Saturday, April 4, 2009

Player Profile: Macho Harris Virginia Tech CB

Pros: Harris is a natural football player and is solid at most aspects of the game. He has great instincts and awareness on the field; a solid all-around corner that loves to make big hits on receivers and running backs. He looks extremely comfortable in zone and reads the quarterback very well. Even though he does not have great acceleration, Harris shows big-time playing making ability with the ball in his hands. He is elusive and makes quick, fluid cuts with great vision. He is a dangerous return man that has experience playing wide receiver.

Cons: He lacks the open field speed scouts love corners to have. He can be overly aggressive both in coverage and tackling. Will jump short routes he shouldn’t, and often goes for the knock out hit instead of the sure tackle. Definitely needs to play in a zone coverage scheme. He could end up being moved to free safety due to his lack of speed and quickness in coverage.

Scouts Take: Harris is a gifted playmaker, racking up 15 interceptions over the last three years at Virginia Tech. He plays with the swagger and knowledge NFL teams love defensive backs to have, and opposing teams fear. Despite his lack of speed, the former Hokie is comfortable with the ball in his hands and will at least get a shot as a returner—a potentially dynamic playmaker. If he is put in the right defensive scheme, he could develop into a star corner for his NFL team. If he struggles at corner, he has the ability to move to free safety and could be a ball-hawk. Harris has second-round ability, but could fall to later rounds because of his lack of measurables. The team that drafts him will have some work to do and decisions to make, but they will be getting one of the best all-around defensive backs in this draft.

Photo Credit: David Knachel, Virginia Tech Athletics Communications