NFL Profile: Harry Douglas

Elliott DuncanContributor IMay 29, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 23: Wide receiver Harry Douglas #83 of the Atlanta Falcons returns a punt for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome on November 23, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Harry Douglas was born September 16th, 1984 in Jonesboro, Georgia. At the time, I’m sure nobody thought that this newly born baby would one day be an NFL star. In a city of only three thousand people, it was uncommon for someone to rise to fame. To this day there are only four other notable people that actually came out of this city.

Harry grew up playing football, baseball and basketball at Jonesboro High School in Georgia. In football, Harry was unanimous first team all county selection and also received an honorable all state mention. Over his three year varsity career, he caught over 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns. Harry also stood out on the basketball court, averaging 20.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals as a senior. Harry, a three star recruit, opted to play football at Louisville over Cincinnati, Missouri and Pittsburgh.

After redshirting his first season, Harry played the 2004 season as a backup receiver, but also handled return duties. He finished the season with 5 receptions for 43 yards, 193 yards on returns, and also scored his first collegiate touchdown against Boise State on a 65 yard carry.

During the 2005 season, Harry had a bigger role in the offense, starting two games and playing in all 12. He compiled 27 receptions for 457 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also had 142 yards on returns. Harry finished the season off with a strong 636 all purpose yards.

Harry’s junior year was his breakout season. He started seven games, caught 70 passes for 1,265 yards (A Louisville school record) and 6 touchdowns. He finished 5th in the league with an average of 102.54 all purpose yards per game.

The 2007 season helped propel Harry Douglas into a definite NFL rookie, as he started 10 games and led the Big East in receiving yards with 1,159. He also added on seven touchdowns. Harry was 12th in the nation in receptions, averaging 7.1 per game. He was a second team All American, as voted by the Associated Press.

When Harry Douglas was invited to the NFL combine, he was not one of the bigger receivers in attendance. Standing at 5’11”, and weighing in at only 175 pounds, many teams were hesitant to take a player so small. However, Harry impressed the NFL scouts with his blazing speed at the NFL combine running a 4.49 40 yard dash. Douglas also posted a 6.57 3-cone, the fastest of the day. He also ran a 4.12 in the 20 yard shuttle, the quickest of all receivers.

By the time the NFL draft came around, the Atlanta Falcons were very high on Harry Douglas. They selected him in the third round of the 2008 draft with the 89th pick. Douglas scored his first two touchdowns in the same game. Douglas took a wide receiver reverse for seven yards to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead over the Carolina Panthers. He then returned a punt for 61 yards in the fourth quarter, helping the Falcons seal their win over their division rivals.

Douglas ended his rookie season on a positive note, catching 23 balls for 320 yards receiving and one receiving touchdown. He also ran the ball 12 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, Harry contributed with over 250 yards return yards and a touchdown.

Harry Douglas showed that he has what it takes to make it as an NFL receiver. During the offseason, Harry reportedly gained an extra 20 pounds of muscle; bulking up from 175 lbs. to 195 lbs. Harry looks to have a bigger role in the offense in the upcoming season. Paired with fellow rookie Matt Ryan, these two look to carve up the NFL for quite a few years.