Mark Harrison

March 9th, 2013 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Every draft has great players that nobody talks about. Perhaps Harrison is one of them.

In the comments from the Justin Hunter topic yesterday, one name seemed to dominate the conversation:  Mark Harrison.  The predominant thought was that Seattle didn’t need to reach for Justin Hunter in round one if they could get a prospect like Mark Harrison much later.  I hadn’t watched much of Harrison yet, so I figured I’d explore this topic and share my thoughts.

Harrison stands 6’3″ at 231 pounds and ran a 4.46 forty at the combine.  There aren’t very many NFL receivers that play at 6’3″ 230, and even fewer that run fast while doing it.  Andre Johnson is one of the very few.  He’s 6’3″, 230, and ran in the 4.4′s during the 2003 draft run-up.  There are a lot of 6’4″ guys that might weigh 215, but stocky, heavy, tall, fast receivers are pretty unique.

I think the thing that surprises me the most about Harrison is his arm length.  I thought for certain that his arms would be shorter than Hunter’s, just going by the eyeball test.  Hunter has 33″ arms, which is a very good arm length for a receiver.  I thought Harrison might have 31″ or 32″ arms.  He has 35″ arms.  Few pass rushers in this draft have arms that long.  Only two other receivers cracked 34 inches.

Harrison also posted a 38.5″ vertical leap.

Watching Harrison, I have no idea why he’s not at least considered a 3rd round prospect.  Tony Pauline is a highly informed reporter in constant contact with NFL scouts, coaches, and executives, and while his draft rankings badly need an update, I tend to trust them (with a grain of salt, of course).  Those rankings don’t even list Mark Harrison in the top 160.

One of my favorite things to do when talking about a prospect is to try to dig up some nugget of information that almost nobody knows about.  I tried doing a google search on a quest for some Harrison reading, and well, there just wasn’t much out there.  Outside of a token article here and there, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of people are talking about this guy.

Interestingly, Mark Harrison worked with star Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall before the combine to work on his catching mechanics (as reported at Mocking The Draft).  He also asked for advice from former teammate Mohamed Sanu.

Harrison never posted a 1000 yard season in college.  He had just 583 yards (but had 6 touchdowns on just 44 receptions) last year.  In 2010, he had his best season with 829 yards and 9 touchdowns (also on just 44 receptions).  His yards per catch that season was an astronomical 18.8, which along with his touchdown numbers suggest that Harrison was a potent vertical threat at receiver.  His yards per catch dropped to 13.3 last season.

I wonder if his usage changed as the team transitioned from centering around Mohamed Sanu to centering around Brandon Coleman.  Coleman’s career yards per catch is an unbelievable 21.2.  Maybe the team handed the deep threat mantle to Coleman and used Harrison as more of an all-purpose receiver?

At the very least, Harrison’s 2010 season proves what he is capable of- monster per catch production- which hints at him being a strong deep threat target.  Last year Golden Tate and Sidney Rice posted very strong yards per target and touchdowns per target rates.  Their potency in the deep passing game played a large part in that.

One of the things I like about Harrison is that while he may not have Percy Harvin type foot quickness, and can turn upfield quickly and shows burst in his acceleration.  I don’t see that same kind of explosiveness in Justin Hunter, who clearly generates his speed through long strides.

Another thing I like- Harrison had a couple drops in this video, but I would think that’s an aberration based on his technique.  He typically extends his hands to the football  and always seems to take that extra moment after every catch to make sure he has the football before turning up field.  And at 9.66″, Harrison has some of the largest hands among this year’s receiver class.  It would be nice if he cut it out with the Willie Mays underhand stuff on deep throws though.  He needs to face the ball and present a target with his hands instead, as he does (and does well) when executing his curl routes.

