It’s remarkable enough that Harris played cornerback at Virginia Tech and not only shifted inside in the course of a summer, but beat out a since-released free agent signee and a 2008 draft pick for the job.
It’s doubly impressive when you realize that Harris is just another in a long line of “Day 2” success stories from the Andy Reid draft era.
There are many who criticize the Eagles for trading down on (and sometimes completely out of) Day one. But every time a guy like Harris does something even slightly impressive, those whispers get a little quieter.
Looking at the current Eagles' 53-man roster, 13 of them are guys Andy Reid has drafted in the fourth round or later. Of that baker’s dozen, five—Harris, Todd Herremans, Omar Gaither, Trent Cole and Brent Celek—are starters. Counting all three specialists as “starters," that’s 20 percent.
Factor in that Quentin Demps and Joe Mays were the guys beaten out by Harris and Gaither, Max-Jean Gilles could be a starter on Sunday depending on the offensive line’s health and Jason Avant is a key slot receiver, and that’s quite a haul.
Oh, yeah, and Brandon Gibson, Moise Fokou and King Dunlap played themselves onto the squad this year. And double oh yeah, Cornelius Ingram is on IR but would’ve made the team had he not torn his ACL again.
Some teams draft the best available talent or organizational depth on Draft Sunday. Apparently, the Eagles draft winners. And sometimes, it takes a puzzling move to do it.
Take someone the Eagles will see on Sunday: Panthers OT Jeff Otah.
Sure, Otah has the potential to be a franchise tackle and would’ve been nice as an Eagle. Instead, when No. 18 came around in the 2008 draft, the Birds traded the choice to Carolina for a 2009 No. 1 and two later picks in the ’08 draft. Carolina took Otah; the Eagles took some heat.
If it hasn’t dissipated by now, let me put that fire out. The fourth rounder they got turned out to be Mike McGlynn, and the 2009 first-rounder was one of the picks packaged to Buffalo to get Jason Peters. So the offensive line ended up okay this year…and oh yeah, how did last season turn out with Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan at tackle again?
Sometimes, it’s best not to question Andy Reid’s judgment. Macho Harris didn’t…and now he’ll be starting the first NFL game he ever plays at a position he never learned until this summer.
Just another day at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia.