Will Harris, S
School: Boston College | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 207 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Siran Neal
Will Harris was a 3-star recruit from Wallingford, Connecticut who has an NFL pedigree. His father, Will Harris Sr., played for Mississippi State and was a 7th round draft pick. The junior Harris played both receiver and defense in high school and transition well full time to safety in his college career. Harris is just the latest defensive back talent to come from Boston College who has been send talent to those secondary positions in the NFL for a few seasons now. Harris is largely known for his physicality and tackling ability on the field but his coaches will point out how he grown as a communicator and leader on the field and off it. What ought to excite defensive backs coaches is Harris’ versatility. Sure he may start his career as a special teams contributor but he is one of the few prospects in this class that has a potential future as either a starter at free or box safety. Harris confirmed he has the athletic profile to do so at the combine. Harris could surprise and be selected much earlier than what was anticipated.
- Good size, great speed, agility, quickness, and explosion for the position.
- Played all over the field. Can play deep coverage, can come up and defend the LOS, can play as a dime linebacker in certain situations, and rush the passer.
- Has some twitch and can stick with receivers through their routes. Flexibility and change of direction skills look good. Can read the pre snap cues and call out adjustments to his teammates. Full speed ahead when playing down field and has the toughness to fight through blocks.
- High effort player who plays will good awareness. Picks good angles when working laterally or downfield and can cut off plays.
- Has some strength and power behind his tackling.
- While he can stick with opponents downfield he needs work with his coverage technique. Sometimes being there is enough but he’ll be tested in the NFL and he has to learn how to turn and track the ball, play it with good timing, etc.
- Can take some awkward steps in pursuit and choose arbitrary angles of a pile to ‘tackle’. I’m not convinced of the effectiveness of this.
- Can be a step late recognizing route patterns and adjusting in zone, not sure of this is an instinct, technique, or confidence issue.
- Ball skills are lacking.
Let’s see his work:
Quick ID and rangy fill by Will Harris. He crushed the Combine and looked athletic in Mobile. pic.twitter.com/MkiZnHA05w— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 7, 2019
The safeties were a bit underwhelming to me all week, but Boston College’s Will Harris stood out.— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) January 26, 2019
Harris showed a good amount of play speed to cover both sidelines, light feet, fluid range of motion through the hips and ideal body control. Versatile safety at the next level. pic.twitter.com/u3JRrKmN4B
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
If the Redskins are still looking for ‘do-it-all’ guys instead of prototypes as the safety position Will Harris should be right up their alley. He is far from a finished product but he has the physical skills and ability to grow. He can use that to help immediately on special teams but he would also give the team great flexibility as he has experience playing both safety positions from multiple areas of the field. I’d be really interested what Horton could do with this guy. In some ways I think he lacks pure cover skills but I wonder how much of that is from lack of natural feel vs. missed learning opportunities in school. Figuring that out will play a huge role in his development. He also needs some reps on the jug machine because he honestly did not show very well playing the ball in coverage or creating turnovers with that ability. If Harris lasts till day 3 of the draft I have to think the Redskins will be at least taking a look even with the current depth at the position.