It was frustrating to watch Rutgers use Harrison so rarely on slants.  Most of his receptions were on curl routes, with most of the rest of his targets coming on post routes.  In fairness, Harrison runs a sharp curl route, but I think he’s a great weapon running diagonally across the field.  The problem with a curl route is that they essentially kill yards after catch since the receiver is coming back to the football.  If Harrison was open running across the field, he could catch a well placed pass and then use his outstanding acceleration to turn the reception into a potential home run play since a tackle wouldn’t be imminent like it is on a curl route or a well covered post route.

Harrison shows good awareness when a defender is about to go for a desperation ankle tackle.  He fires his hamstrings to elevate his knees and ankles far off the ground, something that Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin often did last season when they sensed a defender might be about to go for their feet from behind.

I think Mark Harrison deserves a third round grade when compared to his peers in this draft class.  But in a draft class that has far too many 2nd and 3rd round prospects to actually go in those rounds, we’ll see 3rd round receivers falling into rounds four and beyond.  I think Harrison could be an excellent pick later on as Sidney Rice depth if the team opts for a more all purpose receiver early on, such as Ryan Swope or DeAndre Hopkins.

40 Responses to “Mark Harrison”

  1. Jmpasq says:

    I have a another tape I cut of Harrison from the 2010 season on my Jmpasq retired page in case your interested. Rutgers has had a dismal QB situation. Had Rutgers had better QB’s over his tenure or had he been in the SEC he would be a lot higher on Draft sites radars. I believe he could go as high as the 3rd round. His physical talent is as good as any WR in the draft.

    I’ve been keeping tabs on him for a few years now. He was the original Rutgers receiver that caught my eye even before Sanu did in 2010. Im from NJ so i watch Rutgers regularly. I was watching the Uconn game in 2011 mostly for Harrison when Brandon Coleman completely blew me away with his physical ability. They actually have another draft eligible receiver this year that should be brought to a camp in Tim Wright 6’3 220. He is the 1 that had the horrific drops against Louisville

  2. oz says:

    I think the Hawks would be very lucky to get him in the third round. He will be moving up draft boards come draft day. I think the Hawk’s staff is all over this guy.

  3. AlaskaHawk says:

    I liked his runs after the catch, has elusiveness in his moves. Good 3 or 4 th rounder.

  4. Kenny Sloth says:

    Another Schneider fourth round steal! Add him to the list..

  5. Nolan says:

    This guy and Darick Rodgers are my two favorit reciviers in this draft I hope we get both or at least one of them.

    • I’m a big fan of Rogers’ tape, but I think Seattle will stay away. 10/10 on the character risk scale. He makes Titus Young look like a saint in comparison.

  6. Chris says:

    The play that stood out to me was the jump ball against Lousiville that’s at about 1:55 of the tape. He really showed off his length and his leaping ability His QB threw him into double coverage and he got incrdible elevation, high pointed the ball, and got two hands on it. Now, he could’t pull in the reception, but just that body control really got me excited. He’s the WR that I keep coming back to. He really seems like a PCJS type of guy.

  7. bjammin says:

    I’d be pretty excited if we got Swopes in 1st/2nd and Harrison in 3rd/4th. Our receiving depth and talent would be incredible then. This guy has upside while still being able to backup Rice now. Seems like we’d have a full range of size/speed/skill sets at receiver to really complement each other and our team. In this draft either or both of these receivers could be replaced with a similar pairing of other receiver options but this duo looks great. Offensively, only adding another receiving/joker TE could have as much impact on our offense as two different wrs that I could see. Can’t wait until free agency kicks off to get a better sense of what needs will be glaring for the draft to see if 2 wrs is a luxury or a possibility.

  8. ChavaC says:

    He just seems sluggish for a guy who runs in the 4.4′s, based on that video. He couples a lack of elusiveness with playing below his size after the catch, you see several undersized corners tackle him like he’s a quarterback. I think he’d be pretty 1 dimensional against NFL corners.

    • I thought he looked fast, particularly during acceleration. I think he could be elusive once he gets up to full speed in the open field, but Rutgers almost never put him in those situations.

  9. Brian says:

    With his speed and size couldn’t he play split end rather than flanker? Andre Johnson sized receivers are pretty tough to jam on the line -as Courtland Finnegan can attest to.

