2022 NFL Draft First Look: Christian Harris

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University of Alabama Athletics, rolltide.com/sports/football/roster/christian-harris/7254.

Christian Harris is a star linebacker for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Harris was a safety in high school who became a linebacker in his true freshman season at Alabama and never looked back. Let’s take a look at his scouting report and what to expect in the 2021 season.

Strengths: Christian Harris is a player with a ton of upside, playing safety in high school and only playing LB for two years, starting them both for Alabama. Harris is simply a football player. Due to his history of playing DB, he has a very good athletic ability for a LB. He has great speed and pursuit ability and can also play sideline to sideline. Harris is a very good man-coverage LB, as he displays the ability to stick with both RBs and TEs in their running routes. He moves around well sitting in the zone, displaying a safety-like fluidity moving side to side when routes develop in front of him. In coverage, he plays like a safety also, as his eyes are always on the quarterback. Harris is mentally all there when it comes to the run game. After two years of playing LB, it is extremely impressive what he can do: he is always filling the gap that he is supposed to fill, which forces the RB to pick a different hole. He also shows the ability to read running backs well. Harris is an impressive tackler, rarely missing or falling off tackles. Harris has average size, standing at 6’2″ and weighing 232lbs. He fits the mold of the smaller, faster LB that the NFL seems to be moving towards. 

Weaknesses: As expected from a player who has just moved to LB from S, Harris has a few things to improve on. Although Harris is a quick player, I would like to see him improve his first few steps. He does seem to know what’s going on, but it does take him a second or two to start moving. I’d like to see him take a read step towards the ball at the snap as he dissects the play instead of doing that standing still, as this will allow him to get moving quicker. Harris also struggles greatly shedding blocks, both as a blitzer and in the run game. He can shoot an open gap when he blitzes but he struggles greatly to do anything to get off the blocks when he gets tied up with a blocker. I would expect this to improve as he gets more LB experience. Although Harris excels in coverage when routes are in front of him, he can struggle when routes enter his zone behind him. Finally, I would like to see Harris hustle to the ball when ball carriers are wrapped up and haven’t been brought down yet. You never know when a player will break out of tackles or fumble the ball and, as a LB, I would like to see him be involved all the time. 

Bottom Line: Harris is a very intriguing prospect. Entering Alabama with no LB experience, he started every game his true freshman and sophomore season at the position and looked like a star. He is very athletic, playing with great speed and man coverage ability. He surveys the field like the safety he once was, which isn’t a bad thing. Harris has all the physical traits to be a successful LB at the next level, and I would just like to see him fix up his issues, many of which I believe will be improved with more experience.

 

Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.

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