We have talked a little bit about Marshall LB Mario Harvey here before and a little bit after the draft. Here's what I said pre-draft: "Small school combine snub Mario Harvey could be a good later-round flyer pick. Nicknamed "Thumper" due to his big hits, he was a Butkus Award semi-finalist and the only non BCS linebacker to be represented there. He averaged 11.9 tackles per game and had 143 total tackles (65 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his senior season.
At his pro day, he ran a ridiculous 4.42 forty and had a 32" vert, a 9'5" broad jump and put up 27 reps on the bench. He doesn't really project as a 4-3 cover-2 type (middle) linebacker because his coverage skills are a bit lacking according to scouting reports, but I wanted to include him on here anyway because he's flown under the radar for the most part and I like small-school prospects. He's a probable UDFA and he's not likely on the Hawks radar but perhaps they see something in him they can work with."
Harvey went undrafted but there are a few reasons I think the Hawks might have some interest in him. First off, his overall athleticism is attractive, and the Hawks have actually shown an almost Al Davis interest in athletic freak developmental players. The one difference, which allows me to sleep at night, is that the Hawks tend to take these guys in the late rounds or in free agency, rather than using first round picks on them. Anyway, he's fast, strong, athletic, and was a exceptional producer in his college career. The obvious knock on him is that he played at a lower level but that didn't scare them away from a guy like Mark LeGree. The video that I'm going to include (brought to you by MARI0clp) shows a few plays against Ohio State which sort of give you the reason he went undrafted, but they also include some plays that show you some of his skills and piques your interest a bit.
His upside is that he's a worker, plays with intensity, and has the speed the Hawks covet for their nickel and bandit packages at weakside linebacker and could be a special teams contributor. He'd be a developmental player but could serve as a replacement for (probable) outgoing linebackers Will Herring, Matt McCoy and Leroy Hill. Right now the Hawks depth there is Joe Pawelek and Anthony Heygood. Malcolm Smith was drafted for this role and is a similar athlete to Harvey in his speed and athleticism so he could be a logical target.
You have to keep watching past the first two or three minutes to get to the intriguing stuff on Harvey for this game. It appears he started a bit slow, was out of place in a few instances, took some bad angles on attempted tackles, and generally looked a little lost against the D-1 powerhouse. As the game went on though, he appeared to get a little more comfortable and starting making some plays. The other thing to watch is that he appears to be pretty fierce on special teams and we know how highly PC/JS value speed and power on that squad. Overall he intrigues me; not as a starter per se, but as a developmental guy with some athletic upside that could come in for certain packages and contribute. He's a similar speed as Malcolm Smith but has about 25 pounds on him.
Take a look and judge for yourself; it's pretty obvious he'd be a raw prospect and would require some polish, but overall he hits hard, plays hard, and can move around better than most players his size.
Here's what NFL.com's Gil Brandt had to say about Harvey: "When Mario Harvey found out he was not among the invitees to last month's NFL Scouting Combine, Marshall's pro day emerged as this fiery linebacker's key chance to show NFL teams what Marshall fans have raved about for ages. Of the 12 Marshall players and one small-schooler who worked out for NFL personnel on March 16, it was Harvey who made the most of his opportunity. The 5-foot-10 7/8, 250-pound fireplug registered a stirring 4.46 40-yard dash and put on a strong positional workout for onlookers, including a New England Patriots scout who took particular interest in the Thundering Herd defender. Harvey also logged a 32-inch vertical and 9-5 broad jump, with a 4.19-second short shuttle and 7.13 three-cone drill result. Harvey is an aggressive, energetic, play-making defender (and) some NFL team will take a chance on him for his special-teams promise and potential on defense."
Overall, I'm intrigued in the linebacker out of Marshall. Another speed linebacker that I think the Hawks could be interested in is USC's Michael Morgan. I'll be doing a little more research on him in the coming days.