Hands: 9 7/8″
Class: Senior (Redshirt)
Harrison has a quick burst from the snap after reading the play. He seemed to always be quick to read run and fill his gaps. Rarely did I notice him “guessing” with his assignment. He wastes no time getting downhill and making a play on the ball carrier. Part of this can be attributed to his high football IQ. Inside linebackers should always be the smartest player on defense, and Harrison shows just that. His read keys should translate well to the NFL. When playing the run, he does a great job on the coil before contact. He doesn’t play out of position and takes on the blockers well. Harrison hits the three major points when taking on a block: square frame uses the hands and shows good hip flexibility.
Against the pass, Harrison looks smooth in short space. As a linebacker, he is called to defend a lot of the underneath routes such as drags, slants, and curls. His drops looked smooth and he seemed to have a good feel for the routes. He routinely did a nice job of carrying the route and getting good depth to defend the curl.
To me, Harrison would translate nicely as a strongside linebacker in either the 4-3 or 3-4. Ohio State played him quite often to the strength of the offensive formation, or to the wide side. The wide side linebacker is often the best defender at stopping the run.
Harrison didn’t impress me much with his man coverage skills, be it on a running back or tight end. While his drops looked solid with zone coverage, he was caught out of position several times on film when mirroring the running back. This is something that really needs to improve at the next level.
Flexibility was a big concern for me as I was watching the tape. I would like to see him do a better job of scraping across the formation and fighting through blocks over the top. Several times I noticed how he was cut off by the backside blocker. This could be due to a lack of speed. If Harrison is going to play as a Mike or Sam linebacker, this is one area that I feel needs improvement.
Harrison is going to be a solid player in the NFL and could be starting either his first or second year. While I feel he could have a big impact in any defense, he is best suited for a base 4-3 defense. While the Packers play a base 3-4, they do show elements of the 4-3 in Mike Pettine’s “stack” fronts. Harrison is a thumper who isn’t afraid to go to work every game. His work ethic and blue-collar attitude will carry him a long way in the NFL.