The Seahawks have selected Chris Harper, a 6'1, 231 pound receiver out of Kansas State. Harper didn't post eye-popping numbers in school in the Wildcats' run heavy offense, but from my scouting plays as fast as his 4.45-4.55 speed and has the ability to bully smaller corners on his routes. He's a height/weight/speed guy from the Al Davis tree.
Derek Stephens has been all over Harper in the run up to the Draft, and noted this in his 'best available fits' post this morning:
"Harper is one of my favorite WRs in the class. He's probably the most physically imposing of the group in terms of pure muscular build and strength. He's not the precise, fluid route runner who can stop or cut on a dime and shake defenders with regularity, but he exhibits an understanding and knack for using his body to seal off defenders and beat you with his physicality. He tracks the deep ball well, possesses strong hands and good coordination, and exhibits good body control and timing with going up for the jump ball. An underrated pass-catcher who could surprise and play a significant role his first year."
At his Pro Day, Rob Rang said the following:
"The 6-1, 229-pound wideout shaved nearly a tenth of a second off of the 4.55-second 40-yard dash time he'd been credited with at the combine. While there have been reports saying Harper had run as fast as 4.38-seconds, a league source on hand for the workout had the receiver at 4.47-4.49 in this drill.
"Harper does not play to this speed but is a very good receiver in his own right. He possesses a very well-built upper body which he uses well to shield defenders from the ball. This allows him to consistently make catches with defenders in close proximity to him."
I like the Harper pick - he's not a perfect prospect and may take a year or two to develop into the Pro game, in my opinion (which is fine with the Seahawks' depth at WR) but his size/speed combination is super intriguing. I think he'll be a versatile weapon in the offense - he's played inside and out in Kansas State's offense (he played QB as a prep and actually went to Oregon as a QB before transferring to K.State) - and his downfield blocking must have been super attractive to the Hawks. When asked what he brings to the Seahawks, he replied, "physicality, my physicality and my hands."
There's one play in his DraftBreakdown.com tape against Baylor that I think embodies why I'm excited about Harper -
He just bullies the cornerback for his spot on the route, - both players break on the football and guess who wins? As his NFL Combine Profile states, "On crosses, Harper sells the outside routes before planting his foot to get inside" position.
Now, obviously, there's more to his game than just that - he's also good at adjusting with the ball in the air and strong after the catch, but that play in particular piqued my interest in Harper.