  10. Scott Allen says:

    I agree with Jmpasq. Rutgers is awfully frustrating tape to watch because they have such amazing WR talent and such a horrible QB. Gary Nova has got to be one of the worst I’ve ever seen. He has decent mobility but makes horrible throws to his targets. They are consistently late, short, high, and/or behind targets. Such a shame. With that outside talent they would be menacing NCAA powerhouse teams with even an average QB. Sad really. That said, crafty teams like Seattle may benefit by grabbing Harrison this year or Coleman next. Go Hawks!

  11. SunPathPaul says:

    Another WR to consider real late or as an UDFA is Uzoma Nwachukwu from Texas A&M…

    He is like a poor mans Markus Wheaton. He is 6-0 ft, 194, but has real speed at 4.40-4.46!
    When I watch his video, he looks pretty clean, catches well, YAC are really good, and for a possible 6-7th R pick?? Looks even better! He has also done some KR/PR…

    Here is a video: He plays with Swope…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIJux49QuzU&feature=player_embedded

    If we want a burner late, this might be a steal! If we miss on Swope, imagine Mark Harrison for the SIZE, and Uzoma for the SPEED…

    Any takers?

    • Robert says:

      He’s fast and good at highpointing the ball. That explains why Swope was used underneath so much, despite his freak speed. I think Swope could play outside or slot – he’s a technician and/or a burner.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I would love it if we got both WR from Texas A&M. That would be interesting – and they are both excellent. I wanted them to beat LSU and make the BCS bowl, they gave them a good fight but fell just short.

        • SunPathPaul says:

          If we got Swope AND Ozuma, that would be sick! They all ready have some chemistry together, and both being so fast, they could switch it up to throw the defenses off…

          I’m just doubting Swope makes it to our R2 pick. If so, sweet!

          Any of these – Swope, Harrison, Ozuma, Wheaton, Rodney Smith, Kaufman, etc… Depth
          Who fits best for us??

    • Scott Allen says:

      Yes Please! Stangers post on Field Gulls discusses him and some other great picks today.

    • I’m interested. He looks/plays so much taller than 6’0″ with that build. This draft class at WR is pretty insane.

  12. Hoser hawkfan. says:

    Pretty good looking player, hard to imagine he’s not graded higher but I guess that speaks to the depth of the wr class this year. Still don’t think that a receiver is our biggest need. If I had to rank our needs in order IMHO , ranked on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most pressing need…..
    Pocket collapsing interior d lineman……… 9 with a top 10 pass rush this d would be epic!
    3 down Leo …….. 8 (I feel Irvin is more suited to being a passing situation specialist)
    Will linebacker who can drop into coverage…..7 let’s face it V Hill was a liability against the pass.
    Nickel CB …………6 (trufant was actually not that bad last year)
    WR depth………..5 the starters here are a nice mix, young and seemingly on the ascend ,depth is a major issue thou.
    O line depth……..4.5. The group here was above avg and with improved health should be even better, need depth thou!
    SS/FS Depth…….4 big drop off from starters to reserves here, a major injury could be catastrophic
    The other units are all above avg nfl quality. If the right player fell to us in the draft you take him no matter where he fits in but I feel this team is in a very unique position where they can draft for positional need and not strictly BPA. Thoughts anyone ?

    • Crispy_bacon says:

      Agree with the needs, I would lower #2 and trust what we have and add a FA then do the rest in the draft.

  13. Madmark says:

    Swope in the 2nd and harrison in the 4th would seem to be the perfect projection for us.

  14. Maz says:

    I think this years draft for the Hawks is really going to be very interesting and exciting. There are so many possibilities which play into our front offices strengths. The depth in this draft is so deep in spots, that it will allow Seattle to find THEIR guys as normal. It is a great strength to project where YOUR guys will go in the draft. Seattle has proven to get it’s guys at the right time over the last few years. Sure, they may have missed a couple throughout the years. However, for the most part, the Hawks have picked the guys they saw in their system, at the right time in the draft, i.e. Sherman, Wilson, Turbin, Chancelor, and even Irvin last year to name a few.

