Diamond in the Rough?

Alan Schechter over at The Jets Press does a nice job at taking a look at some of the lesser known prospects. Here’s a piece he did on UDFA defensive tackle Damon Harrison from William Penn.

PROS:He is the size you want for a nose tackle. At 6’2″ 342, it will take hard work for two guys to block this guy, much less one. That will open up holes for others even when Damon isn’t making the play. Secondly, this guy has a serious nose for the football. I read a report that said Harrison is late finding the ball, but quite frankly I don’t know what they were talking about. Watch the tape, this guy is on the ball fast. He can bull rush through anybody, and doesn’t miss tackles.

CONS:I’m nitpicking here now because I didn’t see much. I saw he’s had some knee problems, so durability has been an issue. We have to be careful because we have been there with Kris Jenkins. Other than that, his speed is a bit slow so running guys down is difficult. He also doesn’t have an array of pass rush moves from what I have seen, but he doesn’t necessarily need them in the middle, and the way he can bull rush, he shouldn’t have a problem getting by just about anyone.

The Jets have a lot of depth on the defensive line so it might be hard for a guy like Harrison to make the team. However, he could very well push a guy like Martin Tevaseu for an end of the roster spot. There is a lot to like in his game, but Schechter didn’t mention is his level of competition. That is definitely a cause for concern. In all likelihood, he will be a practice squad player, that can gain a year of experience and learn the playbook. Thus, he can come back strong next year and really push for a roster spot.

But you never know. He is a big kid and could really could end up surprising people in camp.