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Damien Harris NFL Draft 2019: Scouting Report for New England Patriots' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 27, 2019

Alabama running back Damien Harris (34) carries the ball against Citadel during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

POSITIVES:

—Physical runner between the tackles who has the vision to pick his way through traffic.

—Straight-ahead, in-your-face runner with toughness complemented by quick, agile moves and feet.

—Is patient while still being physical, which can be hard to find.

—Has no issues with ball security despite being a between-the-tackles runner.

—Can get skinny and use his feet to step through the mess and find running lanes.

—Third-down-ready as a receiver and blocker. Has soft hands but will stand in and take a lick for his quarterback.

—Didn’t see many hits at Alabama thanks to a shared backfield with two other backs.

NEGATIVES:

—Lacks top-end speed and acceleration. Will struggle to hit the corner against NFL defenses. Has limited pull-away ability.

—Shows hip tightness that limits his ability to shake defenders in the open field. Does not make anyone miss, but instead looks to run them over.

—Has a short, compact frame at 5'10", 216 pounds, that doesn’t show much ability to grow; is maxed out physically.

—Likes to duck his head and plant it into the chest of defenders.

OVERALL:

Harris has some traits that make you sit up in your chair, but he lacks the burst and wiggle that teams want outside the tackle box. He might top out as a rotational back if not drafted into a system that values interior rushing yardage. What he offers as a third-down back makes him a potential value in Rounds 2-3.

GRADE: 6.50 (ROUND 2-3—ROOKIE STARTER)

PRO COMPARISON: Alex Collins

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