Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nic Harris - Potential Seahawk?

by: Chris Sullivan 

Hey guys, I apologize for the blog being a bit slow lately. I've been busy at work, and a bit beaten down by the Super Bowl contenders, to be quite honest. Still, I have finally gotten a bit of time to catch up on my Senior Bowl stuff (though, I hardly needed to watch NFL Network with Rob covering everything regarding the Senior Bowl!). Great work as always, Rob.  

Anyway, as I was watching the most recent 'recap show,' there was a bit of focus on Nic Harris. For those of you not too familiar with Harris, he's  been a Safety at Oklahoma for the bulk of his college career, but was recently converted to a linebacker (which is the role he's been playing for the most part in Senior Bowl practices). He's got good size -- 6'2", 233 with plenty of room on his frame to bulk up a bit more. He's very quick, but lacks the elite speed one would hope for in a top-flight NFL safety. 

One of the potential areas of need for the Seahawks this offseason is Linebacker, but we're also looking to fill a hole at Safety. If Hill goes, Harris might be able to fill in for him or at least play strong special teams while backing up Lewis/Herring/Hawthorne whomever fills Hill's spot. In the long run, he could backup Safety or could come in and cover the pass from the Linebacking spot in the Tampa 2. I'm not an expert by any stretch on the T2 scheme, but from my understanding, typically it is the MLB who drops back to give safety-like help; if that could be altered successfully to be an OLB, Harris might work very well in that way. 

Beyond that, he's expected to go in the "late rounds," per our friend Scott Wright, so he could be a project for Mora + Co if they are interested in him. He has overcome a lot of personal adversity, apparently, and appears to be a great kid with a lot of upside. He's not an NFL starter in year one, and may never be, but he seems to have a lot of the things that Ruskell looks for in a player. 

What do you guys think? In the coming weeks and months we'll be really plumbing the depths and looking at some second, third, hell, seventh round possibilities for the Hawks. Like last year, we'll try to throw together a mock draft as well (because who doesn't love to be wrong 30 times out of 32?). Let us know how you would like us to cover the draft and free agency, and we'll do our best to accomadate. Since Steffes left we're still searching for the right balance on here, and we need the readers to pitch in and guide us! Thanks for all you guys do, always appreciate the emails and links. 

UPDATE: Hat tip to J, who wrote this in the comments:
Harris has developed a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in college football. A quick search on Harris via Big 12 blogs will turn up a long list of complaints about his tactics and his reputation as one of the dirtiest and most disliked players in the conference. And, the Seahawks organization, if anything, has made it a priority to avoid guys with character issues. We are the team with the fewest personal fouls in the last five years and will continue to be so, which is why we will not go with Harris who majors in personal fouls.

For those who watched the BCS Championship game you might last remember Harris as the guy twisting Percy Harvin's leg after the play was over or smashing his knee down onto Tebow's neck while he lay helpless on the turf, or committing a horse collar tackle and face mask viscous enough to result in major injuries. Harris has "Raider" written all over him and if the Seahawks want to go with this type of player then they would be making a major departure from their philosophy of character first.