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Malik Harrison 2020 NFL Draft Profile

The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Malik Harrison 2020 NFL Draft profile.

Background

Position: Linebacker

Size: 6-foot-3, 247 pounds

Class: Senior

2019 stats: 75 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries

Harrison is a former high school quarterback, who used his athletic ability to become a good linebacker at Ohio State. Since enrolling at Ohio State, Harrison has developed into one of the best linebackers in the 2020 NFL Draft.

When he was a freshman, Harrison played very sparingly, registering 13 total tackles. His role increased a little bit in 2017, as he had 36 total tackles. Harrison was a major contributor for the 2018 team. He finished the year with 81 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Ohio State went 13-1 with a win in the Rose Bowl over Washington. As a team leader in 2019, he totaled 75 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss. The Buckeyes made the College Football Playoff, but lost to Clemson to end their season.

Now that his college eligibility is exhausted, Harrison is preparing for the NFL Draft. He should be drafted at some point on the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Malik Harrison 2020 NFL Draft Profile
Malik Harrison

Strengths

Harrison is a great run-defending linebacker. He has a good read on the play and where it is going. After recognizing where he should be, Harrison flies to the football and makes the play. He is a solid tackler and because he is aggressive in stopping the run, he can often times get to the ball carrier before they get to the line of scrimmage.

His size and strength are also assets. At 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, Harrison is on the higher end size-wise for linebackers in today’s era. He has great strength that comes with his size. This helps him shed blocks and make plays in the running game. He should also be able to disturb routes with his strengths when in coverage.

He has solid zone coverage abilities. Harrison drops back into zone coverage well and reads quarterbacks’ eyes well. He has enough athletic ability to make plays on the ball when it is thrown his way. His athleticism makes it tough to throw the ball anywhere near his zone, as with his size, the ball can commonly be incomplete when it comes in his direction.

Weaknesses

Harrison will struggle in man to man coverage. He has the athleticism to be good in sticking with his man, but he hasn’t been able to show good progress in this area. His ball skills were below average, as he should’ve had more than one interception in his college career. This may limit him to being on the field to just the first two downs.

Playing aggressively works out a lot of the time for Harrison, but sometimes this gets him into trouble. He overpursues the ball at times, which leaves him out of position. When he is out of position, the opposition can create big plays. At the next level, Harrison will need to show more patience in order to be more consistent.

While he did improve his awareness and instincts over his career, Harrison can improve more. He needs to diagnose plays quicker. On run plays, he can figure out where it is going faster. When the other team is passing, Harrison can do a better job of what is going on around him. If he can become more aware, he will be a more complete linebacker.

Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Third Round Pick

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