A Look at Philadelphia Eagles' Fifth-Round Selection: Victor "Macho" Harris
Victor Harris is a defensive back cut from the same cloth as Sheldon Brown, Brian Dawkins, and Quentin Mikkel. He will, however, need to overcome some obstacles to produce at a high level in the NFL.
CB/S, No. 35, Victor "Macho" Harris, 5' 11", 187 lb | HIGHLIGHT VIDEO |
Wearing the No. 1 Jersey, Harris accounted for 125 tackles, two forced fumbles, 15 interceptions, and four touchdowns from turnovers at Virginia Tech.
Yearly Breakdown of Macho's Production from 2006-2008 at Virginia Tech
YR | TK | IN | TD
06 | 34 | 04 | 01
07 | 36 | 05 | 01
08 | 44 | 06 | 02
Harris was primarily a corner in college. He also lined up inside, outside, and at safety in differently schemed plays.
Harris was also an electric return man and he played a little offense too. Macho ran the ball five times and averaged 9.6 yards on those carries.
In 2007, Harris earned first-team All-Conference honors.
In 2008, Harris again earned first-team All-Conference honors. He was named first-team All-American by The Sporting News and second-team All-American by the NFL Draft Report and the Associated Press.
Rated as an athlete first, Harris played the collegiate game with a lot of heart. He more explicitly played the run well, demonstrated excellent hands, superb instincts and anticipation, and provided lock-down coverage as a defensive back.
Harris was able to move well through a play. His vision for the game helped him get in a better position to make ball flight adjustments and quick reactions.
He may lack elite speed, but has an explosive first step, recovery step, and lateral movement, along with a nice sense of anticipating play development.
Most of all, Harris stepped up on countless occasions to change the course of a game. He created key turnovers at some of the most critical moments. Macho is a "gamer" by anyone's account.
The question that punctuated Harris' profile is his long speed. While he was always fast on the field in college, he ran poorly at the combine. With the raw speed of the NFL, there are some doubts that he can bring his game to the professional level.
At the combine, Harris ran a very disappointing 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds. He did, however, post the second best three-cone time at 6.68 seconds and the second best 20-yard shuttle time with a 3.98.
In his pro day, Harris looked faster, running a 4.46 and 4.5 second 40-yard dash. A 4.46 second 40 at the combine would have tied him for first among defensive backs with Darius Butler.
Considering the offseason developments in the defensive backfield, Macho works out to be a perfect pick in the fifth round. His selection was overshadowed by the earlier picks of Maclin, McCoy, the trade for Hobbs, and fellow fifth-round pick, Cornelius Ingram.
In my opinion, Victor Harris resembles a Sheldon Brown-Brian Dawkins hybrid. I do not want to anoint anyone quite yet, but I am excited about what this guy may bring to the table.
Still, there will be no guarantees for any of the young defensive backs on the Eagles' offseason roster.
Harris will be competing with Jack Ikegwuonu and Trae Williams among others for a roster spot at fifth or sixth cornerback. Rashad Baker and Reshard Langford will challenge Harris at fourth or fifth safety position.
It would work in Harris' favor if the Eagles can find room to keep 10 defensive backs, especially as hopes are very high for Ikegwuonu and Langford.
In the first minicamp, DeSean Jackson introduced NFL 4.3 speed to "Macho," leaving him in the lurch on a go route as reported by Dave Spadaro of the Eagles team website.
A point of favor and timing for Harris is the likely decision to take away DeSean Jackson's punt return duty so that he can focus on his role at wide receiver.
Harris was an outstanding punt returner at Virginia Tech and could offer his services there.
Macho is really a natural Philadelphia Eagle. He fits the mold perfectly.
He is a bit of an underdog because of his questioned speed and recent adversity. Therein lays the Rocky Balboa effect. He is a playmaker, hard hitter, and crowd energizer.
The guy wears his heart on his sleeve at all times. Philly loves this kind of player.
Unfortunately, Macho will probably not see the field as a defensive back in 2009, but Sean Jones only took a one-year deal.
Quintin Demps is only a favorite at safety, not completely proven, so Macho might fit on the field better in 2010 or as a late season surprise.
Recommended reading on Victor "Macho" Harris:
College Stats Page: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=175135
Best Predraft Profile: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/558713
Harris After Being Drafted: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/Story.asp?story_id=17720
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