Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft was a really interesting day for the Lions. In typical fashion, Lions fans and media pundits had players they hoped the Lions would take when they were still on the board, and the Lions, instead, drafted players directly out of left field.
Will Harris was one of those players. There were still some good secondary players left on the board at the time like Justin Layne, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Amani Hooker or Amani Oruwariye. But the Lions went for Harris after trading up seven spots with the Vikings.
The Lions have shown in this year’s draft more than any other that they have a plan and that plan has nothing to do with your plan or my plan. They appear to be sticking to their board like glue and drafting the exact guys they want. Time will tell if the Lions swooped in a took these guys from other teams or if they could have got them later. We’ll see.
As far as Harris goes. The Lions needed to replace Glover Quin this summer, but the belief was that Tracy Walker was going to be that guy. He still might be. To be honest, I don’t know much about Harris.
POD: What are your overall thoughts on Harris’s time at BC?
BCI: “Will Harris has a quintessential Boston College football player story. He has football in his blood, as his father was a wide receiver for Mississippi State and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. Coming out of the Choate School in Wallingford CT in 2015, he was listed as only a three star on his Rivals page. Just like fellow NFL prospect Chris Lindstrom he wasn’t heavily recruited either, only receiving offers from Boston College, Old Dominion and lesser schools like UConn. He was a camp commit for Steve Addazio, someone he saw on campus and got him to sign right away, and what a steal for the Eagles.
As a freshman he saw the field immediately, snagging an interception against Maine in his first game with the Eagles. He played on and off with BC in his first year, playing in all 12 games, and starting the final three games of the season at strong safety. He finished his freshman year with 20 tackles, 1 pass defense, and one forced fumble along with his interception. His sophomore year he saw even more playing time, starting all 13 games at strong safety, finishing the season with 2 interceptions and 47 tackles. His junior year he started all 13 games, with another interception, and a whopping four fumble recoveries and had a touchdown on a lateral against Iowa in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. His final season at BC saw Harris start all 12 games again, with two more fumble recoveries and an interception.”
POD: What are his strengths?
BCI: “There is a lot to like about Will Harris. As a safety he can play both positions, and has the physical knack that a lot of NFL teams like in their secondary. He flies all around the field to make plays, and can deliver the lumber closing on either a wide receiver or tight end. In fact his physicality and size make him a good matchup against the modern tight ends popular in the NFL. He has great football instincts, and there are hardly any plays that he gets gobbled up or loses containment/coverage. Finally, he plays on special teams as well, which could help him see some early playing time for Detroit.”
POD: What are his weaknesses?
BCI: “NFL scouts do have some concerns about Harris. While he is instinctual and doesn’t allow many big plays, he isn’t a guy that college quarterbacks avoided. He finished at BC as a good safety, but not one that made tons of “big plays”. Coaches that are looking for safeties that can be explosive, and can make a huge play may be turned off by his lack of production at the college level. Now that is not to say Harris can’t be a ball hawk, he just hasn’t shown it yet.”
POD: What should Lions fans expect from Harris? Can he make an impact early on?
BCI: “Lions fans should expect a competitor, a quintessential “dude” as Steve Addazio would call those types of players. Hard working, a real leader in the locker room. He constantly worked to improve, and should be a real asset for the Lions right away either as a safety, or on special teams.”