    This draft is solid at many positions, and really deep from the tenth pick through the late 3rd round. PCJS will make out once again. I think Desmond Trufant may even be the pick @ 25 due to the depth in this draft. It would be the “legacy pick”, which this year is a luxury we could afford. Desmond is very strong in press and could learn from his older brother Marcus for a year. Seattle has 10 picks currently, I don’t see them necessarily selecting 10 guys this year. I think that we will be active in moving around in this draft.

    I could see Mark Harrison being an excellent option for us at WR in this draft.

    Any of these guys at the right spot in the draft would be nice in my opinion.

    Vance McDonald TE, Cornelius Washington DE, Brandon Williams DT, Corey Lemonier OLB/DE, Devin Taylor DE/DT, Sio Moore OLB, Quinton Dial DT, Tank Carradine DE, Chris Jones DT, Armonty Bryant DE/DT, Marcus Lattimore HB, Tyrann Mathieu CB, Robert Alford DB, Ryan Swope WR, Christine Michaels HB, Shamarko Thomas S

    I really like Vance McDonald at TE for us in the 2nd or 3rd rd. Any of your favorites on this list?

    I wouldn’t even mind a scenario where we didn’t draft pass rush with our first round pick. I could see it going something like this after all the movement I think could happen… Desmond Trufant CB, Corey Lemonier DE, V. McDonald TE, Brandon Williams DT, Shamarko Thomas S, Cornelius Washington DE/OLB, Devin Taylor DE, Tyrann Mathieu CB, Christine Michael HB, Quinton Dial DT

    Or something like that. What y’all think?

    GO HAWKS!

    • Madmark says:

      I like Quinton Dial in the 6th i think he could take red bryants place in a year or 2 and take howards place.

      • Maz says:

        Yeah, I like him late in this draft. Played for Bama and did a nice job. Think he is overlooked a bit. Could be good for the Hawks.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Very underrated.

          • Maz says:

            Cornelius Washington is a very intriguing prospect @ DE/OLB. I see a Demarcus Ware type build rushing the passer in a year or two as his potential. Hope he is available Rnd 4. Georgia had a really solid core of LB’s who could rush the passer in the SEC. Washington could be the second Georgia LB drafted by the Seahawks on draft day. When motivated, he plays with an edge and attacks the QB. Has some inconsistent tape. Played better in big games. Looked good vs. LSU but sluggish against Buffalo. Not sure if Georgia used him to his best ability. Played frustrated at times i.e. Buffalo tape. Just didn’t look to be fully motivated, still made plays though. I like his potential for our defense.

            Anybody else watch tape on this guy?

  15. Stuart says:

    Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure reading all your post the past few days. With Kip contributing contributions daily along with Rob’s always insightful articles, we are truly blessed! This is Hawk Heaven for me.

    My meds have kicked in and during the peak I have played with different ideas. When your mind is outside of the box, interesting things can happen. What I did was create a two year outlook for our Hawks, 2013 season and 2014 season. We can watch all the video we want of all these players but what we don’t know are the intangibles, what makes this player tick? Is this player a leader? Leadership might be the top quality outside of the physical skills department.
    PC and JS know what they want and what they are looking for, players that get it. Players that will buy into always compete, players that are quality human beings, there is more but you get the idea. With that lengthy introduction, it’s time to get to the heart of post.
    Biggest needs we have for 2013 season;

    DT, DE, WLB, Nickel DB, WR Starting Quality Depth and overall team depth

    Regarding the top three needs, all three positions need starters to begin the season. The Hawks will address some needs by FA but the long term solution always comes from the draft. JS is the best. It’s amazing that Seattle has the best GM in the business :) . The parallel you could draw is Sam Presti, we all know who he is, ouch.

