|♦Hometown:||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|♦College:||Alabama Crimson Tide|
Alabama’s Christian Harris highlights the new age of linebackers
Football at all levels is rapidly changing. Even for the Alabama Crimson Tide, they have had to change the way they play defense. It used to be that linebackers played a more traditional role in the SEC, but offenses have changed the game with spread offensive concepts. As a result, Alabama has recently emphasized athletic linebackers, and Harris may be the most exceptional in recent memory.
He’ll take that
— All-American Bowl (@AABonNBC) January 1, 2021
As you can see above, Harris possesses hip fluidity and active hands in man coverage. As today’s NFL shifts to more nickel and dime personnel packages and requires three down-linebackers, his skill set is highly coveted. However, there are a few specific aspects of his playstyle that make him an exceptional prospect.
Harris’ versatility at the second level makes him unique
The unique trait that Alabama’s Harris brings to the table is his blitzing ability.
Alabama LB Christian Harris is a great asset when blitzing. Can’t wait to see what he does this year at Bama. pic.twitter.com/3WW2TAoSUy
— CJ Errickson (@CJErrickson_NFL) August 31, 2021
He does not only use his athleticism as a pass rusher but in the open field as well. For many NFL organizations, his range in open space is envious. Additionally, some may think that he doesn’t emphasize physicality due to his slightly smaller frame.
Alabama LB #8 Christian Harris checks all the physical boxes with room to grow polishing his game. pic.twitter.com/pOkF5cnlCW
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) June 25, 2021
That could not be further from the truth, as Harris is a tone-setter and an excellent read-and-react linebacker. However, there are a few things the Alabama standout must accomplish this season to maximize his draft stock.
How can Harris ensure that he’s the No. 1 linebacker selected in the 2022 NFL draft?
Overall, Harris is a very downhill type football player. He excels when the ball is in front of him, whether in pass coverage or run defense. However, in zone coverage, there are times where he seems somewhat lost when there are no receivers in his immediate area. In addition, as a linebacker, his form tackling could use a little refining. Above all, the Louisiana native is in a prime position to earn the Butkus Award in 2021. As the new leader of the Crimson Tide’s defense, expect him to refine his game to make him an elite defensive prospect in the 2022 NFL draft.
*Top Photo: UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images