NAME: Malik Harrison
SCHOOL: Ohio State
WEIGHT: 245 pounds
Today’s Chiefs draft prospect, is a consistent tackler. He can win downhill as a thumper and his anticipation gives him plenty of opportunities to make plays. Also, this player is big and physical. As a result, he can win by playing through contact. Let’s get things going, with our breakdown of Ohio State’s Malik Harrison.
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When talking about consistency, Harrison does not just provide this with his production. In fact, he makes his tackle attempts look the same each time. He does a good job of finishing through contact. Furthermore, Harrison crashes into ball carriers or receivers with strong burst. His tackle radius allows him to reach out and catch opponents from difficult angles. Finally, Harrison makes his tackles at an admirable pad level. If he cannot wrap up opponents, he has the strength to wrestle them to the ground.
Physically, the range is marginally there. Harrison can struggle to carry and stay with opponents down the field. His hips and feet are nowhere near dynamic. On the other hand, Harrison thrives off of rolling downhill or sideline to sideline, in order to work his gaps. When he finds a glimmer of space in shooting gaps, the defender plays faster. This led to more plays in the backfield in 2019. When he can anticipate and read plays, the results are more exciting. Overall, teams will have to find a defined role for Harrison to read and react.
Taking On Blocks
First off, Malik Harrison’s strength allows him to shed through blocks fairly well. He uses a heavy set of hands to lay punches on opponents, while attempting to work around them. He may not have the greatest length in the linebacker class. But, his choppy steps and bulkier build allow Harrison to blow blockers backwards and down to the ground. To boot, I was impressed with his juice and quickness off the jump of the snaps. Because of his delayed blitz abilities, Harrison can thrive here also.
Once again, Harrison can struggle to stay with receivers downfield. His mental processing helps to mitigate that. However, working to get to his landmarks will take a good amount of development. Harrison can gain some chances at more interceptions, if the improvement shines through here. His tape shows that he would fit better as a zone coverage defender in odd fronts or sub packages. Generally, Harrison is smooth with his lateral mobility. Working in space, you can see how easy he works in tight spaces, due to his short area quickness.
In Kansas City, Malik Harrison could work as a strong side linebacker. His downhill, physical ability style puts opposing blockers in a bind. Then, running backs or receivers have a difficult time breaking away from his grasp during his tackle attempts. His range is a little disappointing, given what the Chiefs have currently. Nonetheless, Harrison shows consistency and adds an extra layer to the front seven. His prowess will show more on early downs, at the start of his NFL career.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. Included, will be more draft prospect profiles and free agency topics. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.