Will Harris has a quintessential Boston College football player story. He has football in his blood, as his father was a wide receiver for Mississippi State and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. Coming out of the Choate School in Wallingford CT in 2015, he was listed as only a three star on his Rivals page. Just like fellow NFL prospect Chris Lindstrom he wasn’t heavily recruited either, only receiving offers from Boston College, Old Dominion and lesser schools like UConn. He was a camp commit for Steve Addazio, someone he saw on campus and got him to sign right away, and what a steal for the Eagles.
As a freshman he saw the field immediately, snagging an interception against Maine in his first game with the Eagles. He played on and off with BC in his first year, playing in all 12 games, and starting the final three games of the season at strong safety. He finished his freshman year with 20 tackles, 1 pass defense, and one forced fumble along with his interception. HIs sophomore year he saw even more playing time, starting all 13 games at strong safety, finishing the season with 2 interceptions and 47 tackles. His junior year he started all 13 games, with another interception, and a whopping four fumble recoveries and had a touchdown on a lateral against Iowa in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. His final season at BC saw Harris start all 12 games again, with two more fumble recoveries and an interception.
40 Yard Dash: 4.41
Bench Press: 20
There is a lot to like about Will Harris. As a safety he can play both positions, and has the physical knack that a lot of NFL teams like in their secondary. He flies all around the field to make plays, and can deliver the lumber closing on either a wide receiver or tight end. In fact his physicality and size make him a good matchup against the modern tight ends popular in the NFL. He has great football instincts, and there are hardly any plays that he gets gobbled up or loses containment/coverage. Finally, he plays on special teams as well, and for a safety rated like he is, that is going to get some team to take a chance on him.
However, NFL scouts do have some concerns about Harris. While he is instinctual and doesn’t allow many big plays, he isn’t a guy that college quarterbacks avoided. He finished at BC as a good safety, but not one that made tons of “big plays”. Coaches that are looking for safeties that can be explosive, and can make a huge play may be turned off by his lack of production at the college level. Now that is not to say Harris can’t be a ball hawk, he just hasn’t shown it yet.
Will Harris has snuck up on a lot of boards as a “hidden gem”. He had a solid combine, and Pro Day, and will be worth the later round pick for a team in need of special teams/safety help. I project him to fall in the 5th or 6th round, and probably will end up being a valuable special teamer right off the bat, probably working his way into the starting slot with some good play.