Outside linebacker Trent Harris joined the Giants' practice squad in mid-October after the team lost edge rushers Lorenzo Carter (Achilles) and Oshane Ximines (Shoulder) to season-ending injuries.
Harris, originally signed as an undrafted free agent by New England, saw his first playing time with the Dolphins, whose defensive coordinator was Patrick Graham.
The 6'2", 255-pounder former Miami Hurricane appeared in 11 games for the Dolphins with three starts, racking up 27 tackles, one tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks, and three quarterback hits as a situational pass rusher, a role he reprised when he joined the Giants.
But does he offer enough unique qualities to earn a seat at the Giants' pass rush table?
What He Brings
During his college years, Harris earned the nickname "Trusty Trent" because he was always available--he missed one game in his college career. But Harris's reliability was only part of his appeal.
Harris's versatility in having played in a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive alignment was undoubtedly a draw to NFL teams, as was his 11.5 sacks in the final two seasons of his college career.
Where Harris has hit a bit of a brick wall in the next level in that he struggles to get off blocks and appears to lack a variety of moves to fall back on when his primary move is thwarted.
As a member of the Giants, he saw just 70 defensive snaps from Weeks 7-10, his best game coming against the Eagles. More of a power edge backer than an athletic or speedy one, Harris has his work cut out for him this summer.
Harris is signed through this season and will count for $852,000, $2,000 of which is part of a pro-rated signing bonus.
The Giants made a conscious effort to beef up their edge rusher spot, adding Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson via free agency and Elerson Smith and Azeez Ojulari in the draft to a group that includes holdovers Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines.
Although a squad can never have too many pass rushers, it's hard to see Harris edging out Ojulari, Ximines, Carter, and Smith for a seat at the table. Given his knowledge of what Graham likes to do on defense, Harris would undoubtedly be worthwhile to carry on the practice squad in the event of injury.
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