Displays good fluidity in the hips, maintains balance after his initial jolt, collecting himself quickly and either side stepping another defender with ease or accelerating into the open field. Runs with good forward lean at times in tight areas. But he is a taller back and lacks a consistent overall pad level. Allows himself to get upright at times in space and isn't the type of short-yardage back his size would indicate. Too often struggles to drop his pad level and grind out tough yards inside, allowing defenders to get under his frame and struggles to burrow through smaller creases inside.
Looks natural when asked to run to space, has enough speed to get to the edge and is a really gifted athlete for his size. Looks more comfortable avoiding tackles at all cost. Has the lateral quickness to make them miss, but also will jump over defenders in space. Doesn't run as hard or nasty as his frame would indicate and is more of a finesse guy. Does have some pop as a blocker. Has the skill set and power to hold his own in blitz pick up and is a wiling blocker.
Also, is one heck of a receiver out of the backfield. Showcases a natural feel in the pass game, can be used not only in the flat and screen game but looks comfortable running down the field. Adjusts to the ball well and has come down with some really impressive grabs in the pass game. Lacks a second gear to his game in space and isn't going to outpace NFL defenders, but adjusts to the ball well. Is inconsistent plucking the football away from his frame, but for a back his size is definitely a plus as a receiver.
Impression: Is a big, strong back who has the wiggle and power to side step and break tackles in tight areas and accelerate quickly. He really is very fluid for a back his size and is natural in the pass game. Would like to see a bit more of power style to his game as at times looks too content to make people miss. However, looks at worst a very solid number two back and if in the right system could start in the NFL. Running style reminds me of Raiders RB Michael Bush."
A physical clone of former Florida State standout and current Jacksonville Jaguar Greg Jones, Harper could enjoy similar success in the NFL. Unlike Jones (who has caught 53 passes in 71 NFL games), Harper's value isn't only in his physical running and potential blocking, but also in his excellent receiving skills.
A traditional West Coast Offense could utilize Harper in much the same way that the San Francisco 49ers once featured William Floyd.
Positives: Strong, well-built player with the physique to handle NFL punishment. Powerful runner who can break tackles with good leg drive and determined running. Has the lateral agility to elude and possesses surprising acceleration to gain yardage in chunks. Good patience and vision for the stretch and zone runs. Knows how to burrow his head into the backs of his offensive linemen and drive forward in short-yardage situations. Best attribute may be his hands. Possesses soft hands and rare body control for a back his size. Can contort in space or make the diving catch. Excellent hand-eye coordination. Used on a variety of routes in this offense. Good size, strength and toughness as a pass blocker.
Negatives: Isn't the power runner his size and weight-room strength would indicate due to the fact that he runs too high. Can avoid defenders in space, but doesn't have elite lateral agility to elude in tight quarters. Has good top-end speed for a back of his size, but only average speed overall. Has never proven to be a season-long workhorse runner in college and therefore there is little to suggest he could handle this role in the NFL. Believes he's a running back, not a fullback, and may bristle at the suggestion of playing the lead blocker role."
Positive: Straight line, interior ball carrier with good vision. Displays strength, breaks tackles and works runs hard. Will pick and choose his way on the inside, can cut back in a small area, and is a solid receiver out of the backfield.
Negative: Runs with an upright style. More of a one-speed/one-cut ball carrier. Does not carry the pile. Loses momentum when he must immediately change direction.
Analysis: Harper is coming off a solid junior season but he lacks the physical skills to be anything other than a fourth running back on an NFL roster."
Negatives: Lacks explosion, takes him some time to get to top speed, doesn't hit the hole with any sort of burst... Tries to dance too much with feet, needs to learn to lower his shoulder and run through defenders consistently... Questionable vision, misses some holes and runs into his blockers at times... Doesn't have a ton of experience, has never eclipsed 200 carries in a season, served as the backup to C.J. Spiller and James Davis in 08 and 09 then shared the backfield with Andre Ellington in 2010... Struggled against top defenses this year, most of his yards came in big games against bad teams... Underachieved throughout his career at Clemson, was expected to be one of the best players in the nation and has never seized the opportunity... Needed to return to school for his senior season, hasn't proven to anybody that he deserves to be a top pick... Boom or bust type of player, physically has everything you look for in a running back, but hasn't put it all together yet. "
At Clemson as a true freshman in 2008, Jamie carried the ball 34 times for 133 yards, and made four receptions. In 2009, he was the Tiger's 3rd-leading rusher with 418 yards and a 5.2 per carry average. He scored three touchdowns on the ground, and added 11 catches out of the backfield.
In 2010, he tallied 177 carries for 783 yards and 6 rushing TDs. He caught 31 balls that year as well for 308 yards and 3 more TDs through the air.
NOTE: Jamie is an early junior-year declaree for the 2011 NFL draft.
Strengths: Big back with solid overall athleticism. Will block. Decent safety valve, with nice big hands. Lowers his head and batters defenders. Has a stutter step, and changes gears smoothly. Decent speed getting to and through the hole. STs tackler. Runs with nice body lean, and power. Could be a 1-back, but will never carry a team, even though he might be able to carry the load.
Weaknesses: Not real elusive. Needs a head of steam. Gets stoned in the backfield unless he is already moving fast. Only did it for one year in college. Will not make his own holes. Inconsistent blocker.
Projection: 6-7th rounder."
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