LA Rams wheel of fate spins for TE/WR Jacob Harris once more

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams drafted the immensely talented and incredibly raw receiver Jacob Harris with the 142nd overall pick in round four of the 2021 NFL Draft. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 211-pounds, he was a tall target for the newly arrived veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.

His best time on the 40-yard dash came in at 4.43-seconds. That is a mere 0.08 seconds off the time of WR DeSean Jackson, and a mere 0.11 seconds off the pace of speedster Tutu Atwell.  In the NFL, very tall plus very fast always equals very impressive.

Impressive? Yes. But oh so raw. In fact, in his rookie season, Harris played just 15 offensive snaps in nine games, to 137 snaps on special teams. Since the roster was stocked at the wide receiver position, the team opted to categorize Harris as a tight end to ensure he would make the roster. That never panned out as Harris fell to injury and was lost for the season just as TE2 Johnny Mundt was lost.

This year, the Rams appear to be deeper at the tight end position, allowing the team to redirect Jacob Harris to a wide receiver role this year. So that means a bit more work for the young man, who must now take what he learned with the tight ends a year ago, and layer on what he will learn in this year’s training camp as a wide receiver.

Now the problem is, how will the LA Rams ultimately use him?

I’m not convinced that even the LA Rams know at this point.

Harris is so athletically gifted, that he has almost the entire spectrum of uses in this LA Rams offense. The challenge in this year’s training camp is how to focus past all of the possible options onto those roles that Harris will be most optimally effective.

I continue to stand on the hill that Harris is a matchup nightmare in the RedZone. If he can perfect catching the ball on a fade route or in traffic, he could develop into an almost automatic touchdown whenever the LA Rams offense gets the ball within the opponent’s 20-yard line.

We’ll see a flash of what’s in store in the upcoming preseason games, hopefully. But until we have visual confirmation, we’ll simply need to be patient.  Jacob Harris could very much be worth the wait.

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