A big man who could stand to lose weight as he transitions to the next level, Harris is a former high school tight end who shows it through strong footwork on game day. It is apparent he has learned under the famed Ed Orgeron at USC, as he displays good technique with his hands as well.
Look for him to be taken in the early-to-middle rounds if teams can look past his consistency and conditioning issues.
He is technically sound and understands how to use his hands and feet to keep defenders occupied, though his overall athletic ability is average. He works hard to keep defenders moving in the run game and despite his weaknesses is a get-the-job-done player at the end of plays and games.
He is an athlete waiting to be unleashed, but first he'll have to solve his conditioning issues. Experience could be a problem as well as Harris has had limited reps against top talent."
After redshirting in 2007, he saw action as a reserve defensive tackle and tight end in 2008 as a redshirt freshman, recording one tackle, 0.5 tackles for loss and a 0.5 sack. Harris permanently moved to the defensive line in 2009 as a sophomore backup tackle, finishing with 14 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a 0.5 sack.
He earned a starting role in 2010 as a junior and statistically had his best season, recording 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one interception.
Harris was part of a heavy line rotation in 2011 as a senior, but still started 10 games at defensive tackle, finishing with 22 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and six pass breakups.
Harris is an impressive athlete with gifted burst for a man his size, but is used to getting away with his natural strength, size and athletic ability and never seemed to worry about developing his technique - will he put the work in to get better? He struggles with leverage off the snap and plays too tall, limiting his effectiveness as a pass rusher.
Harris flashes the ability to be an unstoppable force if he gave top effort on each play, but he struggles to do that. He looks like a potential pro starter and top 120 pick, ideally suited for a team that utilizes a rotation-heavy defensive line.
Positives: Looks the part with a tall, filled out frame. Big bodied rusher with very good upper-body strength. Strong and stout at the point of attack with the measureables to occupy multiple blockers. Quick footed with rare burst for his size. Very good quickness off the snap to split defenders and penetrate the pocket.
Very active with the light feet to chase and make a play. Shows the agility to catch blockers off balance. Good awareness and improved instincts, quickly recognizing plays and showing the fluidity to change directions. Does a nice job elevating in passing lanes with seven career pass breakups.
Negatives: Needs to keep his pad level low; pops upright and plays too tall, struggling to maintain leverage off the snap. Doesn't play fundamentally sound and lacks much technique in his repertoire. Needs to play more disciplined and control his aggression. Inconsistent performer and too often disappears for stretches.
Banged up and played sparingly late in 2011 so durability and/or fatigue could be an issue. Doesn't play with a relentless motor and needs to give consistent effort on every play.
Only average production in his two seasons as a starter.
NFL Comparison: Corey Peters, Atlanta Falcons."
-- Dane Brugler
However, is inconsistent in his stance, gets straight-legged at times, comes off the ball upright and doesn't create the necessary burst to his game in order to get into blocks quickly. Has improved his balance as a pass rusher, which has made him a move effective laterally.
Works his arms well once he gains a step using the rip to fight off blocks and when he keeps his base under him he can fight to disengage and penetrate through contact and into the backfield. Also, displays some bull rush ability as well when he plays with proper leverage.
Has done a much better job as a senior firing off the ball low, which allows him to shoot his hands and keeps his pad level down on contact. And he's doing a better job routinely anchoring and fight his way into the backfield.
Plus, does a much better job creating a pop on contact, maintaining his balance and is more effective when looking to shed. However, has a tendency to stand upright if he doesn't win off the snap when looking to disengage.
Will use his length and at times violent hands well when looking to get off blocks, but even when he does shed, too often he allows himself to get worked down the field. Possesses a solid motor in pursuit and will work from the backside, but isn't overly rangy.
Was listed as the number two nose tackle on the depth chart entering the 2011 season, many believed it's not due to talent/performance, but more so to motivate him to come into camp in shape.
Impression: Improved his pad level, balance and hand usage as a senior and looks like one of the better senior DT prospects. Looks like an intriguing rotational guy with some long term upside."
Has a thick trunk and flashes strong quick hands to tug and pull himself free or rip under and penetrate, though he needs to improve his punch and overall hand use.
Short-armed, stiff-hipped short stepper who does not exhibit much sophistication in his game, instead relying on quickness, strength and reactions.
Struggled with conditioning, accountability and consistency early in his career, but seems to be blossoming under Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron and could ascend as a senior if the light stays on."
Played TE in high school and is a fluid athlete with good strength; also has good balance and can change direction, but isn’t all that instinctive and doesn’t always find the ball;
Had 35 tackles in 2010 including 2 sacks and 3.5 other tackles for loss; also intercepted a pass; missed in 2007 to focus on academics."
Flashes good hand play and a quick punch, strong hands to jolt and create a pop on contact, has some stack and shed ability, though inconsistent with hand usage...
Fluid athlete, former high school tight end, agile with reasonably quick nimble feet, plays with good balance and changes direction well for his size, has the athleticism to get up and down the line... Gets his hands up in passing lanes when he can't get to the quarterback, had six pass break-ups in 2011...
Very stout, thick trunk to anchor, is tough to move, can clog running lanes, holds his ground against double teams; when he stays low, he can fight his way into the backfield and can dominate versus the run... Does a nice job controlling blockers, moving his feet and locating the ball as a run defender... Hustles to make plays in pursuit...
No known character issues, is well-liked by teammates, good locker room guy... Might also get some looks as a 3-4 DE (5-technique)... Had a great week of practice during the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Negatives -- Is overly reliant on quickness when rushing the passer and lacks counter moves, limiting his effectiveness as a pass rusher, other pass rushing moves are still developing...
Frustratingly inconsistent, when he plays to his potential he looks like a second rounder and NFL starter, but he disappears for stretches during games and he looks no better than a late rounder at best, talent exceeded performance throughout his career... Inconsistent in his hand usage and placement to get off blocks...
Is also prone to playing a little upright at times, doesn't always coil up and will expose himself to blockers, can be washed out of the play... Loses stamina as the game moves on, wears down toward the end of games, motor runs hot and cold, plays high as he begins to tire, struggled with conditioning early in his collegiate career...
Was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep, and can suffer daytime sleepiness and fatigue... Missed the 2007 season to focus on academics."