Chicago Bears showing interest in this linebacker prospect
The Chicago Bears have recently been tied to linebacker Christian Harris from Alabama. It is not confirmed that the team spent one of their 30 pre-draft visits with Harris, but the report did say that they had a workout with him, so the interest is there.
The Bears already brought in Brian Asamoah, another linebacker with similar traits, so they may have interest in that position. How would Christian Harris with the Chicago Bears?
Who is Christian Harris?
Christian Harris was a wide receiver and cornerback in high school. He was a bit big for that area in college and made the transition to linebacker. Harris started at linebacker at Alabama as a true freshman, which is very rare for a Nick Saban defense.
Harris became a three-year starter at the WILL. Thanks to MockDraftable we can also look into how he performed athletically compared to his peers. The bigger the web is, the higher he performed compared to past linebackers to workout at the NFL combine.
Harris is a bit short and thin, but that is the new age linebacker body. What sticks out are his athletic traits. Harris had an elite 40-yard dash for the position, which makes up for the size. His broad and vertical jumps also show an explosive athlete.
Where Christian Harris translates to the NFL
Christian Harris has a lot of the traits that fit Into the mold of your typical new-age linebackers. He is thinner, but with his shorter frame he is built thick, and his size can be looked at as more prototypical now.
Harris plays the way you want your undersized and hyper-fast linebacker to play as well. Harris plays with his hair on fire. He is a see-ball, get-ball player and when he breaks on the football he is off to the races to track it down.
You can see his physical attributes and burst as he makes quick jumps that accelerate his speed. Harris gets downhill with no care for what is in front of him. While he can evade blocks, he is never afraid to take them on and attempt to blow things up in the backfield.
Where Christian Harris must adjust to the NFL
For a read and react player, sometimes he can spend too much time reading and not enough reacting. He is not the most instinctive player and while he can often make up ground, you can typically see him processing late and getting a late jump on things. He needs to get better at anticipation.
Harris has all of the traits to be a coverage linebacker, but right now his best ability is tracking the run and moving sideline to sideline. He will have to work to get better at moving backward in coverage and turning his hips.
NFL Comparison for Christian Harris
The best NFL comparison for Christian Harris is Patrick Queen, of the Baltimore Ravens. Below you can see that from size and athletic background, the two are not far apart from each other.
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They have very similar play styles as well. Queen was less experienced than Harris coming out, but he had the same high-end traits of being a downhill attacker who has the speed capable of improving in coverage. Still. Queen had instinctive issues, and that is why he was slow to get on the field at LSU.
Still, the Ravens drafted him in the first round. However, the issues have remained, and Queen has been up and down. He remains productive but too often teams attack him in coverage. Queen also takes himself out of plays with poor reads. This can be expected with Christian Harris as well. The highs and lows of Queen have been on full display with Baltimore, and you could expect similar wavelengths with Harris.
Should Chicago Bears draft Christian Harris?
According to Grinding the Mocks, Christian Harris goes about pick 58 on average. This will be an interesting debate for the Chicago Bears who pick 48th, then 71st. He is 10 picks below their second-rounder, and 13 above their third, so do they wait or reach?
The bet would be that they are hoping to see whether Christian Harris will fall to pick 71. As noted, they already met with Brian Asamoah, who should be in play for pick 71 as well. They may be thinking about what they would do if one or both of these linebackers are on the board.
In the second round, it would be a bit too high for a player who would be a sidekick to Roquan Smith and would not be an instant addition as well. In the third round, his see-ball, get-ball mentality can be used situationally next to Smith, and if Smith can help groom him, they could find a long-term starter. The cost will be big in the determination of Christan Harris being a good pick.