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Mark Harrison could be yet another Patriots player in line to try to fill Aaron Hernandez's Joker-type role.
Harrison is one of a number of Rutgers players with a shot to crack the Patriots' roster (the Pats drafted and signed a small army of Scarlet Knights in the offseason).
As a wide receiver, his speed is merely average, but as a "Move" tight end, Harrison has the kind of measurables that scouts love to see.
At 6'3 and 230 pounds, Harrison runs a 4.46 40, a full two-10ths of a second faster than Hernandez. Harrson was a top performer at the NFL combine in the vertical leap (38.5") and broad jump (10'9"), which speaks to his explosiveness and ability to make himself a truly big target with range to balls that most defensive back can't get to.
Harrison hasn't yet lived up to his measurables, never totaling more than 44 catches in a season in college. Still, he's a viable red zone threat who is tough to bring down.
He's also a capable blocker for his size, which makes him valuable in the Patriots' system. The Pats like multi-dimensional players who can come on the field without signaling to the defense that the play call is a run or pass.
Harrison's draft stock slipped due to a fractured metatarsal bone, and possibly due to a bizarre incident involving a trashed hotel and DeAndre Hopkins. Still, Harrison has potential, and if the Pats and Tom Brady can help him put it together, he could be part of a new generation of wide receiver/tight end hybrids that began with the Hernandez era.
I'm predicting a big training camp for Harrison, who aims to make a team with an uncertain WR situation. There's no guarantee he makes the roster, of course, but this training camp is his shot to do it.