Miami’s Brandon Harris is Great in Man Coverage

March 25, 2011 | Brian Billick

Miami defensive back Brandon Harris will be clumped in with Aaron Williams and Jimmy smith for the “next best” corners in the draft.  Brandon Harris is the smallest of the three and ran the slowest 40-yard dash time at 4.53.  That is interesting considering he also ran track at Miami, although it was the 400m.

On the field, he shows elite athleticism and loose hips making for a wide receiver difficult to shake him in man coverage.  He shows the ability to anticipate routes based on down and distance and body language, which allows for him to cut off routes and make plays on the ball.  Because of that ability, he was tied for second in the nation with 1.31 passes defensed per game in 2009 and had a total of 28 over the past 2 seasons.  Similar to Aaron Williams, I would like to see him convert some of break ups into interceptions as he only accounted for four over the course of his career.

For as good as Harris is in man coverage, he needs to work on his zone drops and ability to cover in space.  He appears to get flat footed while sitting in his zone and look a little uncomfortable passing off receivers as they leave his specified zone.  Like other true cover corners, Harris uses a duck and swipe tacking technique that may be exposed in the NFL in yards after catch or edge rushes.

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