Nick Harris Would fit Perfectly with Eagles

Ed Kracz

INDIANAPOLIS – Some large men began filtering into the mammoth interview room inside the Indiana Convention Center early Wednesday morning, as offensive linemen took center stage on the second day of the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Eagles love offensive linemen.

They have taken five since 2015, two came in 2016 and two in 2018.

Last year left tackle Andre Dillard arrived in the first round. In ’16 left guard Isaac Seumalo came in the third, Halapoulivaati Vaita in the fifth. Then in ’18 the Eagles took Matt Pryor in the sixth and Jordan Mailata in the seventh.

Chances are they are going to lose Vaitai, a key reserve who can play both guard and tackle, in free agency and center Jason Kelce is 32 and a threat to retire during any offseason going forward.

There were plenty of candidates that took to the podium that would fit the Eagles’ bill should they turn their attention to the interior of the offensive line.

The one I believe they will take in the third round if they go that route is Nick Harris, from the University of Washington.

Harris isn’t the biggest guy in the world, at 6-1, 295, but neither is Kelce. What Harris is, though, is athletic. Just like Kelce. 

In the Eagles’ outside zone run schemes, Harris would fit comfortably.

“That’s definitely something I love doing,” said Harris, who has a large tattoo on one of his legs of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. “I love blocking linebackers in space. I love corners in space for sure, because it’s something I think I do well given my athleticism.

“Obviously, it all starts with the down linemen. You have to get movement on him. That’s also something I take a lot of pride in. Just using different techniques and different angles. Maximize my leverage. Give guards help.”

Harris also talked a lot about how he emulates Kelce’s game. In fact, he has had several informal meetings with the Eagles at both the Scouting Combine and the Senior Bowl, and Kelce comes up as a topic all the time.

“He’s like the main person I watch,” said Harris. “I’ve watched hours of film on him. I really look up to him. I like to model my game to his and try to use any techniques or tools he uses and apply it to my game because I think he’s one of the best technicians in the game right now at the center position.

"He moves well at the second and third levels. That’s something I pride myself on. Blocking people in space. Him being a smaller guy, he has to use different leverages and techniques to win blocks.

"That’s something I really take pride in as a center, especially being my size. You have to be able to use those things to your advantage. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s not the biggest mauler guy that everybody’s in love with. But he’s been getting the job done for years. I think he’s a Hall of Famer.”

Harris even liked Kelce’s speech during the Super Bowl parade.

“That speech is pretty legendary, I’m not gonna lie,” said Harris.

Something else in Harris’ favor is that he made 18 starts at guard for Washington, which gives him position flexibility NFL teams desire.

“I think one thing that’s going to translate pretty fast (in the NFL) is my football intelligence,” said Harris. “At UW, we prepared well for the schematic part of the game and the mental preparation. I’m just a nerd for the mental part and just watching film. I watch film in my spare time just for fun.

“That (watching film) is something I pride myself on, especially being a center. I tried to keep those guys going at UW. We watched a lot of film. And I watched it by myself, too. At home on my TV, my iPad, my phone. With coaches. Without coaches. I just love doing it. It’s just fun. I’d rather do that than play video games. I don’t even play video games.”