WR/TE Jacob Harris
From the moment that the LA Rams drafted 6-foot-5 211-pound, Jacob Harris from the University of Central Florida, there has been a tremendous buzz about his NFL potential. The young man is relatively new to football, and as such is pretty much a blank slate. That is both a boon and a bane to his NFL career.
To state that Jacob Harris is raw is an understatement. But so is saying that he has tremendous potential. This guy is a skyscraper, is lightning fast, and has a fierce mindset that allows him to be ideal in his special teams’ role so far this season.
Because he is a blank slate, the Rams coaching staff has trained him to play as both a tight end and as a wide receiver. That type of versatility is incredibly effective for the Rams’ offensive scheme. Of course, he has to achieve a certain level of proficiency before the Rams will send him onto the football field. And the team needs to have an opening. Until now, there has not been an opportunity to contribute on offense.
Why he won’t work
Jacob Harris is very green, and even with a full training camp and seven weeks into the season, he has a lot to learn to achieve his full potential. That potential is coming, but it may not be this day. The LA Rams used Johnny Mundt to help the offensive line block, and blocking is most assuredly not what Jacob Harris excels at.
Forcing the matter now could prove to be counter-productive. Jacob Harris has all of the raw tools to become an outstanding pass catcher in the NFL. Should the Rams try to make use of all that potential by playing him now, when the majority of offensive snaps means that he will need to lock up with a defensive lineman or outside linebacker and try to sustain a block? That seems to be a complete misuse of his skillsets.
Why he will work
Talk about a cheat code? Imagine a receiver who stands 6-foot-5 who can blaze downfield at 4.39-seconds in a 40-yard dash? Now imagine placing him on the football field alongside Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, and Van Jefferson or DeSean Jackson? Who will cover him? If he races to the end zone, who can keep up with him?
The LA Rams have been very innovative at times, and when that has failed the team, veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford picks up the task of redirecting receivers to the open spot on the football field. But Harris gets open vertically as well. He’s just so tall that he can reach up in a dead run or reach out on a fade route for the score.
Harris may be young and inexperienced, but holy moly is he ever talented. The only way to get experience is to play. It would be far better to get him broken in now and be adept for the playoffs than try to surprise unsuspecting defenses come playoff time.