2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Damien Harris
Position: Running Back
School: The University of Alabama
Weight: 215 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 2
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With Harris, what you see is actually, what you get. First, he attacks the line of scrimmage with a ferocious presence. With low, thudding pads and bad intentions, Jacobs dishes out pain wherever he can. However, while Harris is a north/south running, he will slide away from an oncoming tackling with a smooth jump cut/hand swipe that throws the would-be tackler to the side. Meanwhile, Harris shows an incredible nose for the end zone. With the offense near the goal line, he will inevitably find the end zone. Due to his running style, Harris is a natural fit for multiple touches in the redzone. In addition, Harris runs with strong hip and quad balance. Arm tackles seem to slide feebly away from him.
Despite using a downhill approach, Harris will break out the occasional juke, spin or sidestep to evade a defender. Although the move is not a long, fluid juke, he will use a quicker one before heading downfield. At the next level, Harris will need to develop this in the open field.
With a no-nonsense approach, Harris accelerates downfield. Although not blessed with breakaway speed, Harris capitalizes on his downhill style on chunk yardage. Under those circumstances, scoring from fifty or even forty may not be in the cards for him. Yet, he will gash defenses and tiring them out later during the game.
During his career in Tuscaloosa, Harris evolved in this area. Even though he never averaged ten yards per catch, he grabbed twenty-two passes in his senior season. However, in order to become a three-down back, Harris will need to work down the field a bit more, instead of the random swing passes.
Given these points, Harris fits the stereotype of a Jon Gruden back. Harris runs with the power and conviction that the Oakland Raiders crave. In 2018, everyone saw the Raiders fail inside the red zone. From Keith Smith and Jalen Richard failing to score, Harris gives the Raiders a Day two sure thing in the backfield. If you combine him with two other backs, the Silver and Black would boast a group that could use the power game to bludgeon defenses. If you look at the Chargers and Broncos, who feature pairs of edge rushers, a sound, thundering back like Harris will grab yards and force pass rushers to play the run.
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