East Carolina Senior
40: 4.50 (estimated)
Has good hands and will adjust to the low throw and stretch for the high pass over the middle. Has good body control and does a nice job working the sideline. Has good speed and gets a nice release off the line. Shows a decent first step after the catch, and runs hard showing ability to drag a defensive back or undersized linebacker a few yards. Runs with good balance and vision, particularly when working out of the wildcat, finding cutback lanes and making defenders miss. Will throw his body around as a blocker and deliver blow to defender. Can lock onto a linebacker in space. Has good balance as a punt returner, weaving through traffic and juking defenders. Does a nice job making the quick cut to get upfield and pick up maximum yardage. Shows good burst, shiftiness, and speed as a kickoff returner.
Has lapses in concentration and will drop some balls. At times will let the ball get into his body. Doesn't show great awareness on the blitz, not getting his head around quick enough on the hot read and can leave his quarterback out to dry. Lacks ideal size and may struggle when working outside and in traffic. Gives inconsistent effort as a blocker and will whiff on some blocks in space because he looks to deliver hit rather than using his hands to get position. Can be too patient at times on kickoffs, stopping his feet to look for seams and creases. Also will make some poor decisions as a punt returner, not calling for the fair catch at times when he should.
Harris was ECU's top playmaker, working the slot, return game, and in the wildcat. He is a physical and tough player that plays like a running back at times. He would often be subbed out constantly, particularly after he would make catches which I guess was their way of trying to keep him fresh. He was their leading receiver each of the past three years, but had his most productive year as a senior with 101 catches for 1123 yards (11.1 avg) and 10 touchdowns. As a senior, he also rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries (6.5 avg), returned 41 kickoffs for an average of 20.5 yards, and 19 punts for 11.7 yard average. He had a combined 141 catches for 1632 yards (11.6 avg) and 8 scores the previous two years. He rushed for a combined 225 yards on 50 carries (4.5 avg) and 5 touchdowns, with 56 kickoff returns for an average of 25.8 yards and 3 scores. As a sophomore he missed the last 4 games with a foot injury. As a freshman, he had 26 catches, and also returned 31 punts for an average of 8.1 yards. He hails from Atlanta, GA.
Harris probably projects as a Josh Reed-type in the slot, but there are aspects of his game that make you think he could be a poor man's Hines Ward, namely his physical playing style and blocking style. But he needs a lot more polish. He's a nice athlete, and I think can immediately make an impact as a return threat. The question will be whether or not he'll make a huge difference on offense. His lack of size and lack of elite speed will hurt him in the slot, but in an offense that will use him on a lot of shorter routes in a Welker-like role, he can be an effective third option in an offense. If he really polishes up his route-running, becomes a more consistent blocker, and just improves his overall awareness and consistency, he has a chance to be a starter down the road. Overall, I would expect him to fill a valuable special teams role early, and be a nice 20-30 catch guy through the first few years of his career. Then probably by the time his rookie contract is up, he might be able to push for a starting job and potentially land one with a team in free agency.
Harris would add valuable depth to the Falcons lineup. He could give Weems a run for his money as the return specialist, and offers greater upside on offense than him. He probably would not be a starter in Atlanta, although he'll be a valuable asset in the slot if his blocking ever gets to a consistent level since he's an upgrade over Douglas there. Probably not quite as explosive as Douglas is in the slot, but the pair of them would make a nice third and fourth option in the offense. But unless the Falcons started to use a lot more 3 and 4-wide sets, he's just going to give backup-level production in Atlanta. He's more of the same rather than adding anything new to the Falcons offense.
Harris is a nice backup and No. 3 candidate that his value and potential as a return man could push him into the late third round. But otherwise, as a receiver he's more with fourth round value.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 3.5
Body Control: 3.0
Scouting reports of the wide receivers in the 2011 Draft.
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