The Indianapolis Colts have one of the best defenses in the NFL but their offense has been woefully average. With injuries at the wide receiver position in games against the Bengals and Ravens, UDFA WR DeMichael Harris got a chance on the roster and he flashed a good bit in the two games. In just 28 snaps played this year, he has nine touches for 112 yards. This strong play in limited time earned a roster call up for the young receiver.
In today’s quick film room, we will look at a few of his touches and see if he could be the spark this team needs going forward.
Harris is an undersized receiver who actually saw a lot of time in college at running back, surprisingly. He had over 500 yards rushing for Southern Mississippi in his Senior year, so the Colts like to get the talented runner touches in space when they can. On Sunday, we saw them utilize him on two reverse plays that netted good yardage. His speed and quickness are both intriguing but I like how he moves in the open field. He runs like a running back and sets up blocks like one, too. Getting him more involved in space with the ball could be in the Colts’ best interest.
I'm a big fan of getting DeMichael Harris more touches on reverses, screens, and designed runs. He played some running back on college and shows some elusiveness in the open field. pic.twitter.com/Jcx0sieVnp— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) November 10, 2020
Speaking of his running back days, the Colts actually had a few formations where they lined him up in the backfield on Sunday. While it was only for a handful of snaps, it is an interesting idea to get more speed and quickness into the backfield. This was his only target out of that formation and it went for just three yards on the swing pass. I’m not saying this is something we will see all the time, but it shows again that the Colts want to get Harris in space with the ball in his hands.
Nothing special on this play but I'm certainly intrigued by the formations that had DeMichael Harris line up in the backfield pic.twitter.com/wxwxg8Sk3p— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) November 10, 2020
For his role with this team, I think Harris will be used a lot like Parris Campbell was at Ohio State. Since he didn’t play too much receiver in college, I imagine the Colts will keep his aDot (average depth of target) fairly low and try to get the ball to him in space. Overall though, I am intrigued by this young receiver and what he can do for this team. This is a nice stick route against a defender playing inside leverage. Harris’ ability may open the Colts offense back up to the things they wanted to do with Campbell this year before his injury in week two.
Nice stick route from the slot by DeMichael Harris here. Reads the defender playing inside leverage and breaks outside for a good gain pic.twitter.com/Lxt5tsl4ex— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) November 10, 2020
Obviously, we shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves about a rookie UDFA receiver who has played less than 30 snaps in his NFL career. That being said, I’m intrigued for sure. He has some growing to do as a receiver but he can be a gadget player who can make things happen with the ball in his hand.
This offense needs playmakers right now. Getting players like Nyheim Hines and Michael Pittman Jr. involved more is essential, but I think Harris can be in that conversation too. He can make plays after the catch and make things happen with the ball, so I’m a big fan of the Colts giving this young WR a chance on the main roster going forward.