Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Harris

Draft Watch: Miami (Fla.) CB Brandon Harris

April, 14, 2011
Position: CB
School: Miami (Fla.)
Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 37 overall

Bio: Two-time semifinalist for the Thorpe Award declared for the draft after his junior season. He started 32 of the 39 games he played for the Hurricanes. … Had 132 tackles (nine for losses), four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass breakups in his career. … Named second-team All-ACC as a junior. … Ranked second nationally with 1.31 passes defensed per game as a sophomore. … His father, Tim, coached him at Booker T. Washington High in Miami.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Harris
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireBrandon Harris was a two-time semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top cornerback.
Size: 5-foot-9 , 191 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.51
Arm length: 30 5/8 inches
Hand size: 8 inches
225-pound bench press reps: 13
Broad jump: 9-foot-5
Vertical jump: 35 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.12
60-yard shuttle: 11.31
Three-cone drill: 6.77

Broaddus Breakdown (viewed Ohio State, Florida State and Notre Dame games): Played both corner spots and in the slot for the Hurricanes. … He is the shortest of the corners that I have studied so far. For his lack of height, he did a nice job of playing the ball in the air. … Is taught to pedal, then turn his body inside, then work sideways. Is able to still play this technique but quickly flip his hips and work back outside to handle the out routes. … Nice technique with his hands. He can jab the receiver with his hand, then run with him and keep position. … Only saw him get beat badly once. Notre Dame's Michael Floyd beat him off the line and Harris tried to recover but stumbled as Floyd beat him for a touchdown. … Shows the quickness with the ability to carry his man across the field. Has stop-start quickness. … Is an aware player. Did a nice job of leaving his man in the Florida State game and helping a teammate in coverage deep down the field. Understands routes and how to adjust to them. … If he has a true weakness, he is not that dependable as a tackler. Thought he was a poor player at the point of attack. When the ball came in his direction, he didn’t do a good enough job of attacking it. Didn’t always maintain his leverage on the outside. Was the poorest tackler of Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith. Is a low tackler and doesn’t do a good job of wrapping up the ball carrier. Likes to go low and chop the ball carrier down. Will miss more tackles than he makes. … Harris has the skill level to come into the league and help a team as a nickel corner right now. You see plenty of opportunities where he does this. Has a real feel for how to play man coverage and this will help him in the league when he is asked to carry receivers out of the slot. Like the quickness, awareness and ball skills but will need to develop more as a tackler.
With eight picks of the 2011 draft, the Cowboys should have enough opportunities to fill some needs.

Mel Kiper, ESPN's NFL Draft expert, has the Cowboys doing that in the first three rounds of the draft.

In his latest Mock Draft, he's got Dallas taking tackle Tyron Smith from USC and the next two selections address major concerns. With the 40th pick, second round, Miami corner Brandon Harris goes to the Cowboys. In the third round, Da'Norris Searcy, a safety from North Carolina, is the 71st pick.

So in three rounds, the Cowboys found a new starting right tackle (replacing Marc Colombo), a fourth cornerback who seems physical and a safety who could move into the starting lineup as a rookie.

Of these three picks, Searcy and Harris are the players who might not make an impact in their first year, but Scouts Inc. and NFL Draft Scout has some good things to say about each.

You have to be an ESPN Insider to read the full report, but here's a little of what it has to say.


Scouts Inc. on his intangibles: "Flashes a strong punch and the ability to get off receiver's blocks when lined up over the slot but inconsistent in this area. Not a downhill run stopper. Appears to shy away from contact and a bit of a pile inspector."

Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout had this to say about him: "May be a bit of a 'tweener. Questionable range to handle the conversion to free safety and isn't the big, physical safety most teams are looking for in a classic strong safety. Gets the ballcarrier to the ground, but isn't an intimidating hitter."


Scouts Inc. on his cover skills: "A very good natural athlete with quick feet, great balance and fluid hips. Could be more compact in his pedal but shows good burst out of it and excellent closing speed when the ball is in the air. Does a nice job of wrapping up and limiting yards after catch. Is physical enough to hold up in bump-and-run coverage in the NFL, but needs work on technique and more game reps."

NFL Draft Scout had this on Harris' tackling skills: A reliable open-field tackler, but isn't always pretty doing it. Has a tendency to lead with his shoulder and/or lunge at the defender, resulting in some precarious tackles. Flashes the ability to deliver a pop, but relies too much on arm tackles. Has to do a better job of wrapping up the ballcarrier, though important to note that he did not miss a tackle on the games reviewed. Occasionally asked to blitz off the edge. Times the blitz well, shows good closing speed and the wherewithal to strip the football. Did take a terrible angle on a big play by Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl.

First-round cornerback crop thins out

January, 10, 2011
The first-round cornerback crop isn't as thick as anticipated.

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has decided to return to school for his senior season. He was ranked as the No. 11 player in the draft by Scouts Inc.

Based on the Scouts Inc. rankings, that leaves only two cornerbacks who would merit consideration from the Cowboys with the ninth overall pick. That's assuming that LSU's Patrick Peterson opts to declare for the draft.

The problem is that Peterson (No. 4 overall) and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara (No. 7 overall) are likely to be off the board by the time the Cowboys go on the clock. Jenkins represnted the Cowboys' best chance to address their cornerback need in the first round.

Miami's Brandon Harris, ranked No. 32 overall, is the only other cornerback Scouts Inc. has projected as a first-round prospect.