Huskies' Harris Impresses Draft Talent Scouts With Feet, Confidence
While some of his Washington teammates didn't fare well in their NFL combine interviews -- see Trey Adams' impulsive personal revelation -- Nick Harris impressed the draft community by offering passionate and confident answers. Mix that with quick feet, and he made an impression.
With the NFL draft less than three weeks away, the Huskies center is considered one of the best at his position among the candidates, a player who can help someone right away. He departed Indianapolis with high marks.
The scouts peg Harris, who started parts of four seasons for the Huskies, as no worse than a solid backup snapper, possibly another Joey Hunt, if not someone capable of a long and prosperous career as a front-liner in the right franchise situation.
They liked what he had to say. They think he can put those words into action. Look for him to get picked up in a middle round.
"I'm going to bring a different energy to a team, an energy that people can feed off of," Harris told draft analyst Justin Melo of USA Today's draftwire.com. "I'm definitely gonna embrace a leadership role. People feed off that. I'm just gonna bring a competitive edge to the locker room. I want people to see it."
Tankathon.com lists Harris as the fourth-best center available in the draft behind, in order, Michigan's Cesar Ruiz, LSU's Lloyd Cushenberry III and Wisconsin's Tyler Biadasz.
Draft analyst Lance Zierlein of nfl.com described Harris as a worker-bee, someone who thrives on the competition, offsetting his slightly undersized 6-foot-1, 302-pound frame.
"Harris' body type belies his impressive foot quickness and ability to make all the move blocks from his position," Zierlein wrote. "His ability to sustain both run and pass blocks speak to his consistency of effort and performance."
Dan Schmeltzer of nflmocks.com sees a potential NFL starter in Harris, based on the down-and-dirty streak the former UW player exhibits in the heat of the battle.
"Harris is a mean and nasty offensive lineman who consistently plays through the whistle," the analyst said. "He is an extremely high-motor and aggressive player who is always looking to embarrass his opponent."
The UW player has gone head to head with Auburn's Derrick Brown, Utah's Leki Fotu, USC's always impressive battery of D-linemen and the best the Senior Bowl had to offer in Ohio State's Davon Hamilton and North Carolina's Jason Stowbridge. He held his own.
Harris, so well spoken as shown in this late-season video, pointed out how time spent on the UW practice field playing against NFL-bound teammates in Vita Vea, Greg Gaines and Elijah Qualls has prepared him for the pros.
"We played against some of the best defenses in the nation and I've played against some of the best interior defensive linemen in the nation," Harris said. "It certainly gives me an edge to compete at the next level."