Brandon Harris, CB, Miami Hurricanes
40-Time: (NFL Scouting Combine Time Feb. 23 - Mar. 1 to be added)
Brandon Harris is ranked as the #3 cornerback in this year's NFL draft. Some coach is going to fall in love with him, as he's a leader that is very coachable and will give it his all every down. He doesn't back down to competition; in fact, he's been facing #1 receivers ever since he stepped on the field for the University of Miami.
Harris may not have a high ceiling, but he is a well-rounded athlete with average height and speed. He is a very physical corner that tackles well and limits opposing receivers' yards after catch. In 2009, his sophomore year, he ranked second nationally in passes deflected per contest, averaging 1.31. Harris prefers playing man-to-man and could potentially excel in bump and run coverage due to his physical nature.
Besides potentially being a great pass defender, his size and strength gives him the ability to become an effective run supporter. He takes solid angles when in pursuit, but needs to learn to break down and wrap up at times. Harris could have used another year in Miami to become a better all around cornerback, but his determination and willingness to learn could make him into a very good cornerback some day.
As said before, Harris is very comfortable with man-to-man coverage. But when it comes to zone, it's the total opposite. He's been late many times in recognizing/reacting to plays, which could prove to be a problem for any team that likes to mix in a lot of zone coverages. But this is not a red flag for any team looking to draft him, as this is something he can improve upon with more experience.
Another problem of his is something of a head scratcher because it doesn't make sense, and that is interceptions. In three years at Miami, Harris has only recorded four interceptions. But what doesn't make sense is that scouts have said he has solid hands. It's possible his numbers are down because opposing quarterbacks don't like to throw his way, but he has had his opportunities, just check out the video.
Besides Harris's play on the field, he also excelled in the classroom. In 2008, he was named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team. To be eligible for consideration, a player must have a 3.0 GPA from the previous semester and maintain a 3.0 cumulative average during his academic career. Put that together with no problems off the field, he will be a solid/safe pick in this year's draft.
Potential NFL Team, Round
The NFL combine should make or break his chance of being a first round pick. Regardless of how he performs though, he will be picked no later than the 2nd round. Watch out for the Baltimore Ravens with the #26 pick in the draft, they have a history of drafting former University of Miami players and they will need to address the secondary in this draft. Also, the Chicago Bears could be a potential destination for Harris with the 31st pick. Like the Ravens, the Bears have a history with Miami and are in need of a quality cornerback. But there's also a good chance he slips to the second round, and if he does, he won't be around for long.
Jared Levine is a Journalism and Sports Administration major at the University of Miami providing introspective, insight, information and opinion on the world of College Football and Major League Baseball. You may email Jared directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ JaredLevine4
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