    Biggest needs we have for 2014 season;
    • #1 WR to replace Rice (Based on simple math, he makes too much money)
    • DE starter to replace RED (Based on simple math, he makes too much money)
    • DE starter to replace Clemens (Based on simple math, he makes too much money)
    • Lock up all our key players who are eligible for new contracts.

    That last statement sounds so easy, it’s not. But it can be accomplished, that is why teams have “capaligyst.” I didn’t make up that word, it’s only used for football geeks and they totally get it.

    Analysis:

    Based on past performance we know that it takes rookies a few seasons to fully realize their potential. Sherman has taken off like a rocket in year #2, Tate put it all together but it wasn’t until season #3. Unger made the Pro Bowl in year #4.

    Looking long term (in this post we are only looking ahead 2 seasons), the Hawks not only need to address the 2013 needs in this draft but they also need to begin addressing the 2014 season as well.

    If you were being mentored by JS and he wanted to see your five round mock draft, what does it look like?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not keen on doing 5-round mocks because they’re very specific, but I’d target pass rush early as a priority. I’d love to find a way to get at Sheldon Richardson. I’d keep an eye on Datone Jones, Corey Lemonier, Jarvis Jones. Players I’d like to come out with specifically are Ryan Swope, Khaseem Greene, DeAndre Hopkins, John Simon, Baccari Rambo, Jordan Poyer, Mark Harrison, Quinton Dial, Sean Renfree. Obviously wouldn’t be able to get all of those players and that’s just off the top of my head.

      • bjammin says:

        This is great. Thank you. I’ve been kind of wondering what a possible good Hawks draft would look like from your opinion.

      • Madmark says:

        I love John Simon but the hard thing for me to do is fit him in to my draft. the only reason is lack of a pass rush. I love everything else about this guy but like the article said i got to have 1 of these guys and I went with Ryan Swope.

    • Maz says:

      Would take some moving around, but I would probably go this route and acquire some extra 3rd round picks. Maybe move Flynn for a 3rd. Could see this happening with some work.
      1st Margus Hunt DE/DT
      2nd V. McDonald TE
      3rd Sio Moore OLB
      3rd Brandon Williams DT
      3rd Shamarko Thomas S
      4th Cornelius Washington DE/OLB
      5th Tyrann Mathieu CB
      5th Christine Michael HB
      5th Mark Harrison WR
      6th Devin Taylor DE
      6th Quinton Dial DT

      • Maz says:

        Would love to get Swope in here too.

      • Maz says:

        Another

        Really would like this scenario:) Bring in some veteran FA help at OLB and DL and S positions. Possibly Darryl Smith, James Harrison, or Phillip Wheeler OLB, Desmond Bryant, John Abraham or Cullen Jenkins DL, Charles Woodson or Adrian Wilson S in FA. Then go after these guys in the draft. Hope one of these HB’s fall to us or one of the better small school prospects.

        1st Margus Hunt DT/DE
        2nd Ryan Swope WR
        3rd Vance McDonald TE
        4th Tyrann Mathieu CB
        4th Xavier Gooden OLB
        5th Mark Harrison WR
        5th Cornelius Washington DE or Jon Bostic OLB
        6th Christine Michael, Knile Davis or Marcus Lattimore, HB
        6th Devin Taylor DE
        7th Quinton Dial DT

        • Robert says:

          I really like your top 3. PC has aspired to more 2 TE sets, which would make us very hard to beat. Extra blocking for the Beast draws the LB’s in and then a play action fake + TE chip block and Big $$$ all day long!!!

          Margus Hunt physically destroys blockers like very few can. And he does it with very little technique. Once he learns to chop, swim, spin and wrap those long arms around blockers, he will be the formidable pocket disruptor of PC/JS’s dreams…and mine too!

          I would like to get Armonty Bryant (DE) and Courtney Gardner (WR) late…

  16. IrishJ says:

    Honey badger won’t be drafted to early- too many chances with to many failed drug tests- just the way it is- no earlier then the 5 th