthrows and puts too much air on his deep passes. Doesn't show good placement or touch there, throwing inside when his receivers have outside position. His footwork is inconsistent. Needs to do a better job securing the ball at times when he's on the move. Doesn't always look off defenders, late on some reads, and will stare down his receivers forcing throws into coverage at times.


Harnish is an athletic passer with decent size and arm strength. He has some developmental potential because of those physical tools. He improved his decision making from last year. But he's not the most polished passer and his accuracy is inconsistent and erratic. But he's a tough guy that plays with some moxie and his combo of physical tools coupled with that toughness can give him an opportunity at the next level.


(11/1) at Toledo: Short (<10 yds): 12 of 17 (71%), 140 yds (8.2 YPA), 91 YAC, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 poor throw, 3 drops; Deep (>10 yds): 5 of 9 (56%), 125 yds (13.9 YPA), 47 YAC, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 poor throws, 0 drops
(12/2) vs. Ohio Short: 9 of 14 (64%), 54 yds (3.9 YPA), 36 YAC, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 0 poor throws, 3 drops; Deep: 7 of 12 (58%), 178 yds (14.8 YPA), 29 YAC, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 poor throws, 0 drops; Fumble: 1
(1/8) vs. Arkansas St: Short: 12 of 20 (60%), 96 yds (4.8 YPA), 65 YAC, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 3 poor throws, 2 drops, 1 throwaway; Deep: 5 of 15 (33%), 169 yds (11.2 YPA), 23 YAC, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6 poor throws, 1 drop; Fumble: 1


2011: 14 GP/14 GS (11-3 record), 237 comp., 384 att., 61.7%, 3216 yds, 8.4 YPA, 28 TDs, 6 INTs; 1379 rushing yds, 11 TDs
2010: 13/13 (11-2)-189-292-64.7-2530-8.7-21-5; 836-7
2009: 10/9 (3-6)-143-223-64.1-1670-7.5-11-6; 229-2
2008: 10/9 (3-6)-118-211-55.9-1528-7.2-8-9; 539-4
2007: redshirt

- missed 3 games in 2009 due to knee injury
- missed 3 games in 2008 due to sprained foot


Harnish is a guy that has enough ability to think he might be able to develop as a decent reserve at the next level. Some teams will like his toughness and athleticism, although as I've stated before he's somewhat limited as a passer. He's a guy that you can coach up some, and if he plays in a vertical offense, there is some greater potential to develop. He likes to challenge downfield, although the touch on his deep ball isn't particularly good. BUt you can imagine a scenario where a few years down the line, he could be a solid vertical passer if he works on it. I think Harnish isn't a guy that is going to really do a lot early in his career, but if he can sit with a clipboard and learn an offense for a couple of years, he stands a decent chance of being a solid journeyman backup. As a starter, I just think he'll be too limited and while he can run around and make some plays and if he has weapons to throw to, he might be competent for a game or two. But if you ask him to be the guy for an extended period of time, his limitations are going to get exposed. And that's mainly his decision making and accuracy aren't just up to snuff as a potential starter. The player he reminds me of is Josh McCown, but I don't think he's going to be as capable as McCown was early on in Arizona. But I think he can eventually grow into that sort of player after he gets a few years under his belt.


Josh McCown, Chicago Bears.


Harnish has some developmental potential for the Falcons as a reserve behind Ryan. He can come in and compete with Wilson for the starting job. He's more athletic than Wilson, and therefore probably a bit more of a natural playmaker, but overall they are very similar players. If Harnish can sit for two or so years as the No. 3, he could make the move up to No. 2 and be competent. But there is very little long-term upside with him.


Harnish is good enough to get looks at the very end of the draft if a team falls in love with his toughness and athleticism. But at best, he's a guy that gets picked at the end of round seven. He's more in line as a priority free agent for a team looking for a fourth arm. But for a team that likes mobile QBs with some vertical potential and is willing to sit him for two or more years as a No. 3, he would not be a bad pick in the seventh round.

1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite

Arm Strength: 6.5
Accuracy: 4.0
Mobility: 7.0
Decision Making: 5.5
Mechanics: 5.0
Pocket Awareness: 4.5
Intangibles: 5.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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