LB Christian Harris, Alabama*

6’2” – 232 lbs.

Background:

Played receiver and safety in high school, originally committing to Texas A&M but ending up attending Alabama. Took over a starting role immediately, bulking up to 244 pounds and finishing his freshman season with 63 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. Followed that up with a 79-7.0-4.5 line as a sophomore and a 79-12.5-5.5 line as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Productive three-year starter who only converted to linebacker in college. Could potentially play inside in an odd front or any linebacker position in an even front. Reads keys quickly, often being one of the first players flowing toward the play direction. Explosive player with an impressive closing burst and true sideline-to-sideline range. Nice short-area quickness to slip blockers and get into the backfield. Gets good extension with his arms to take on blocks and shows impressive toughness between the tackles; appears to have good length and pretty powerful hands. Offers a pretty wide tackling radius. Fast and fluid enough to carry opponents downfield or across the field in coverage. Stays over the top of route combinations when working in zone. Shows good snap-count timing on A-gap blitzes. Even takes some snaps with his hand in the dirt. Able to dip his shoulder and bend smoothly around the edge when working as an outside rusher.

Negatives:

May be asked to add some additional bulk at the next level. Would like to see more patience to improve his efficiency. Runs around or sheds some blockers away from the play direction, taking himself out of some plays. Relies more on his suddenness between the tackles, and might struggle to hold the point of attack. Would like to see him put his body into tackles more consistently; grabbier than he is a tone-setter, with some missed tackles. Comes in too fast in space at times. Doesn’t have a very advanced approach as a pass-rusher; needs to be schemed lanes to the quarterback, often idling around the line when he doesn’t have a clear path. May be too small to man up on some tight ends.

Summary:

A very impressive athlete who immediately took over a starting linebacker spot for college football’s premier program despite being new to the position, and held that role for the past three years. Can diagnose and flow sideline to sideline in the run game, drop into coverage, or blitz the quarterback, but isn’t quite reliable enough yet in the run game, taking himself out of too many plays. With more patience and discipline, could be an every-down starter and major asset. Probably going to end up in the second round or so.

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