The Cleveland Browns front office took center, Nick Harris, out of Washington in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft, why? They already have a top ten center in J.C. Tretter and signed a solid fit in backup Evan Brown. With needs at edge rusher and linebacker, even after drafting Jacob Phillips, why take a center? Andrew Berry said they would take the best player available on their board, so that must be what they did. So what did Nick Harris do to put himself on the Browns radar?
Nick Harris, Center, Washington
Nick Harris comes to Cleveland after spending four years as a stalwart on the Huskies offensive line. Even with questions surrounding his 6-1 frame, the Huskies were willing to give the talented high school center a shot. Harris would not disappoint as he made an immediate impact as a freshman starting twice at both left and right guard while appearing in 12 out 14 games. Harris’s sophomore season saw him start 13 games at right guard and earn honorable mention All-Pac-12 for both his play on the field and his work in the classroom. The 2018 season is where Nick Harris started to show the rest of the world how good he was.
Harris finally moved to center as a junior and started 13 out of a possible 14 games. Back at his natural position, Harris would earn first-team All-Pac-12. His play as a junior helped to make a name for himself nationally, leading to more honors as a senior.
Harris’s senior season saw him go from the undersized recruit that turned into college star to legit NFL prospect. Harris showed off his athleticism and elite technique to the tune of multiple awards. By the end of 2019, Harris would earn All-Pac-12 First Team and Second Team honors from numerous sources, as well as making Sports Illustrated’s All-America Second Team. He was also on watch lists for the Outland Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy, and the Rimington Trophy. Finally, he won the Guy Flaherty Most Inspirational Award, Washington football’s most prestigious team honor.
Impact in 2020
The 2020 season, should it happen, will find Nick Harris likely on the bench learning. Some may think he should have a shot at guard, but his size comes into play once again. A 6-1 frame playing guard in the NFL is a liability no matter how good the player can be. He is already undersized as a center, but the zone scheme makes that less of an issue because technique and athleticism can make up for the size a lot easier than at guard. Harris has the tools that could make him an excellent starting center a year or two from now. Regarding 2020, barring an injury, expect very little if any impact from the fifth-round pick out of Washington.
All Rookie Spotlights:
- Jedrick Wills Jr.
- Grant Delpit
- Jordan Elliott
- Jacob Phillips
- Harrison Bryant
- Nick Harris
- Donovan Peoples-Jones
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