The NFL offseason is slowly inching it’s way to the most entertaining time of the year. The NFL Scouting Combine is this week in Indianapolis as the top NFL prospects try to improve their stock in front of NFL teams. After that comes the much anticipated free agency period where the Colts, yet again, have over 80 million dollars in cap space to spend in free agency.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be going through a few potential targets for the Colts in free agency and discuss why they would fit the current roster. Let’s start with one player who is already being rumored to be a target in Broncos DT Shelby Harris. Harris had a very solid season in 2019 as he totaled 31 tackles, 6 sacks, 22 hurries, and 9 pass deflections last year. In today’s film room, we will analyze the positives in Harris’ game and see exactly why he fits this current team.
6’2” 290 pounds
Pro Day Numbers (2014):
40 Time: 4.88 / Vertical Jump: 32” / Broad Jump: 110” / Bench: 25 reps / 3-Cone: 7.52
Career Stats (5 seasons):
136 total tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, 16 pass deflections, and 1 interception
Let’s start with Harris as a pass rusher. He isn’t the most skilled or planned pass rusher on the interior, but he brings a good blend of size, quickness, and strength to the inside. He has a good bull rush that he uses to drive lineman back into the quarterback’s lap. He also possesses good enough quickness for a player who is near 300 pounds. He uses this quickness to gain leverage early in his reps and then finishes with good strength. He also flashes good hands at times but this is an area that he needs to improve on. He won’t be a dominant interior pass rusher but he will drive the interior of the pocket and put up modest sack totals with his effort.
This is an area where he really shines. He does get pushed aside a bit too easy with double teams and chip blocks but outside of that, he is pretty good in this area. He has good enough strength and a solid base to hold up and fill space against any single blocks on the interior. Where he really excels in this area is his motor and effort. He is all over the place in run defense which is quite rare to see from interior defensive lineman. He chases down sweeps and stretches away from his side with relative ease. His strength and quickness make him solid in this area but it is his excellent effort that puts him well above average as a run defender.
The last part of his game to mention is his ability to bat balls down at the line of scrimmage. He finished last season with nine pass deflections which was the most in the NFL for defensive lineman. While this may seem insignificant, it is a real asset to have a defensive lineman who can still impact plays even when he isn’t getting an efficient rush. The ability to know when the pass is coming and get your hands into the passing lane is so vital for defensive linemen and Harris is one of the best in the league at doing this.
Harris is eerily reminiscent of almost everyone of Ballard’s free agent signings as the GM of the Indianapolis Colts. Not a splashy player by any means but he is a solid piece who could fill multiple roles for the Colts. He has experience playing across the defensive line and his ability in run defense could be a big boost for the team.
Harris would not necessarily move the needle for the Colts but again, he is a good piece to have. He would be a big asset in the locker room with his personality and effort and improve the depth and overall play at defensive tackle. He would likely slide in as a starter alongside Denico Autry at one-tech if he is signed and fill the Colts’ need for more quality bodies at that spot. Harris and Grover Stewart as a two man rotation at that spot would make a weakness turn into more of a strength. I ultimately would really like this signing to help round out the defense.