Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Cliff Harris drives fast, runs slow
By Ted Miller
Cornerback Cliff Harris admitted during media interviews at the NFL combine that he likes to drive fast -- see his citation for driving 118 mph last June, a significant step toward his ultimate dismissal from Oregon.
His biggest problem now, however, is his apparent inability to run fast. Harris clocked a 4.64 40-yard dash Tuesday, a pedestrian time for a prospective NFL cornerback.
Writes ESPN.com's Steve Muench:
Former Oregon CB Cliff Harris played in just six games in 2011 before being dismissed form the team, so he needed a solid week both on and off the field. No word yet on how he interviewed, but Harris did not perform as well as expected during drills. He stumbled early on, didn't show great body control overall and failed to field the ball cleanly, including two double-catches in the final drill.
It's also worth noting that the defensive backs end their session with a ball-skills competition, and an excited Harris punted the ball after that second double-catch. While it's good to see competitive spirit coming out and it's important not to exaggerate here, Harris should be more careful and avoid drawing any kind of attention that could be viewed as negative. He needs to show teams he's not going to be a distraction going forward.
Harris wasn't the only Pac-12 DB to run poorly. Former California safety Sean Cattouse ran a 4.74.
Former Arizona CB Trevin Wade ran a middle-of-the-pack 4.59. Former Arizona State CB Omar Bolden didn't run the 40, but did lead all defensive backs with 24 reps at 225 pounds.
Harris will get an opportunity to run again during individual workouts with NFL scouts, as will Bolden, who's status on draft boards won't be established until he shows how well his surgically repaired knee is responding.