Photo of Marcus Harrison
Grade
?
  • 6'3" Height
  • 310LBS. Weight

Overview

Marcus Harrison had a trying senior season. A rare four-year starter who played a variety of roles for the Razorbacks, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during spring drills and medical reports indicated that he would be lost for most of the 2007 campaign. He worked hard throughout his rehabilitation and made enough progress to be listed in the projected starting lineup for the season opener.

However, Harrison was arrested Aug. 24 and accused of having an ecstasy pill and marijuana in his vehicle when he was stopped by Fayetteville police. He was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. The arrest caused evaluators to be very cautious in evaluating him for the 2008 NFL Draft.

The coaching staff suspended him for the season opener, but when he returned to action, the rust from the layoff affected his play early in the year. His knee problems aren't new, as he was also hampered by torn cartilage early in 2006, followed by ankle woes later in his junior campaign.

Harrison was rated as the 11th-best nose tackle in the nation by Max Emfinger as a senior at Mills High School. He was a member of the Associated Press Super Team and named to Prep Star's All-Region IX team that year. He was rated the fourth-best overall player in Arkansas and the 29th-ranked defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com.

Harrison was also rated the 72nd-best player in the Southwest by Tom Lemming and given a three-star rating by Forrest Davis. He was Super Prep's sixth-ranked player in Arkansas. The defensive tackle recorded 40 tackles and two sacks as a junior. He also snared nine passes as a tight end. He also lettered in track, recording an 8'2" standing broad jump and 28-inch vertical jump.

Originally signed as a part of the 2003 Arkansas signing class, Harrison spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy playing for head coach Robert Prunty. He was also recruited by Oklahoma and Tennessee. Arriving at Fayetteville, he was immediately thrust into the starting lineup in 2004, becoming the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Razorbacks since safety Greg Lasker in 1982.

Harrison registered 31 tackles (22 solos) with 2.5 stops for losses and a pair of pressures from the "Bandit" end position that season. He recovered a fumble that he returned for a touchdown and also deflected one pass. As a sophomore, he shifted to left defensive tackle, starting nine of 11 games. He totaled 37 tackles (20 solos) withy a sack, five stops for losses and 15 quarterback pressures. He also recovered a fumble for a 25-yard return.

Knee and ankle problems limited Harrison to five starts in 13 games during 2006. He also suffered a concussion in late September; injuries forced him to sit out the Alabama game. He produced 42 tackles (27 solos) with 1.5 sacks, as he added 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, a fumble recovery and six pressures.

As a senior, he started 10 of 12 contests at left defensive tackle and was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second-team. He delivered a career-high 50 tackles (34 solo), getting into the backfield long enough to post 1.5 sacks, seven stops for losses and five pressures. He also had an impressive nine pass breakups while also causing one fumble.

In 47 games at Arkansas, Harrison started 34 times. He registered 160 tackles (103 solo) with four sacks for minus-34 yards, 18 stops for losses of 59 yards and 28 quarterback pressures. He caused one fumble and recovered three others, returning two of those for a total of 43 yards and a touchdown. He also deflected 11 passes.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a thick chest, big back and wide waist and hips...More of a two-gap type who needs to play with better consistency, as he showed in the past that he is capable of defeating blocks and clogging rush lanes...Marginal pass rusher, but does have enough speed to move along and make plays at the line of scrimmage...Shows adequate quickness and agility coming out of his stance, but only when he keeps his pad level down (tends to get tall in his stance)...When he shows desire, he is effective at shooting his hands to gain separation in attempts to shed blocks (but short-arms too often, allowing double teams to wash him out)...Has the functional feet and balance to make plays outside the box (former defensive end)...When he stays low in his stance and keeps his hands inside his frame, he is able to maintain position vs. a blocker right over his head...When he does a good job in reading and recognizing the play, he is effective at getting into position to make the play (consistency is lacking)...Has better power playing the two-gap than on the move...When he keeps his hands active, he can get off blocks quicker...Good collision-type tackler with the ideal reach to latch on and drag ballcarriers down...Hits with a thud and can clog rush lanes and push the lead blocker back with his initial low step off the snap...Has limitations reading schemes up front, but when he locates the ball, he is quick to close...Does not do it often, but when he uses his hands to disengage, he is capable of creating a new line of scrimmage...Has the frame to carry more bulk without having it affect his speed...When he finds the screens, he takes good angles to close. Negatives: Has had left knee injuries that warrant further medical evaluation...His 2007 summer arrest needs to be resolved before a team can invest a draft pick in him...Did a good job rehabilitating from his 2007 knee injury, but the former coaching staff felt that he needed to be monitored, as he rarely pushed himself in the training room and was a problem at times in the locker room (the staff questioned his toughness, as he would not give full effort when hurt and while trying to become a leader, he failed to live by example and spent more time yelling at teammates rather than mentoring them)...Will get into a rhythm on the field where he would just go through the motions for long stretches and the staff felt that he was getting complacent, lacking the fire in his belly to play until the whistle...Has stiff hips that cause him to look sluggish working his way down the line...Needs to learn how to sink his pads and keep his back low, as he narrows his base and gets pushed off the line of scrimmage often, when he gets too tall coming off the snap...Lacks an array of pass-rush moves and, while naturally strong, he does not extend his hands or generate a powerful punch that is needed to keep blockers off his feet...His tall stance and "short arm" tactics leave him exposed to cut blocks and double teams give him problems, as he does not anchor well, nor use his hands effectively to shed...Needs a clear path to the quarterback, as he does not have the speed or agility to generate a long chase...Marginal bull rusher with very poor rip and club moves, and can be stonewalled by a strong hand placement from an offensive lineman, as he fails to maintain leverage...Has marginal lower-body strength to gain position and hold his ground firmly...Has had problems with the snap cadence and can be drawn offside...Must also be more alert to blocking schemes and does not show the vision to quickly locate the ball in a crowd...Too rigid in his hips to execute a spin move to play off blocks and will throttle down when not involved in the action...Must show renewed desire and effort in his play. Compares To: ANTWAN LAKE-New Orleans...Lake has picked up some nice paychecks the last five years with little production to show for it. Harrison runs too hot-and-cold, both on and off the field. He needs to show a better work ethic in training and his arrest last summer is sure to scare away a few teams. He was given an opportunity to rise to the occasion at the Senior Bowl, but gave more inconsistent performance, hurting his stock. He is a good space-eater on the front wall, but with poor pad level, inconsistent effort, injury problems and character issues, you wonder if his position coach is going to need a more patience than can be expected at the NFL level to develop Harrison.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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